Four-seat drop-tops are comfortable boulevardiers, engineered in acceptance of their structural limitations to do nothing as well as just cruise, right?

Yet again, AMG didn’t bother to read the script. The C 63 S is every bit as yobbishly damped and unapologetically well connected to the road surface as either the equivalent saloon or coupé, with one tester describing it as “flipping firm” (although he didn’t use the word ‘flipping’).

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Transmission bumps bang hard through the rear suspension but don’t jolt the car off line

To some, that may make this car entirely unsuited to the laid-back sunbathing they imagine life in a modern soft-top to be, but to the hardcore enthusiast, starved of big rag-tops done with true sporting commitment, the C 63 S is cause for celebration.

The car isn’t, however, so firmly sprung that it won’t settle to a comfortable cruising gait. The standard adaptive dampers allow for reasonable long-wave compliance in their Comfort mode, but you could count the number of reflectors in the average motorway cat’s eye using just your backside, the seat cushion and the iron-mounted rear suspension.

The car’s body control, meanwhile, is at once taut and progressive, its handling is keen, compelling and yet still intuitive and natural, and its steering is expertly matched for pace to the car’s handling response while, wonderfully, remaining honestly feelsome for an electromechanical set-up.

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And its uncorrupted, rear-driven, grunt-over-grip handling adjustability trumps it all. Is that worth the noisy, clunky ride? In our book, it is, without question.

That kind of dynamic set-up simply wouldn’t work, of course, without an equally stiff body structure for the suspension to push against, but there’s little more than the merest suggestion of scuttle shake in the car with the roof down.

At its worst, there’s an occasional shudder from the roof rails over broken roads with the hood in place. An occasional emanating shimmy, too, can be seen in the rear-view mirror making its way back from the windscreen through the cabin, rocking the passenger headrests in turn. By modern convertible standards, neither is really worth criticising.

Let’s not kid ourselves: rear-driven AMG V8s like this are all about the skids. However, perhaps on account of a kerb weight greater than that of the C63 S saloon, or its altered axle kinematics, the Cabriolet doesn’t slide in quite as benign a fashion and instead takes attitude slightly more suddenly than the four-door – but only with the ESP switched all the way out.

Even so, it’s still anything but spikey or unpredictable on the limit. AMG’s clever electronic rear differential gives you the option to either accelerate the car into oversteer or to ‘back it in’ under trailing throttle.

Either way, the positivity of the steering and consistency of the car’s wheel control make it easy to balance the directional influences of both the front and rear axles and carve your way back to straight again with head-widening smoothness.

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