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Future models - Mercedes-AMG - C63

New York show: Mercedes-AMG shows off new C63

C for class: The C63 will lob in Australia in August, just weeks after the rest of the facelifted C-Class range.

Mercedes-AMG C63 gains tweaked suspension in mid-life update

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Mercedes-AMG logo28 Mar 2018

By TIM NICHOLSON in New York

MERCEDES-AMG has ripped the covers off its refreshed high-performance C63 range on the eve of the New York motor show this week, with the German auto giant saying that the lightly facelifted version of its top-seller is now more dynamically capable than before.

Revealed at a Daimler pre-show event overnight, all four body styles of the updated C63 AMG – sedan, wagon, coupe and cabriolet – will hit Australian showrooms in August, just a few weeks after the rest of the updated C-Class range goes on sale.

While Australian pricing and specification is yet to be finalised, expect Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific to maintain its strategy of offering only the most powerful variant available – the C63 S.

Power and torque outputs have not changed in the update, with the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine continuing to pump out 375kW at 5500-6250rpm and 700Nm at 2500-5000rpm in C63 S guise, while the standard C63 musters 350kW at 5500-6250rpm and 650Nm at 1750-4500rpm.

Each version drives the rear wheels, but the previous seven-speed torque-converter automatic transmission has been traded up for a new nine-speed wet-clutch ‘AMG Speedshift’ unit that AMG says has been “tuned specifically for a dynamic driving experience”.

The new gearbox offers faster shifts than the outgoing unit and includes a multiple-downshift function for extra bursts of speed and a double-declutching function in Sport and Sport+ modes.

Manual mode will now remain in the gear selected and not automatically shift up if the engine speed reaches a certain limit.

Up to six driving modes are available, depending on the variant, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race and Individual, all falling under the AMG Dynamics program.

This program also has “agility functions” including Basic, Advanced, Pro and Master that are automatically selected, depending on which drive mode is selected.

An AMG Track Pace data logging system is available on the C63 S if you opt for the Comand Online infotainment system, and it captures more than 80 specific data sets – such as speed and acceleration – at 10 times per second, allowing users to compare and improve on previous efforts.

The C63 S comes standard with dynamic engine mounts that AMG says “resolve the conflicting aims of comfort and dynamic performance” by reducing vibrations in the engine and transmission.

The four-link front axle and multi-link independent rear suspension with AMG Ride Control has been overhauled, with AMG updating some components for high-camber stability when cornering at speed. Adaptive damping is standard.

Each variant also features a rear limited slip-differential for improved traction, particularly in and out of corners, and the electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering has a variable ratio.

An AMG exhaust system is standard across the range, but a Performance exhaust system with three different exhaust flaps for varied aural pleasure is available as an option.

Externally, the C63 gains a new front apron, and more aerodynamic AMG light-alloy wheels that on the C63 S are five twin-spoke 19-inch hoops. At the rear, it has tweaked tailpipes and a redesigned diffuser, while S versions also gain a diffuser board.

Inside, the C63 gains new trim and equipment, with standard black man-made leather and microfibre seats, while various woodgrains, carbon-fibre and aluminium look inserts are also available as options.

As with the C43 that was detailed earlier this month, the C63 is offered with an optional 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster, with AMG-specific styles of Classic, Sporty or Supersport, while a 7.0-inch media display is standard.

The C63 also gains a new “grippy” sports steering wheel with a “heavily contoured rim” with a flat bottom and Nappa leather, although it is leather and microfibre in the C63 S.

The wheel now features built-in Touch Control buttons to control functions on the instrument cluster and multimedia system. It can be optioned with a round controller that can access the AMG drive programs.

Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers highlighted the changes to the C-Class AMG variants, which are the Affalterbach-based brand’s biggest seller globally.

“The AMG C-Class is our best-selling model series and therefore a key cornerstone of our company’s success of recent years,” he said.

“We have therefore increasingly expanded our C-Class offer: customers can now choose between 12 models from the C-Class family. As part of the latest facelift, we have upgraded all variants of the model series even more substantially.

“This relates to the 43-series models and especially, of course, to the AMG C 63. The perfected driving dynamics and expressive design underscore the powerful, muscular character of the rear-wheel-drive icon.”

Mercedes revealed the updated C-Class coupe and cabriolet, including the C43, last week and the facelifted C-Class sedan and wagon made their debut at the Geneva motor show in February.

The current-generation C63 sedan and wagon lobbed in Australia in July 2015, ahead of the coupe that arrived a year later and the cabriolet that hit our shores in early 2017.

Pricing for the outgoing C63 range in Australia starts at $157,211 plus on-road costs for the four-door sedan and tops out at $181,611 for the drop-top.

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