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      05-26-2011, 02:12 AM   #1
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C63 AMG Coupe review by InsideLine.

And there you have it.


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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe arrives bearing more than the usual degree of expectation. And not without a reason. The C63 AMG sedan, with which it shares its weapons-grade engine and the rest of its mechanical package, is one of AMG's finest pieces of work. So when we saw the new C63 coupe for the first time at last month's New York auto show, we got the feeling it was going to be something special.

It does not disappoint. In fact, there's little doubt that the BMW M3 finally has some serious competition from Stuttgart. This is after a four-hour test-drive that included high-speed blasts on the autobahn and twisty runs through the hills behind AMG's engineering headquarters.

The bottom line? The new C63 AMG coupe is significantly faster in a straight line, offers more accessible performance and provides the driver with greater levels of confidence at the limit than the 4-year-old M3 coupe. Best of all, though, it is just great fun to drive all of the time.

No Turbos? No Problem


Despite widespread rumors suggesting it would receive a version of AMG's new 5.5-liter V8 engine, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe sticks with the same 6.2-liter V8 power plant as the C63 AMG sedan. It is a logical step that helped to speed development while keeping costs down.

In standard guise, the big V8 kicks out 451 horsepower. But as is now common across the AMG lineup, there's a Performance package option that adds the same pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft from the engine used in the SLS AMG. The new parts bump its output up to a haughty 480 hp at 6,800 rpm — or some 66 hp more than the M3's 4.0-liter V8.

This a tremendously gutsy engine with immediate throttle response, explosive performance in lower gears, a linear delivery across a wide band of revs and, perhaps best of all, a howling exhaust note that even those good 'ol NASCAR boys would appreciate.

But even more impressive than the engine's serious level of power is the accessibility of its torque. At virtually any speed short of white-knuckled autobahn velocities, a determined stab of full throttle introduces a heady rate of acceleration. Mercedes-Benz's official figures are a good guide. No fewer than 370 pound-feet of the C63 AMG coupe's entire 443 lb-ft can be tapped between 2,000 and 6,250 rpm, giving it monumental rolling performance and effortless high-speed cruising attributes.

The naturally aspirated V8 is quite happy to work hard. But there is no great need to go exploring the 7,200-rpm redline to extract its best.
Not when its midrange offers such heavyweight punch. You simply run it up to 5,000 rpm, the point where that peak torque is delivered in full, and revel in the vast amount of shove lurking under your right foot.

If there is any lingering doubt about the C63 AMG coupe engine's overall effectiveness, consider Mercedes-Benz's official performance claims. Equipped with the AMG Performance package, it is claimed to hit 62 mph from a standstill in just 4.3 seconds — a full 0.6 second inside the time BMW quotes for the M3. There are no standing quarter-mile times yet, but we'd be surprised if it didn't dip into the low 12s. Top speed, as with the C63 AMG sedan, is limited to 155 mph. We have no doubt it could push to well over 175 mph without the computer looking on.

It's More Than Just a Big Engine
What really makes the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe feel so quick in a straight line is its gearbox. It's the latest version of the seven-speed 7G-Tronic unit that forgoes the standard torque converter for an automatically operating clutch. The so-called MCT (multiclutch transmission) works beautifully, offering fast changes and intuitively holding gears all the way to the redline before changing up on a wide-open throttle so as to take full advantage of the engine's performance in any one of the three automatic modes.

It's hard to step out of the C63 AMG coupe after a furious thrash and not want another go.

Switch into Manual mode and there is a clear change in character, the shifts becoming more aggressive and even faster, especially on downshifts. It also holds onto gears at the limiter, rather than selecting the next ratio — exactly as it should be in a car of such unbridled sporting pretensions. The only real complaint is the speed of upshifts, which are delayed by the software under full load to ensure the engine's torque doesn't blow the differential to pieces.

The Chassis Isn't Too Shabby Either

In addition to the monster engine and quick-shifting gearbox, the C63 is also blessed with the sort of handling finesse and overall grip that make it a true contender on challenging back roads. Although the curb weight is the same as the sedan at 3,814 pounds, the chassis tuning is unique to the coupe.

