2017 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Review

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2017 Mercedes AMG C 63 S

You may or may not know this but Canada, and our tiny by comparison population of 36 million, or about 3 million fewer than the state of California, loves expensive performance cars. In fact, Canada is one of the largest per-capita markets for BMW M, Audi S and RS and Mercedes AMG products in the world.

The reasons are simple enough to understand. These cars are exclusive (more or less I guess), fast, generally sexy and great to drive. Also, we’ve got huge distances to cover, or we get stuck in traffic jams for an eternity. In the end, we love to drive and what better cars to drive than the most powerful and best handling that money can buy?

Mercedes-AMG creates some of the most jaw-droppingly intense cars but tragically, like the Ms and RS’, they’re rarely driven to their full potential. I was lucky enough to beat on a few AMGs last winter on frozen lake Winnipeg and the C 63 was one of them. It was there where my level of respect shot up for this car. And my admiration continues to grow.

Styling inside/out

I’m always in awe by how well the German automakers can make in-your-face cars look so subtle, yet so unmistakingly intimidating. A black C 63 S with matte black 19″ AMG cross-spoke forged wheels doesn’t scream so much as it violently stares you down until you have to look away because you’re not worthy. I’m not worthy…

2017 Mercedes AMG C 63 S

To be different, I’d probably opt for Citrine Brown or Brilliant Blue but sooner rather than later, I’d regret my choice. The C 63’s squat and wide stance are not for show but they put one on anyhow. The larger front and rear fascia are distinct and perfectly blended into the bodywork. Black does this body good.

The cabin’s lovely, in a word. The Red Pepper/Black two tone AMG Nappa leather covered optional AMG sport seats are the highlight. The dashboard is all modern Mercedes with tasteful piano-black and aluminum trim. The only missing piece here are the optional designo red seatbelts.

As expected, fit and finish are absolutely perfect.

Comfort/space

Space is not exactly the C-Class’ forte, unless you buy a C 300 wagon (I’m jealous!). The cabin is fairly snug and it is immediately noticeable once onboard. There is room for four adults but the rear occupants may find headroom to be lacking.

2017 Mercedes AMG C 63 S

Up front, one truly gets the sense that we are sitting in a cockpit. All around, the seats are very comfy. The front sport seats are firm and loaded with support. The driving position is fine in general although I would have loved an extra inch of travel from the telescoping steering column for a squarer arm position.

The trunk is decently sized with ample opening, and depth. There are sufficient storage spots up front for all our daily gear.

Value/equipment

There’s no way anyone could ever come down on you for selecting an AMG C 63. BMW fans may disagree with your choice but not with your reasons for getting the C 63.

This kind of power and prestige carries a hefty price tag and for about $75k, the 469-horsepower version can be yours. There is a less expensive option in the $57,000 C 43 4MATIC. For daily levels of fun, performance and all-weather capabilities, this one’s a sure-fire option.

But, if it’s the ultimate of ultimates that you crave, there’s no substituting the C 63 S. For a little less than $85k, the power king of the hill in its segment is all yours. My build would include the AMG Performance seats and carbon ceramic brakes for about $94k.

As tested, this C 63 S includes the Premium package (active parking assist, Burmester audio, power trunk, more), the wheels and seats for a total of roughly $97k. The list of included features is extensive, from navigation, satellite audio, Dynamic drive mode selector, Bluetooth, adaptive dampers, to the big brakes with red calipers and the list goes on and on.

Powertrain/handling

I once wrote a less than perfectly positive review on the AMG GT S and to this day, I’m reminded by Mercedes every time I swing by their offices to pick up a press car. Call me a fool or old school but I wanted more Mercedes and less AMG in the GT S; I was expecting a new SLS.

With the AMG C 63 S, I knew what I was getting behind the wheel of and yet I still found myself wanting more Merc, and the AMG dialed down. Let me be clear that I’m not talking about the power! I’m referring to a level of refinement I’ve come to expect and cherish from the Benzes.

2017 Mercedes AMG C 63 S

The four-corner multi-link suspension with AMG coil springs and adaptive dampers should deliver both spine-bending Gs and a level of docility required for the urban commute. While the comfort drive mode does its best to reel in the beast’s uncompromising nature, I wish it did more. The ride can become harsh on mildly uneven road surfaces so the trick is to avoid them altogether. On smooth pavement, the C 63 and its passengers are very happy.

About the drive modes, I love that Mercedes not only suggests pre-programmed settings as well as a customizable individual setting but at any given moment, the transmission, dampers and exhaust can be altered separately. Now that’s giving the driver all the power.

In my video, I fail to mention the RACE mode in the Dynamic drive mode selector’s menu. Why? Simple. I selected it once and the car promptly put itself slideways. As I was backing off the opposite lock and releasing the throttle, I scrolled back to “comfort” and was glad I’d kept the shiny side up.

And about that power! The biturbo 4.0-litre V8 is nothing short of mind-blowing as is produces a whopping and easy 516 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm. By 5,500 rpm, 503 horsepower are at the driver’s disposal. The amount of thrust at any engine speed slams everyone into their respective seats and won’t quit until the go pedal is released. Reaching 100 km/h requires 4 seconds and feeling the transmission pound through the gears is almost disturbing at first.

So determined to keep up with all the power, the incredible AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed transmission power-shifts from one cog to the other. Each passing gear shift flies by in 100 milliseconds in Sport+ (or Sport and manual) thanks to its multiclutch technology. Unlike the suspension, this transmission becomes practically invisible when in comfort mode.

The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S should fall under the DEA’s jurisdiction. The power is addictive and in the wrong hands can be dangerous. My first hit was free, well almost… I did average 15L per 100 km but now I need more. I truly love this car and would be willing to get in black and deal with the less than cosseting ride. I think this means I’m no longer an old man! Or am I just an addict?

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