New models - Mercedes-Benz - C-Class - C63 AMG Coupe Black Series
Mercedes expects Black Series sell out
Benz puts $245k price tag on C63 AMG Coupe Black Series – and wants more stock
9 Nov 2011
MERCEDES-BENZ Australia (MBA) is preparing to put up its hand for another batch of limited edition C63 AMG Black Series Coupes before the first examples of the fastest C-class model ever built have even landed in Australia.
The German importer is expecting its current allocation – 32 for Australia and three for New Zealand – to sell out promptly now that it has announced the pricing at $245,000 (plus on-road costs).
About 12 customers have already laid down deposits for cars arriving in April, and many more have been awaiting confirmed pricing before following suit in the quest for the track-ready version of Mercedes’ best-selling AMG variant.
MBA has already gone back to HQ in Stuttgart once to ask for more cars, successfully talking its order up by about a dozen units on its original allocation of 20-odd cars.
The first Australia-bound cars will go into production in January for April delivery, but MBA senior manager of corporate communications David McCarthy told GoAuto that the company would like about a dozen more, taking the final total to almost 50.
“There is no word yet on whether there will be more, but I suspect there will,” he said.
Mr McCarthy said that due to the worldwide demand for the model, MBA expected to have to wait until about mid 2012 before it could try again to secure another batch to accommodate all Australian and New Zealand customers.
Revealed at this year’s Frankfurt motor show in September, the C63 Coupe Black Series packs 380kw of power from its 6.3-litre V8 – 44kW more than the ‘standard’ AMG version – along with an extra 20Nm of torque (620Nm).
The M3 crusher is good for 4.2-second dash from zero to 100km/h, shaving 0.3sec from the sprint time of the standard C63 Coupe.
With a price premium of $90,200 over the C63 AMG Coupe, the hardest-edged C-class is aimed primarily at customers wanting to venture to the racetrack on club weekends.
MBA Cars managing director Horst von Sanden said prospective customers include owners of the only other C-class Black Series variant, the CLK63 AMG Black Series, that went on sale in 2008.
“Many CLK63 AMG Black Series owners see the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series as the logical successor, and we already have a double-figure order bank,” he said.
The changeover will be made a little less painful for CLK AMG owners who paid $299,000 for the Black Series back in 2008 – $55,000 more than the new Black Series coupe.
Forty of the 2008 CLK Black Series cars went to customers across Australia and New Zealand, but MBA believes it could do better with the new variant.
The Black Series’ naturally aspirated V8 borrows a crankshaft, forged pistons and lightweight conrods from the similar engine of the Benz sports flagship SLS AMG, while a bigger engine oil cooler is designed for track use.
A four-mode AMG Speedshift seven-speed automatic transmission features double declutching and race start.
A rear-axle differential lock helps to put the power to the ground, while race-style coil-over suspension gives keen drivers the ability to tune the handling for the track.
Fatter 10-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels shod with 255/35 tyres on the front and 285/30 rubber on the back are accommodated under bulging fenders. Specially developed semi-slick Dunlop tyres are an option for the track, along with active rear axle cooling.
The Black Edition body styling includes gaping air intakes and scoops and quad squared-off exhaust pipes. However, the fixed carbon-fibre rear wing with an adjustable blade shown on the Frankfurt show car is an extra cost option in Australia as part of an aerodynamics package that also includes a bigger front splitter and carbon-fibre front ‘flicks’.
Inside, four AMG sports seats with red contrast stitching are standard, although a truly serious track contender can order a two-seater.
Keyless doors and ignition are standard, along with a sprinkling of carbon fibre trim pieces.
As well as Black Edition badges, customers will know they are taking delivery of a special car when they are handed documentation confirming their vehicle’s place in the limited production run.
The arrival of the Black Edition in the second quarter of 2012 will help to restore AMG sales in Australia where model changeovers in the C-class and E-class ranges have hindered sales in 2011.
The company expects its 2011 AMG sales to fall short of its 1000 units in 2010, although the arrival of about 250 AMG C-class sedans and coupes before the end of the year will help to rectify the situation.
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