You get an unmistakable sense of disdain for compromise from the C 63 S Cabriolet – and you can detect it long before you’ve even reached for the door handle.

Convertibles such as this don’t generally come with 500bhp turbocharged V8 engines and the AMG’s implicit promise, having got that engine, is to give you four-seat usability combined with proper two-seat sports car levels of speed, handling and driver appeal.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Few cars are adjustable enough to invite a gentle slide around the tricky corners. You could almost do it in the C 63 S — but we didn’t risk it

A big ‘0 deg C’ displayed on the C 63 S’s exterior temperature gauge on the day allotted for measuring our performance figures made it tricky to verify some of those implicit promises.

Like its rangemates, the C 63 S does come with electronically governed launch control, but it’s deactivated when the ambient temperature is at or close to freezing. And yet even without launch control and in freezing conditions, the car not only recorded a very impressive two-way 4.6sec 0-60mph average but also matched the Jaguar F-Type V8 S Roadster we figured when sprinting from 30mph to 70mph – both through the gears and when locked in fourth gear.

Its throttle response feels near-perfect even through forced induction, and power is served up in a beautiful balancing act of torquey linearity and building dramatic climax.

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All the more proof that where AMG V8 engines are concerned, and even with nearly two tonnes of kerb weight in the mix, you really can believe the hype.

An open-air delivery mechanism only makes Affalterbach’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 sound better. There’s a slightly nautical vibe to the exhausts’ idle, but that’s replaced by a deliciously rich tonality when the engine is under load – and you can choose between sweet and mellow at medium revs, or frantic and hair-raising up high.

Thanks in part to the car’s standard active exhaust, no six-cylinder cabriolet rival is as loud – and none other sounds as rich, as characterful or as enticing.

Power and thrill aren’t everything an often-used sporting convertible needs, of course. When in place, the C 63 S’s cloth hood seals the cabin very well from wind noise, with the relatively loud hum of nearby cars being the only tell-tale sign that the car you’re driving has passed up a fixed or folding metal roof for a canvas one.

With the roof down, the cabin is decently protected from the elements for those in the front seats, but less so for anyone in the back.

Automated pop-up wind deflectors behind the rear head restraints and atop the header rail promise to add a layer of shelter, but, with the side windows up and in the front seats at least, we found they made too small a contribution to be worth their toll on the car’s otherwise svelte styling. 

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