New models - Mercedes-Benz - C-Class - C63 AMG
C63 for under $140K
New Benz C63 AMG will undercut M3 by $17,500 and RS4 by a whopping $25,000
25 Jan 2008
MERCEDES-BENZ made headlines in July last year when it launched its bigger, sexier and sharper new W204-series C-class sedan range here with a $1500-lower starting price, and now the hallowed German brand looks set to continue the redesigned model’s value statement with the bullocking new C63 AMG range-topper.
Available here in March, the 6.2-litre V8-powered C-class flagship will carry a pricetag of $139,500 – far less than anticipated and a huge $21,000 lower than the model it replaces, the supercharged 270kW C55 AMG sedan.
Despite offering a seven-speed AMG Speedshift Plus automatic transmission with shift paddles as standard and class-leading 336kW/600Nm power and torque figures, the C63 AMG’s sub-$140,000 sticker price is also precisely $25,000 cheaper than Audi’s blistering RS4 sedan manual ($164,500) and $17,500 less than BMW’s new M3 coupe manual ($157,000).
BMW contends that the M3 is a bespoke high-performance coupe, but news that AMG will not offer a V8 version of the recently revealed two-door CLC, based on the W204, means the C63 sedan will remain the M3’s most direct rival from Benz. This year’s Lexus IS-F will also put Japan firmly in the compact prestige performance car race for the first time.
Notwithstanding its far lower pricetag this time around, the AMG-fettled variant will still be by far the most expensive C-class sedan, with at least $45,000 separating the current C-class sedan flagship (the $92,800 C320 CDI turbo-diesel) from the C63.
Mercedes’ higher sales volume ambitions, as a result of lower pricing, means the petrol V6-powered C350 is unlikely to become available here, leaving the C320 diesel as the non-AMG C-class flagship. The C63 AMG Estate is also expected to arrive later this year, by special order only.
The C63 sprints to 100km/h in a claimed 4.5 seconds – one-tenth faster than the M3 with its recently announced M-DCT twin-clutch automated manual transmission.
Apart from a potent naturally-aspirated Mercedes-AMG V8, the C63 features specific front quarter guards beneath which lurks speed-sensitive AMG sports steering, reinforced drive shafts and joints, a 35mm-wider front wheel track, 18-inch AMG alloys (8.5 inches wide up front, 9.0-inch at rear), beefier brakes and new three-link front suspension with firmer springs and dampers.
Of course, there’s a host of interior and exterior design upgrades, and so comprehensive is the level of standard equipment that only four factory options will be available: a carbon-fibre trim package, Keyless Go auto un/locking and starting, a rear window blind and an engine bashplate.
Read more:First drive: C63 AMG to offer riches at a value price
The Road to Recovery podcast series
All new models
Motor industry news