Turn-in is urgent and genuinely communicative through a nicely proportioned flat-bottom steering wheel geared at a quick 2.5 turns lock-to-lock. Superb damping also contributes to very low levels of roll and inertia once you've committed to a corner.

Despite running what appears like fairly ordinary performance car rubber — Continental Sport Contact tires sized 235/40ZR18 up front and 255/35ZR18 at the rear — you can confidently load the front end up without premature breakaway. The balance and grip are so good, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe encourages you to push harder at the sort of speeds where you might otherwise consider backing away from the throttle. It feels tremendously well planted, allowing you to get the power down early without the stability control cutting in at critical moments. A locking differential comes as part of the Performance package.

In tighter corners with a low gear dialed up, it will progressively kick its tail out as long as you dial back the stability control. The speed at which the breakaway occurs is so high, though, that you really need a track to get the best of it. The brakes, substantial 14.2-inch composite discs grabbed by six-piston Brembo calipers up front and 13-inch discs with four-pot calipers at the rear, are hugely effective, providing big levels of bite and remaining strong even when worked hard. They're clearly better than the M3's brakes which, while offering similar levels of feel, don't cope with repeated hammerings with quite the same authority.

The only real criticism that can be leveled at the dynamic properties is the ride. In a bid to provide it with such outstanding body control, the C63 AMG coupe gets ultra-stiff springs, thicker stabilizer bars and very aggressive damper settings. Sure, they work great when you're running hard, but around town the C63 delivers some nasty thuds when you hit an average-size pothole. Such is the price of performance at this level.

Familiar Styling Upgrades

Sitting at the very top of Mercedes-Benz's new C-Class coupe lineup, the C63 AMG coupe is differentiated from its more sedate two-door siblings by a series of traditional AMG styling changes — the majority of which have already been seen on the similarly styled C63 AMG sedan.

The visual cues to its added performance potential include a deeper front bumper, LED daytime running lights, a more heavily contoured aluminum hood, signature five-spoke AMG alloy wheels, bespoke door sills and a modified rear bumper complete with a blacked-out diffuser element and twin chrome tailpipes. With the Performance package come Brembo brake calipers and a carbon-fiber lip spoiler on the trunk.

It's an aggressive-looking car, full of intent and purpose when seen up close in the metal. But perhaps more than the changes to its styling, it is the work that has gone into modifying its chassis that really sets the C63 AMG coupe apart. It includes tracks that are widened by a little less than an inch up front but reduced just over an inch at the rear. It also features significantly altered camber rates and a 1-inch reduction in ride height.

The AMG Coupe We've Been Waiting For
In the end, it is hard to step out of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe after a furious thrash and not want another go. Its straight-line performance is captivating, but it is the precision of its handling that really leaves you in awe. It's easy to forget that the C63 coupe is a comprehensively equipped luxury car that weighs nearly 2 tons. In practice, though, it feels like a much lighter performance machine.

Various coupes have tried to dethrone the mighty BMW M3 coupe over the years and most haven't even come close. Mercedes has always had a good excuse to dismiss the issue since it didn't have a coupe of similar size. Now that it does, AMG has stepped up to the plate and built a proper contender. For now the M3 is still the king. We'll see for how long.

http://www.insideline.com/mercedes-b...rst-drive.html
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You sound like my buddies who have AMG's - Slam the gas, slam the brakes...
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      05-26-2011, 02:38 AM   #2
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      05-26-2011, 03:37 AM   #3
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oh boy
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      05-26-2011, 04:23 AM   #4
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I have the M156 motor (although in an E63, not the C, and at 507 hp) and there's no argument from me that this is one of the finest V8s ever built. It's butter smooth and the torque is available early on. And with a 7 speed, the gearing is well spaced and mpg is really decent with freeway driving (75 mph at just under 2k rpm.)

imho, it's comforting to hear that AMG is still using the big n/a motor despite pressure from current stricter CAFE rules.

And it looks like the performance package gets you "almost a M159" motor less the dry sump lubrication.
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      05-26-2011, 05:41 AM   #5
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ouch!
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      05-26-2011, 06:39 AM   #6
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Wow. We all knew in a straight line it was going to be rapid but the best thing I think are the comments on handling. Can't wait to see more reviews!
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      05-26-2011, 07:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olagüe View Post
ouch!
What?

