by Karl Furlong
Although it is now a good few years old, this may be the best time to get your hands on the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe. The next-generation C63 Coupe will employ a turbocharged four-cylinder with hybrid assistance, which means that the existing and glorious V8 will disappear from C-Class cars permanently. This engine endows the C63 S Coupe with its unique character and produces 503 horsepower. The C63 S will reach 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. Fortunately, this stunning coupe isn't a one-trick pony. It handles with poise and has a sexy, high-quality interior. Even though the all-new BMW M4 is here to once again raise the standards in this segment, the V8-powered C63 still has a lot to offer late into its life.
While we all love the ballistic 503-hp C63 S, the sensible money was always on the normal 469-hp C63 which, for almost $8,000 less than the S, provided 99 percent of the thrills and got you to 60 mph only 0.1 seconds slower. This year, the C63 is gone and only the S remains, so it's full-fat or nothing, we're afraid. Last year's Intelligent Lighting Package that comprised Adaptive Highbeam Assist and the LED Intelligent Light System is split up this year, with the former becoming standard equipment and the latter remaining available for extra money as a standalone option. A new option is the availability of AMG carbon-ceramic brakes. Two new metallic paint colors - Cirrus Silver and Starling Blue - joins the 2022 palette.
See trim levels and configurations:
|AMG C63 S Coupe||
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
The years have been kind to Mercedes' hot coupe. Somehow, the AMG C63 S pulls off the rare feat of being both elegant and aggressive at the same time. In front, the large badge and Panamericana grille are flanked by LED headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lamps. A panorama roof, 19-inch AMG twin five-spoke wheels, and quad-exit exhaust outlets are standard. An exterior carbon fiber package and larger 20-inch wheels are optionally available.
Similar in size to its Audi and BMW rivals, the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe's dimensions include a 111.8-inch wheelbase, a length of 187.1 inches, and a height of 55.2 inches. The width is 79.4 inches including the side mirrors. The C63 S was never a light vehicle and that shows in a curb weight of 4,134.
The C63 S Coupe is motivated by a 4.0-liter handcrafted bi-turbo V8 engine that remains a substantial part of this car's appeal. Its outputs are 503 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque and a nine-speed automatic transmission is used.
To drive, the rear-wheel-drive C63 S is as absorbing as it's ever been and accelerates with the urgency of a true sports car. The engine emits a deep, angry rumble and provides instant power whether in town or at a higher speed on the highway. That MCT transmission is just as brilliant, with effortlessly quick shifts that only add to the fun. The C63 S can reach 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. This is slower than the new BMW M4 Competition xDrive Coupe (3.4 seconds), while the Audi RS5 matches the C63 S up to 60 mph.
Older AMGs used to be brutally quick in a straight line but fell far short of their BMW rivals when the road started to turn. That is no longer the case with the AMG C63 S sports car, which boasts great body control and a quick and communicative steering system. The AMG Ride Control suspension with three-stage damping is more rigid than the setup on regular C-Class Coupes, making it a fine match for the V8's power. The C63 S has a Race Mode that is optimized for track use as there is minimal intervention from the coupe's electronic nannies, helped by dynamic engine mounts to tighten up the drivetrain. In our own AMG C63 S Coupe review, we discovered that you'd better have your wits about you in this setting, though, as it's easy to evoke tire-shredding power slides.
Although the AMG C63 S is a great luxury coupe in terms of its interior appointments, it doesn't ride like one. It will feel too stiff for most, almost compelling you to switch to the more comfortable driving mode. Then again, there's always the softer C300 if you don't want to commit to the AMG badge. When you need to slow down, the AMG high-performance braking system - with massive 14.2-inch front discs and six-piston calipers - does a great job of bringing the C63 to a stop. The C63 S lives up to its track credentials with even more potent composite brakes with 15.4-inch front discs that are ventilated, slotted, and perforated. Carbon-ceramic brakes are optionally available.
