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Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe: Fast and Furious

S.Muralidhar | Updated on June 03, 2021

Can’t fit much into its boot. But if you are looking for a mental reboot every weekend, here is an option worth considering

The hills are beckoning. I want to take a break from the urban grind, and preferably in something fast. With the exciting prospect of a weekend of ‘twisties’, echoing tunnels and fresh air, all of us would choose a vehicle with a lot of space for luggage. I only had to lug an overnighter, but more importantly, I wanted something to rid myself of a lot of mental baggage.

And the steed I chose for the mission was the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe. To describe this AMG subtly —it is a snarling, compact, corner-carving beast that can hold its own in a face-off at the supercar club.

 

Street Star

On our roads, not just sports cars, but any two-door will attract a lot of attention. This is not just a head-turner. Affalterbach’s designers endowed the C 63 to leave a trail of swooners. Doesn’t matter even if you aren’t well-read enough to identify the special vertical slats in the grille, the brand-typical twin dual exhausts and the AMG alloy rims. The road presence is defined by its classy sports car lines, even as it sticks obediently to Merc’s signature design language. In terms of proportions, it is compact, yet it isn’t small. May be because it looks like a two-seater, but is meant for four. Rear-seat passengers would feel claustrophobic if not nauseous, while the driver is grinning from ear to ear.

There are visual cues to its latent power that early-risers on Mumbai roads before the lockdown, could have caught on to, if they had the time to stare. The subtle power dome on the hood, the prominent waistline crease, the sharply angled, rear-spoiler fixed on the boot lid meant to improve downforce and the oversized air intakes and vents in the front and rear fender respectively to help improve cooling. Get closer to the beast and you get to see the fat wheel arches and the V8 Biturbo badging on either side. Also, if it is a serious piece of kit on four wheels, how can it not have a few carbon-fibre elements thrown-in. The front fender’s bow-shaped panel that wraps around the air intakes on either side and runs across the fender is the most prominent carbon-fibre trim. More oomph, more meanness for my test mule came pre-loaded with its graphite-grey matt body paint.

There is more carbon-fibre trim on the centre console and elsewhere S.Muralidhar

 

Waking up the neighbourhood

Heading out early in the morning has its advantages. But it is difficult to potter around with an AMG at your disposal. Good thing the C 63 manages to rent the morning air with growls and burbles with the baffles open even while staying within the speed limits in the city.

From the seemingly laid-back, rustic German town of Affalterbach, near Stuttgart, comes the heart of all AMGs. Their hand-built, high performance engines are revered for their incredible reliability and high outputs. The ‘63’ nomenclature is at the top of the crop coming from AMG. The 4-litre, Biturbo, V8 engine, which is the underlying mill for many AMGs bearing this nomenclature, delivers a range of outputs based on the vehicle it has been shoehorned into.

In the C 63, this engine produces the lowest output compared to cars like the AMG GT63 S. Yet, at 476 hp of peak power and 650 Nm of torque, it delivers a sumptuous feast for those that can experience it at the extreme. Hierarchy may have dealt it a smaller output, but it is still way above ‘play-grade’ for most of us. My destination was the hilly roads surrounding Lonavla and Shillim, but I had to get past the dusty plains in and around Mumbai.

It was easy to cruise around in comfort mode, and even manage the short bursts of speed every time traffic opened up. The suspension is firm and so track-focused that it can be a pain in the backside while going over bad roads. Adaptive damping from AMG Ride Control is still not enough to drown the impact of our urban tarmac.

Switching over to a sportier driving mode is easier than in other Merc sedans, with a tiny digital selector positioned conveniently just below the spoke of the AMG performance steering wheel, à la Ferrari’s Manettino.

Hands on wheel, I just turn the plastic wheel to choose between the modes. But, it is not until I have left the Mumbai-Pune expressway behind me and started the hill climb up to Lonavla that I realise the missile-like acceleration of the C 63 getting hairier after the straights ran out.

That 0-100kmph in 4 seconds just isn’t a fair reflection of how quick this car feels and how easy it is to drift at corners, control a rear slide and return back to being an earthling. However, this is not a car that you’d want to risk switching-off traction control on unless you are on a track or closed circuit. I certainly wasn’t going to try it with weekend traffic slowly beginning to come into the hills.

The difference to the performance in the 2020 C 63 comes from the Speedshift MCT 9G gearbox. This 9-speed, multi-clutch transmission, from the E 63, is quicker and delivers the right spirit to each of the five driving modes; gets even more engaging while choosing gears manually, and there is a matching exhaust note to keep you company.

 

Sitting tight

The C 63’s cabin has many of the shared elements that we get to see in many Merc models. The controls and knobs are familiar, but there is much that is special inside the cabin. Of course, there is more carbon-fibre trim on the centre console and elsewhere. The best bit about the cabin is undoubtedly the AMG performance seats.

Providing great lateral support and enough room to lean into and be held in place while throwing the car into corners, these seats are in a class of their own. As you can see, they are built to look good too. There is more perforated leather, nappa and microfibre inserts meant to improve your hold over the wheel. The entire cockpit is driver-focused, while retaining that special sportscar aura about it.

Buy one?

The C 63 is one of AMG’s best cars; at least it is for me. There is so much that this car will let you and teach you to do. It can be a sedate highway cruiser and morph into a track star in an instant.

But, it is only meant for the few who can afford a price tag of about ₹1.5 crore and also know their own limitations while handling a car of this calibre.

Published on June 03, 2021

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