Now I am really starting to like it. It will be awhile before one of these comes up CPO though. No way Jose would I take that new hit.
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      05-26-2011, 09:56 AM   #8
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M3 finally has competition?! The new Mustang GT already beat up on the M3.
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      05-26-2011, 10:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Never-Enough View Post
M3 finally has competition?! The new Mustang GT already beat up on the M3.
Rut Roh!

You can't explain that!



In all seriousness though, I think the faux lux aspect of the C63 and M3 really keep them in a separate category. The GT didn't beat up on the M3 performance-wise (the BOSS did), but I kinda get what you're saying. Stirring the pot probably.
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      05-26-2011, 12:33 PM   #10
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I like what I'm reading!
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      05-26-2011, 01:24 PM   #11
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I really like the look of this car.
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      05-26-2011, 01:34 PM   #12
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love the minor change look LOL... and of course power is still crazy.
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      05-26-2011, 02:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragingclue View Post
Rut Roh!

You can't explain that!



In all seriousness though, I think the faux lux aspect of the C63 and M3 really keep them in a separate category. The GT didn't beat up on the M3 performance-wise (the BOSS did), but I kinda get what you're saying. Stirring the pot probably.
The GT did also beat the M3.
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      05-26-2011, 03:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Never-Enough View Post
The GT did also beat the M3.
In what? The comparos I've seen where they did any track driving had the GT surprisingly close (I think it lost by like .1 seconds or some shit). Impressive to say the least, but I definitely wouldn't say it "beat up on the M3".
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      05-26-2011, 03:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragingclue View Post
In what? The comparos I've seen where they did any track driving had the GT surprisingly close (I think it lost by like .1 seconds or some shit). Impressive to say the least, but I definitely wouldn't say it "beat up on the M3".
Well, I happen to have a 5.0 and I'll attest to beating up M3's. My car Has full bolt ons and some suspension mods and unless I ran into a supercharged M3 I can tell you it's not much of a race
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      05-26-2011, 03:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicE90 View Post
Well, I happen to have a 5.0 and I'll attest to beating up M3's. My car Has full bolt ons and some suspension mods and unless I ran into a supercharged M3 I can tell you it's not much of a race
Haha yeah well we're getting a bit off topic I guess, but I'm well aware of what's going on with the Coyote and am lining myself up for a '13 Boss or maybe even Prem GT + FRPP parts. You also have to consider that even though there's a huge price difference, the whole modded versus stock debate only ends very badly.

Anyway, back on topic, I just can't get myself to like the exterior styling of the C coupe. In AMG form, it looks less frumpy and more mean, but there's still something about it that I just can't digest properly.
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      05-26-2011, 04:52 PM   #17
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Can't wait to test drive one! I want it to go live on their site so I can start building one damn it!
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You sound like my buddies who have AMG's - Slam the gas, slam the brakes...
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      05-26-2011, 05:29 PM   #18
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Albeit not the same type of motoring as the C63 and a big price gap.

If I was in a position to buy a new MB w/o doubt it would be a CL550. Right there with the AMG version in most statistics and it looks..
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      05-26-2011, 07:27 PM   #19
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The CL (AMG version) is probably the nicest designed coupe on the road today. And one of the most expensive. With ABC suspension it sits perfectly flat through the bends, despite the weight. It's a perfect compromise between comfort and agility.
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      05-26-2011, 07:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickypaws View Post
The CL (AMG version) is probably the nicest designed coupe on the road today. And one of the most expensive. With ABC suspension it sits perfectly flat through the bends, despite the weight. It's a perfect compromise between comfort and agility.
this

It looks perfect
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      05-27-2011, 12:11 AM   #21
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I'm not a big fan of Mercedez, but I definitely wouldn't mind that coupe. It does look sexy.
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      05-27-2011, 12:54 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo View Post
Albeit not the same type of motoring as the C63 and a big price gap.

If I was in a position to buy a new MB w/o doubt it would be a CL550. Right there with the AMG version in most statistics and it looks..
Excuse me...I need to go change....
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