Considering that it uses a fairly large V8, the C63's consumption isn't actually terrible relative to other similarly powerful coupes on sale. Its EPA ratings work out to 17/26/20 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. The comparable all-new BMW M4 Competition xDrive returns 16/22/18 mpg, so the C63 will manage a substantial four mpg more in highway driving. With its 17.4-gallon gas tank, the C63 S Coupe has a range under mixed driving conditions of about 348 miles.
Officially a four-seater, the two-door Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe may look sportier than the C63 sedan, but you sacrifice what space is available. As usual, the driver and front-seat passenger won't have any trouble as both leg- and headroom are sufficient. The AMG Performance seats wrapped in Nappa leather look good and do a good job of holding you in place thanks to their substantial side bolsters. Unfortunately, both the headroom and the legroom are tighter at the back; in fact, you get 10 inches less legroom if you are consigned to the back seat, and the backrests themselves are too upright for long-distance comfort. It's more of a chore to get back there as well, but that's the case with most other 2-door coupes.
One large suitcase will take up most of the space inside the C63's trunk, which has a capacity of 10.5 cubic feet. This is a bit less space than you get in the new BMW M4, which offers 12 cubes. Then again, few people are buying the C63 Coupe for its ability to lug loads of stuff around. A nice touch is standard hands-free access, though, whereby a simple kick of your foot beneath the rear bumper automatically opens the trunk lid. Usefully, the rear seat can also be folded in a 40/20/40 split to accommodate larger items.
Interior storage space is about what we expect for this type of car. The door pockets in front are a lot bigger than those at the back, while there is also a center console bin and cupholders front and rear.
The price of the 2022 AMG C63 sports coupe dictates that it would roll out of the factory with plenty of equipment, and generally, that's the case. The standard features list includes 14-way power-adjustable front seats with memory settings, Nappa leather upholstery, heated front seats, power-folding wing mirrors, hands-free access, dual-zone climate control, remote start, a power panorama roof, a garage door opener, and a 64-color LED ambient lighting system. Despite the emphasis on performance, the C63 S is still well-stocked with safety gear. This amounts to a rearview camera, blind-spot assist, automatic adaptive high beams, crosswind assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and attention assist. It has a race-start function and comes with a race mode, dynamic engine mounts, and the AMG Drive Unit. The latter means the addition of quick-access switches on the steering wheel to adjust various performance settings. The coupe can be upgraded with ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, a surround-view camera system, a head-up display, and an automatic parking assistant.
The C63 S comes standard with the brand's configurable 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. It's still one of the best systems around, with various styles to suit your taste and pin-sharp graphics. Complementing this driver's display is a 10.25-inch central screen. While it isn't as sleekly integrated as the digital displays in newer Mercedes products like the A-Class, the C63's system is still quite intuitive and switches quickly between tasks. However, it's no MBUX. The system is packed with features, too, with everything from Bluetooth audio streaming to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, dual USB audio ports, SiriusXM satellite radio, HD Radio, and an AMG-specific race timer to record and review your lap times. A 13-speaker Burmester surround sound system is standard and sounds fantastic, while its aluminum speaker grilles are lovely to look at. On the downside, a wireless charging pad should have been standard at this price. You also have to pay extra for navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and TuneIn Radio.
Mercedes' reputation for quality is reflected in J.D. Power's solid rating of 79 out of 100 overall for the AMG C63 Coupe. The C63 hasn't been recall-free, though. 2019 was an especially troublesome year for the C-Class range as a whole; that year, the Coupe was recalled 14 times. In 2020, the C63 was recalled for a malfunctioning ESP system. The 2021 models were recalled four times - for improperly installed rear headrests, an eCall system that provides emergency responders with inaccurate vehicle-location information in the event of a crash, faulty front-seat position switches, and for front seatbelts that may not fully retract. No recalls have yet been recorded for the 2022 C63 Coupe.
While BMW includes complimentary scheduled maintenance for its models, Mercedes-Benz does not. What you do get is the brand's regular four-year/50,000-mile limited and powertrain warranties. Roadside assistance is limited to either four years or when the mileage reaches 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The NHTSA has evaluated the 2022 C-Class range as a whole and awarded it five stars overall. The IIHS also assessed the C-Class Sedan and gave the 2021 model their Top Safety Pick+ award, indicative of exceptional crash safety standards. This gives us an idea of how the C63 Coupe should perform, as it has much in common with the regular C-Class.
