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Driven: New Mercedes-AMG C63 S range touches down

Updated Mercedes-AMG C-Class range set to remain best-selling AMG line in Australia

Mercedes-AMG logo4 Feb 2019

MERCEDES-AMG has outed local pricing and specification for its all-important high-performance C63 S range, which arrives in Australia this month with wide-ranging upgrades to ride, handling, equipment and styling.

 

C-Class has historically been the German prestige brand’s most popular AMG model line, however the changeover involved with a major mid-cycle update in the second half of last year saw the mid-size range lose the mantle to the GLC.

 

With the C63 S back with a vengeance, the C-Class is expected to again become the dominant force in Australian AMG sales, based on a strong response to the both the new C63 now on sale and the updated entry-level C43 launched in September last year.

 

In launch years, the C63 S has traditionally been the best-selling offering from Mercedes-AMG, the performance brand which in 2018 made up 20 per cent of overall Mercedes-Benz sales in Australia.

 

The coupe body style is expected to be the most popular, just outpacing the four-door sedan and with the estate (wagon) and cabriolet making up the rest.

 

Pricing for the updated range has trended slightly upwards, starting with the sedan from $160,900 plus on-road costs, an increase of $3698 over the outgoing version.

 

Next up is the estate from $163,400 – also up $3698 – followed by the coupe from $165,900 (+$2289) and the cabriolet, which tops the range at $184,000 (+$2389).

 

The sweeping overhaul to the range applies to all four C63 S body styles, with headline changes including revised suspension, cosmetic changes inside and out and a new transmission.

 

Mercedes has overhauled the existing four-link front and multi-link independent rear suspension with AMG Ride Control, introducing new components to help enhance cornering stability and ensure occupant comfort on long journeys.

 

The suspension comes with adaptive damping as standard, and is adjusted for each wheel, taking into account driving style, road surface and selected suspension calibration.

 

Like the suspension, multiple driving modes are available as a part of the AMG Dynamic Select suite, including Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race, Individual and Slippery, which offers a reduced output and flatter power curve for driving in sub-optimal conditions.

 

Manual mode is also available, and will continue to hold the selected gear, even at redline.

 

No changes have been made to the monster 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 underpinning the C63 S, which continues to pump out a considerable 375kW of power from 5500-6250rpm and 700Nm of torque from 2500-5000rpm.

 

Fuel consumption is pegged at 10.4 litres per 100km, while CO2 emissions stand at 237 grams per km.

 

As before, the entry-level C63 with its 350kW/650Nm output will not be offered in Australia.

 

Gone is the old seven-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, replaced by a new nine-speed wet-clutch transmission that reduces weight, optimises pedal response and has been tuned specifically for a dynamic driving experience, according to Mercedes-AMG.

 

All C63 S versions are rear-wheel-drive only, while traction is aided by a limited-slip differential on the rear axle.

 

As part of the AMG Dynamic Select program, nine different levels of rear-axle slip are programmable through the car’s electronic stability program (ESP) function.

 

Exterior styling has been updated, with a new front apron, fresh five-twin-spoke 19-inch alloys, the addition of the Panamericana grille with vertical louvres, redesigned diffuser and diffuser board, and tweaked tailpipes that come standard with an AMG exhaust but can be optioned with a three-stage performance exhaust.

 

Inside, the new C63 S scores fresh equipment and trim including optional woodgrain, carbon-fibre and aluminium trim and a redesigned flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with leather and microfibre.

 

The tiller features the new ‘touch control’ buttons that help operate functions on the multimedia system and instrument cluster.

 

Other standard kit across the range includes 19-inch cross-spoke alloys with matte-black finish, AMG red-painted brake callipers, performance exhaust, active dynamic engine mounts, speed-sensitive sports steering, AMG Track Pace, multibeam LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, heated front seats, head-up display, automatic climate control, Air-Balance with oxygen ionisation, air filtering and fragrances and an AMG-specific analogue clock in IWC design.

 

Safety equipment includes nine airbags, autonomous emergency braking, the Driver Assistance Package Plus suite of safety features including active lane-change assist and adaptive cruise control with stop and go, traffic-sign assist, tyre pressure monitoring and a surround-view camera.

 

First deliveries of the new C63 S will commence this month.

 

2019 Mercedes-AMG C63 S pricing*

Sedan (a) $160,900
Estate (a) $163,400
Coupe (a) $165,900
Cabriolet (a) $184,000

*Excludes on-road costs


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