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      08-27-2007, 05:47 AM   #1
Just_me
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CAR: M3 rides better than C63 (C63 test)

So this is Mercís answer to the new BMW M3...

Got it. Hot C's have long been part of Mercedes' line-up, but none has had us quite as excited as this, the C63 which as the name suggests, gets the big 6.3-litre V8 from the car right at the top of Merc's range, the CL63.

Itís worth pointing out that while Audi and BMW have only just got around to slotting V8s under their carsí bonnets, Merc has been at it for years starting with the C43 back in 1997. The C63 doesnít go on sale in the UK until mid-2008, but when it gets here it will only have the M3 to beat as its other obvious rival, the Audi RS4, is about to die and wonít be replaced until 2009.

How will I spot it?

Try the flared wheelarches, new front and rear bumpers, quad exhausts, twin bonnet powerdomes, rear diffuser or wing vents. And if you get close enough, peek through the window at the unusual sports seats that look like they came out of an í80s 911, the leather-wrapped wheel, rubber-studded aluminium pedals and SLR-style silver instruments that look great but arenít that easy to read.

Any way you look at it, this isnít your usual sobre-suited Merc.

So run me through the highlights

That 6.3-litre V8 is the same one youíll find in the CL63 but detuned slightly to deliver 451bhp and 443lb ft of torque. So it trumps the new M3 to the tune of 37bhp and a gigantic 148lb ft.

It drives through a tweaked version of Mercís seven-speed auto with three modes: Comfort (typically Merc smooth upshifts, reluctant downshifts), Sport (30 percent quicker shifts, blips on the way down) and Manual, which swaps ratios in half the time needed in Comfort mode.

So it's not slow then?

Not unless your regular car is a top fuel dragster. The new M3 does 62mph in 4.8sec but Merc says the C63 will hit the same benchmark in 4.5sec, so reckon on nearer 4.0sec dead to 60mph.

And even that doesnít fully illustrate how rapid the C63 feels, particularly above 100mph. Any gearbox snobs out there need to know that the auto íbox works really well, Sport mode being enough for day-to-day stuff and manual the right tool for when you really want to have some fun

But itís whipped in the bends, right?

Wrong. Unlike some rival cars the C63 comes with no buttons to change steering or suspension settings, although if you think the standard car isnít going to be hardcore enough or expect to be doing a lot of track work, you can specify tauter suspension, bigger brakes and wide 19-inch tyres when you place your order.

But even the standard 18-inch wheel car is a delight. With ESP set in Sport mode, every deviation from the straight-ahead as you turn the wheel results in a three-way conference call between accelerator, throttle and rear suspension. The steering retains the standard carís 13.5:1 ratio but the rack is repositioned, the front track is 35mm wider and the brakes are serious: six pots up front, four pots at the back and full of feel.

Switch ESP out altogether and itís an absolute riot. The RS4 doesnít really do oversteer, at least not in the dry, and the M3 needs more provocation than before to perform. But the C63 has the torque and balance to let you play all day, if sliding is your thing.

Itís sounding like a full five-star car

Factor in the expected £50k price and, yes, it looks like the C63 has it all sewn up. But there is a niggle and itís to do with the way the C63 deals with lumps and bumps. Traditional Merc customers wonít like it. Even the M3 rides better.

While itís easy to get carried away applauding Mercedes for not fitting gimmicky buttons to change the suspension sittings, Porsche proved with PASM on the GT3 and RS just how useful such systems can be. It's the one chink in the Merc's armour.

Verdict

The C63 is a great car Ė and for all sorts of reasons we werenít expecting. Itís agile, has great brakes and steering, the auto gearbox works well and itís even good value for money. On top of that itís blisteringly quick, but then you knew that already.

This is an AMG you need make no excuses for and it could just be the best sports saloon on sale. We'll be hunting down a group test with its rivals soon to deliver the definitive verdict on that one...


http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/
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      08-27-2007, 06:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_me View Post

Switch ESP out altogether and itís an absolute riot. The RS4 doesnít really do oversteer, at least not in the dry, and the M3 needs more provocation than before to perform. But the C63 has the torque and balance to let you play all day, if sliding is your thing.
This is the first time I have seen any publication say that about the M3 in regards to getting the car to slide.
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      08-27-2007, 08:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
We'll be hunting down a group test with its rivals soon to deliver the definitive verdict on that one...
That's the one we are waiting for...
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      08-27-2007, 11:24 AM   #4
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Just me, you have exercised extremely selective editing on your post. From an article thats over ten paragraph and gives a five star praise to C63 the only comment you chose was that M3 rides better!
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      08-27-2007, 11:51 AM   #5
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"It’s worth pointing out that while Audi and BMW have only just got around to slotting V8s under their cars’ bonnets, Merc has been at it for years starting with the C43 back in 1997."