If the ratings don't convince you, the comprehensive safety spec should. The C63 Coupe comes with eight airbags, including side airbags for both rows and knee airbags for those seated in front. The coupe also comes with attention assist, active brake assist, adaptive high-beam assist, crosswind assist, blind-spot assist with exit warning, pre-safe accident preparation, electronic stability control, and the obligatory rearview camera. An endless number of optional safety features are on offer, from a head-up display to a surround-view camera, automatic parking assistance, adaptive cruise control, active lane-change assist, active steering assist, and rear cross-traffic alert. Fully loaded, the C63's advanced features will take over many of the duties that you'd have to execute manually.
Although its successor is not far away, the current Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe is the last of a dying breed. It's simply become too difficult for automakers to justify large-capacity V8 engines in compact cars when turbocharging and electrification can offer the same level of performance far more efficiently. What they won't offer is the charisma and soul that this C63 S delivers in bucketloads. Even though the new BMW M4 is sharper to drive, the C63's engine sets it apart from its BMW and Audi competitors. To look at and sit in, the C63 S Coupe remains one of the very best offerings in this corner of the US market. Our few foibles include the hard ride and the limited rear-seat space, but these aren't dealbreakers. If you can afford to take the plunge, do it before it's too late.
This year, there is only one Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe model - the C63 S. It has a starting MSRP in the USA of $79,200. This price excludes taxes, licensing, registration, as well as Mercedes-Benz's destination charge of $1,050. The new BMW M4 begins at a price of $71,800, and the M4 Competition xDrive costs nigh-on the same as the C63 S at $78,800.
At this price point, what's the use in holding back? Last year, we might have given the cheaper C63 a second look, but that model is no more. All you can do this year is opt for the aggressive C63 S despite its near-$80,000 price. At least the extra money bumps power up to over 500 horsepower and includes aggressive wheels, Nappa leather upholstery, dynamic engine mounts, and the AMG Drive Unit for easy management of performance characteristics. We'd also add the $1,700 Driver Assistance Package which will equip adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, and more. In such a fast car, you want to keep your eyes on the road, so the other box we'd tick would be for the $1,100 AMG head-up display.
The Audi RS5 is a superb sports coupe. Although offering two cylinders fewer than the Merc, it still manages a solid 444 hp and will hit 60 mph in exactly the same time as the C63 S. Overall, the Audi comes across as a more mature, refined, and less raucous offering. Its quattro all-wheel-drive system ensures that nothing will unstick this Audi from the road, but it's crushingly effective rather than truly thrilling. By contrast, the Mercedes isn't as comfortable but will leave you with a higher heart rate following a blast over a mountain pass. Both cars have beautifully built cabins, but again, the RS5 is more subtle. If you want a high-performance luxury coupe that can see off unsuspecting 911 drivers yet still potter around town without any complaints, the RS5 is a better choice. But as these are meant to be quick, drama-filled machines, we'd go for the more expressive C63 S.
A new BMW M car usually signals the arrival of an instant class-leader, but that's not quite what the previous M4 was. The new one has a lot to make up for, then, and it answers the call of enthusiasts by offering both rear-wheel drive and an available manual gearbox. In Competition guise, an AWD version is available too and in this xDrive version, the Bimmer's 503-hp inline-six realizes a 0-60 time of only 3.4 seconds, four-tenths faster than the RWD M4 Competition and three-tenths faster than the C63 S. But at 254 pounds lighter, the RWD M4 is the more agile coupe to drive. The M4 also has a fresh new interior that shares much with the latest 3 Series, while it's better for carrying passengers in the back as there is more space. If you can digest the M4's in-your-face styling, it's likely to emerge as the superior weekend toy. But if you decided to knock on AMG's door and buy the older C63 S, we wouldn't blame you.
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