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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - C-Class - C63 AMG

Paris show: Benz reveals furious but thrifty AMG C63

Green tinge: Mercedes-Benz’s AMG arm is claiming its new twin-turbo V8 C63 can achieve 8.2 litres per 100km fuel consumption.

New blown V8 Mercedes-AMG C63 S can gallop to 100km/h in just 4.0 seconds

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Mercedes-Benz logo24 Sep 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

MERCEDES-AMG’S new bi-turbo V8 C63 is not only faster than before but a whopping 32 per cent more fuel efficient, making it the sharpest and thriftiest weapon in the German bahn-storming sedan class.

Due to land in Australian showrooms in mid-2015 after its debut at next week’s Paris motor show, the AMG-enhanced C-Class sedan and wagon get AMG’s new twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 in place of the 6.2-litre normally aspirated V8 of the superseded C63.

The hand-built engine will be shared with the all-new AMG GT sports coupe, and similarly will come in two flavours – 350kW/650Nm for the ‘standard’ C63, and 375kW/700Nm for the new premium C63 S.

The latter – which is locked in for Australian launch – can power the sedan from zero to 100km/h in 4.0 seconds, making it the fastest AMG-enhanced mass-produced C-Class ever offered. This is about 0.4 seconds faster than the previous 336kW C63 and 0.2 seconds swifter than the 373kW C63 Edition 507 special edition.

It also pips the rival BMW M3 by 0.1 seconds, and Audi’s RS4 Avant by 0.7 seconds.

Even the standard C63 sedan can cover the sprint in 4.1 seconds – the same as the M3 and its coupe sibling, the M4, which both rely in turbo-charged six-cylinder propulsion these days.

Interestingly, the V8 C63 is also claimed to be more fuel efficient than its six-cylinder rival, drinking 8.2 litres of premium petrol on the European combined test cycle. That’s a massive improvement over the 12.1L/100km of the current C63, and marginally better than the M3’s 8.8L/100km.

As well as a new body and fresh engine, AMG’s C-Class range gets a new name – Mercedes-AMG C63 – thus falling into line with the Mercedes-AMG GT.

Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers said the previous C63 AMG had been the best-selling AMG model, with 40,000 vehicles sold.

“We will now add to this success with the new Mercedes-AMG C63,” he said. “Be it in drive, handling or equipment, the Mercedes-AMG C63 sets new benchmarks and will further strengthen our brand promise ‘Driving Performance’.

“AMG customers can look forward to an exceptionally dynamic driving experience.”

The new V8 engine has its twin turbo-chargers in the vee of the V8, and is fed fuel by third-generation direct injectors exclusive to Mercedes.

The exhaust system has a bypass flap for a throatier note in sports modes, but a quieter operation for long trips.

AMG’s Dynamic Select system is standard across the C63 range, allowing the driver to select between four driving modes, ranging from C (controlled efficiency) to Sport+. The C63 S goes one better, with a hard-core ‘race’ mode.

In the controlled efficiency mode, the C63’s engine is disconnected from the seven-speed automatic transmission when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal between 60km/h and 160km/h, thus creating a “gliding function” to save fuel.

The transmission is a revised version of the multi-clutch automatic, which AMG says delivers faster shifts than before.

Apart from more power, the C63 S's V8 gets active engine mounts that can adjust in milliseconds to smooth out NVH at lower revs and firm up for hard driving.

The C63’s exterior is set apart from standard C-Class models by its power-bulge bonnet, macho bumpers with bigger air openings at the front and rear diffuser at the back, side skirts and front mudguards that bulge 14mm on each side.

Four exhaust tips protrude from the back of the car. A little lip spoiler is evident on the boot of the sedan, while the wagon gets a roof-mounted spoiler.

The underlying body has been strengthened in parts to cope with the stresses of the extra power.

The C63 gets 18-inch alloy wheels, while the C63 S steps up to 19-inch items.

AMG’s ride control sports suspension is standard fare, offering the driver three-stage adjustable damping.

The C63 gets a mechanical locking differential, while the C63 S adds electronic control to its locking diff.

AMG has waved its engineering wand over the C-Class’s electric-powered, speed-sensitive steering for optimised sports characteristics.

Brakes are 360mm steel discs on the front and 330mm on the rear, while ceramic composite discs are now available as an option on the C63 S.

Inside, the dashboard is cloaked in leather-look Artico, while the sports seats come in a mix of fabric and Artico.

Safety equipment includes driver drowsiness alert and collision avoidance.

Pricing and features for the Australian range will be confirmed closer to launch in the middle of next year. However, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific says pricing should be sharp.

While the flagship C63 S has been confirmed for Australia, in both sedan and wagon guises, the local distributor is still weighing up whether to import the standard model.

In Europe, C63 buyers can add an Edition 1 pack for extra bling.

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