New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Merc releases fastest C63 AMG yet

2010-07-02 07:40

Available in either a black or white matt finish (and sedan or estate body styles), the DR 520 is Merc’s quickest factory C63 AMG yet.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Model DR 520
Engine 6.2l V8
Power 386kW
Torque 650Nm
Transmission Seven speed auto
Zero To Hundred 4.1 sec
Top Speed 300km/h
The most exclusive Mercedes-Benz performance cars available are Affalterbach’s Black Series line.

Unfortunately the Black Series offering does not extend beyond two-door configuration.

If you are keen on retaining your Mercedes-Benz after sales service agreement, yet require Black Series performance and five-person portability any purchasing rationale within the company's current model portfolio is problematic. At least is was.

Mercedes-Benz announced on Thursday that its Specialist Products division, based at Brooklands in the United Kingdom, will produce a new C 63 AMG variant offering Black Series calibre dynamics in terms of performance, if not in name.

Very rare

The DR 520 range will be limited to only 20 right-hand drive units (all for domestic UK consumption unfortunately) in a mix of sedan and estate configurations.

Mechanically, technicians at the Specialist Products division have liberated additional performance from the award winning AMG 6.2l V8.

The DR 520 produces 386kW (50kW keener than the stock C 63), with rotational force swelling by 20Nm to a new peak of 650Nm.

All things considered the DR 520’s increase in power is hardly a noteworthy achievement, as the 6.2l V8 produces similar numbers when present in the E63 and SL63 AMG applications.

To achieve the DR 520’s increase in engine output Specialist Division tuners simply relaxed the engine control module’s operating parameters before slotting in forged pistons driven off a revised crankshaft by stronger conrods. These new engine internals net a total weight saving of 3kg and reduce inertia appreciably.

If the upgraded engine internals sound like a familiar C 63 AMG tweak it is because they are. The DR 520 is essentially a warmed over Performance Pack Plus (PPP) package. Introduces last year to appease C 63 AMG owners seeking a trace of individualisation, the PPP upgrade only managed to coax 358kW from the 6.2l V8 as opposed to the DR 520’s 386kW.

Besides the greater engine output, the rest of the DR 520 is pretty much AMG PPP fare. To counter the DR 520’s increased accelerative urgency a new braking system, buoyed by composite material rotors actuated by (red) callipers have been fitted at all four wheel corners.

Other styling trinkets differentiating the DR 520 from its lesser AMG brethren are a carbon-fibre front spoiler (the sedan gains an aft spoiler too), matt wrap surfacing (in either white or black) and a contemporary titanium finish to the alloy wheels and grille.

Subtle DR 520 branding is present in the Alcantara layered cabin (embossed into the headrests) and along the flanks.

In terms of performance the DR 520 is most certainly swift. Courtesy of the additional 50kW of engine output and Mercedes-Benz's excellent 7G-tronic automatic transmission, the DR 520 is able to dispatch the benchmark 0-100km/h sprint in a scant 4.1 seconds before having the electronic speed limiter spoil the fun at 300km/h.

As neat as the extra power and red brake callipers are, you still don’t get the rear slippy diff or better suspension - both features which are contained as part of the stock AMG performance package made available towards the end of 2008.

If you simply must own the fastest right-hand drive factory approved C 63 AMG around - and have family in the UK willing to take the burden of registration on your behalf - the DR 520 a fair Black Series four-door alternative of sorts.

Is this DR 520 a proper Black Series four-door option or nothing better than the C 63 AMG performance pack model? Debate here...


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