Some cars look like nothing out of the ordinary but will smack a smile on the face every time you drive it. The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupe is that car but in a completely different way. One glance at its muscular body flared wheel arches and the Panamericana grille, you’d think this car is as every bit as hardcore as it name suggests, except that it is not.
The truth is, this C 63 S is ‘softer’ than the pre-facelifted model. In the older C 63 S, the suspension feels far too stiff and uncomfortable for daily use, much less interstate road trips. This C 63 S is redefined with a ride cultured for comfort without ever letting go of the firmness that defines a proper sports car.
Clearly, the AMG Ride Control+ divides the old from the new. This adjustable sports suspension lets you alter the dampers in three ways. Each level removes the amount of body roll and increases grip, yet never giving up the ride comfort. It does take away some of the sports car’s edge, but it makes the C 63 S much more natural to drive.
Handling is more engaging than ever. The steering’s speedy reaction and accuracy let you be quick around the corners. The AMG rides flat around the corners and grip seem limitless. Setting the AMG Dynamic Select from Sport to Sport+ amps up the aggression, letting the tail spill out just enough to slap a grin on your face. Race mode recommended only for track driving, relaxes the safety controls and puts more of the car into the hands of the driver.
Curiously though, Slippery mode does not make the C 63 S drift easier but quite the opposite. The Slippery setting is used when the road becomes slippery, especially during a torrential downpour with standing water all over the place. In this mode, the C 63 S powers down the drivetrain and puts the safety system on high alert because some slides are never fun.
This Slippery mode exists due to the car being too forceful in dicey conditions; perhaps. Under the power-bulged hood is a 4.0-litre V8 with its two turbos dropped inside the cylinder ‘V’. This compact engine generates a massive 510hp and 700Nm, which takes the C 63 S Coupe from zero to 100kph in 3.9 seconds and up to a maximum speed of 290kph.
Power is channelled through the new nine-speed MCT, a unique transmission that throws away the conventional torque converter and replaces it with a wet start-off clutch. It starts off quick, no matter the drive mode you are in and quickly lets the programming take over. Put the Dynamic Select to Comfort, and the gear transits smoothly from one gear to the next, picking up even more speed as you go along. Set it on Sport+, and you’ll have rapid-fire gear shifts always wants to take you to the red line as fast as it could. Of course, you could set the transmission to manual and use the paddle shifters to override any programming.
No matter how you drive the C 63 S, you’ll be cocooned by an interior that is appropriately premium, even though the design is feeling its age. You are seated on electrically-adjustable AMG Performance seats wrapped in Nappa leather, finished in red pepper/black upholstery. Carbon fibre adorns the centre stack and trimmed by aluminium brings out a sense of performance to the sporty interior.
The steering wheels are wrapped in the same Nappa leather with DINAMICA microfibre. And it is particularly busy, too. On the spokes are buttons and dials that control the car’s various functions. The two black square are touch-sensitive pads that let you scroll through menus on the 12.3-inch digital instrument screen. At the bottom-right of the steering is a dial — with a tiny colour screen in the middle — that lets you select the drive mode where you might usually flip the switch on the transmission tunnel.
At bottom-left of on the steering wheel is a little LCD(?) screen that displays two icons that you can also see on the transmission tunnel. So instead of taking your hand off the wheel to select Manual mode, you could press the corresponding icon on the screen alternatively. It is entirely customisable to what you want. However, the entire assembly feels and sounds plasticky and quite out of place in this car. Should this even be here?
But that is just one slight misstep in a car that’s built with high precision, and squeaky plastics shouldn’t be the determining factor for the purchase. The C 63 S Coupe has the power, the poise and the presence of a Mercedes-AMG — a proper AMG with a hand-built and signed engine. If you want to know what a real AMG feels like, and I don’t mean one that has the badge indiscriminately slapped on, the C 63 S is the best place to start.
Specification: Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupe
Engine 3,982cc, V8, Bi-turbo | Transmission AMG Speedshift 9G 9-speed MCT automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive | Power & Torque 510hp @ 5,500-6,250rpm / 700Nm @ 2,000-4,500rpm | Performance 0-100kph in 3.9s, max speed 290kph, 10.1l/100km combined | Price RM820,888 | Score 9/10