It’s perhaps not entirely fair to say that the C 63 is the first AMG C-class to be thoroughly and comprehensively re-engineered to suit its market, because both the C 32 and C 55 were excellent cars. But you do get the impression that the C 63 represents a step up by Mercedes, both in design and engineering commitment, compared with its predecessors.
So while the 6.3-litre V8 engine very much remains the centrepiece of the car, it’s no longer the dominant factor. Just about all the parts of the C 63 that move – and plenty of things that don’t – have been redesigned, and the result is a more complete car that feels entirely separate from the rest of the C-Class range.
The engine itself, claims AMG, develops around 30 percent more torque than any other rival in the marketplace. So while the 451bhp at 6800rpm is deeply impressive (the M3 has 414bhp at 8300rpm), it’s the 443lb ft at 5000rpm that hits hardest. And the real killer is that at least 370lb ft of this is available between 2000 and 6250rpm; the M3’s 4.0-litre V8 produces a best of 295lb ft at 3900rpm.
The C 63 puts its power to the road via a seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox with paddle shifters fixed to the steering wheel, and which has three different shift modes: full manual (in which it will categorically not shift up unless you ask it to), sport auto and finally comfort auto, in which the shifts occur less quickly and more smoothly than in sport auto.