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New models - Mercedes-Benz - C-Class - C63 AMG Black coupe

First drive: Black Series C63 unleashed

Black is white: The C63 Black is the most extreme version of Mercedes’ C-class available.

Rare Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 Black Series is already sold out in Australia

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Mercedes-Benz logo19 Mar 2012

THERE is no need to save your pennies for the AMG C63 Black Series that made its debut at the Australian Grand Prix last weekend because Mercedes-Benz Australia has sold all 32 examples it managed to secure from the factory.

And, even though the company is in the final stages of securing another 10 to 12 examples of the rampaging coupe, they all have names against them as well at a hefty $245,000.

Five-time world motorcycle champion Mick Doohan drove the track-sharpened machine in a crowd-pleasing speed comparison around Albert Park, finishing at the same time as a V8 Supercar and Formula One racer thanks to a considerable head start.

GoAuto hit the track in the same car earlier in the week for an unforgettable blast that verified the hype surrounding the car, confirming that those who put their money down are in for a treat.

The Black Series is a limited-edition version of the regular AMG C63 Coupe, with more focused performance elements, increased output and styling upgrades.

There have been three previous Black models and the first to come to Australia was the CLK 63 Black of 2008, followed by the SL 65 Black the following year.

The C63 Black is a very different, and much angrier, animal.

It runs the same basic 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8, but AMG engineers raided the parts cupboard belonging to its SLS supercar, taking its special conrods, forged pistons, crankshaft and superior ECU.

4 center imageThese components shaved 4kg off the engine’s weight, but more importantly lifted the performance to an incredible 380kW and 620Nm of torque – a considerable boost of 44kW and 20Nm.

The power is fed through an AMG Speedshift seven-speed automatic that uses a wet clutch and forgoes a traditional torque convertor in order to shift faster than the standard auto.

AMG says there is enough punch to blast from 0-100km/h in just 4.2 seconds and easily hit its 300km/h electronically limited top speed.

The Black Series car also features a track-special rear differential with a 40 per cent locking feature to ensure the best possible drive out of the turns.

The tight differential and extremely powerful engine combine to make this a tail-happy monster that you want to drive in an environment with plenty of run-off, something that is in short supply at Albert Park.

Even with the stability control running in the second of three stages, the Black C63 struggled to pull out of the bends without triggering throttle-stifling traction control.

It really has so much power (and such an aggressive diff) that the front wheels must essentially be pointing completely straight ahead before it will set its power free.

When it does, it unleashes a remarkable wave of force that doesn’t peter out until the 7000rpm redline. In fact, there appears to be a kick high up in the rev range that rewards those who risk hitting the engine cut-out.

All of this is accompanied by the guttural ferocity for which the big 6.2-litre V8 is known and something the new-generation twin-turbo V8 and the smaller-capacity V8 used in other AMG models are unable to match.

The rare C63 has eye-opening levels of cornering grip, thanks to a greater footprint, with a 40mm wider front track and a 79mm increase at the back, requiring the fitment of new wider guards that also add more menace to its appearance.

Sitting on 19-inch rims, the car has special coil-over suspension tuned for optimum control, modified torsion beam stabilisers to limit roll and adjustable dampers.

It has more potent brakes six-piston callipers latching onto huge 390mm discs at the front and four-piston callipers grabbing 360mm discs at the rear.

A $12,000 Track package is available that includes special Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres, which are designed for circuit work but are also road legal, and a special rear differential cooler.

The standard Black cars come with bonnet vents and a more aggressive body kit with front and rear bumper extensions and unique square exhaust tips.

The demonstration car also wore a $16,000 Aerodynamic package that includes a huge adjustable spoiler – which appears to have come straight from the set of the latest Fast and Furious movie – and ‘flics,’ small carbon-fibre parts that protrude from the front bumper and are designed to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics.

Customers face a choice between two and four seats when they sign on the dotted line.

Most have opted for the two bucket seats, which are lined with non-leather Artico fabric and are shaped in a way that excludes more rotund and extremely tall drivers and passengers.

Larger folks, as well as those wanting to ferry extra people, can order the four-seat option, which retains the more accommodating leather pews from the C63 Coupe.

The interior features carbon-fibre trim elements, a lap timer and red seatbelts, which Mercedes-Benz says reminds owners that this is a fast car, just in case they don’t notice the phenomenal acceleration.

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