BMW has had V8's in their engines for at least 20 years. What are they talking about?
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      08-27-2007, 11:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K3N R3D View Post
"Itís worth pointing out that while Audi and BMW have only just got around to slotting V8s under their carsí bonnets, Merc has been at it for years starting with the C43 back in 1997."

BMW has had V8's in their engines for at least 20 years. What are they talking about?
"their cars'" = their cars' in THIS SEGMENT. It was meant to have been implied by the context of the article. You just have to understand the sometimes terse writing style of these car guys.
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      08-27-2007, 12:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002 Tii View Post
Just me, you have exercised extremely selective editing on your post. From an article thats over ten paragraph and gives a five star praise to C63 the only comment you chose was that M3 rides better!
Im innocent, just copying from another board...
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      08-27-2007, 12:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
That's the one we are waiting for...
but are we sure we want to hear the final verdict?
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      08-27-2007, 12:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002 Tii View Post
Just me, you have exercised extremely selective editing on your post. From an article thats over ten paragraph and gives a five star praise to C63 the only comment you chose was that M3 rides better!
Looks to me like he put the whole article in his post. What was he supposed to do -- put the whole thing in his subject line?
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      08-27-2007, 12:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILC32 View Post
Looks to me like he put the whole article in his post. What was he supposed to do -- put the whole thing in his subject line?
Read above he already replied.
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      08-27-2007, 01:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002 Tii View Post
Read above he already replied.
As did I, so . . .?
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      08-27-2007, 01:13 PM   #12
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BTW, does anyone really have "ride" as part of their criteria for a car of this type? I could not care less how it rides as long as it pulls 1g-ish on the skidpad and exhibits near zero body roll. If it can do that, and still ride like a Cadillac, then fine, but realistically that is not possible. Beyond that, small differences in ride quality are bascially irrelevant.
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      08-27-2007, 02:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K3N R3D View Post
"Itís worth pointing out that while Audi and BMW have only just got around to slotting V8s under their carsí bonnets, Merc has been at it for years starting with the C43 back in 1997."

BMW has had V8's in their engines for at least 20 years. What are they talking about?
I believe that he is referring to how long Merc has been putting V8's in their C class cars (The intro of the E92 M3 is the first time BMW has put a V-8 under the hood of an M3).
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      08-27-2007, 03:00 PM   #14
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but are we sure we want to hear the final verdict?
Why wouldn't we? I'm all for healthy competition. Let the games begin.
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      08-27-2007, 03:10 PM   #15
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Why wouldn't we? I'm all for healthy competition. Let the games begin.
Me too.

I suspect I will love that C63, but there will be the issues of:

-no two door or drop top
-no manual or DCT
-no 8000RPM redline
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      08-27-2007, 03:23 PM   #16
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-no manual or DCT
An automanual is supposed to be in the works...
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      08-27-2007, 03:32 PM   #17
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An automanual is supposed to be in the works...
Dual-clutch, I hear.
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      08-27-2007, 03:38 PM   #18
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As did I, so . . .?
So enjoy the rest of the thread and leave your confrontational attitude at the door.
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      08-27-2007, 03:41 PM   #19
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So enjoy the rest of the thread and leave your confrontational attitude at the door.
You're kidding, right?
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      08-27-2007, 03:42 PM   #20
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So enjoy the rest of the thread and leave your confrontational attitude at the door.
Pot....meet kettle.
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      08-27-2007, 03:56 PM   #21
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An automanual is supposed to be in the works...
I wonder if we'll see it before 2010?
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      08-27-2007, 06:01 PM   #22
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interesting that he would say the gearbox performs well, when the poor-performing merc gearbox has gotten some poor press for its 1 second long shifts.

this article reads like a poorly researched puff piece.

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