by John Tallodi
The restyled Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe has brought with it the latest technology, safety and convenience features found in the rest of the range and those wanting AMG performance to go with it are now spoilt for choice with no less than three powerful models on offer.
The latest mid-range Mercedes coupes offer a very upmarket interior that compares well to the older BMW 4-series as well as the recently released Audi A5. The build quality is excellent and in the AMG variants the sporty touches add a bit of exclusivity.
Generously sized and well-bolstered front seats make longer trips a pleasure although the tapering rear end does impinge on rear headroom and the back seats are better suited to shorter adults or teenagers. The trunk is average for the class although the should be more than enough space for most.
The standard C-class coupe offers a decidedly sporty drive and whereas the previous generation was no match dynamically for rivals like the BMW 4-series, the latest cars offer far better cornering capabilities, although this does come at the expense of some ride comfort.
The AMG C43 and C63 variants raise the game even further when it comes to handling ability thanks to adaptive dampers and AMG-fettled suspension settings. The ride remains firm though and it can get uncomfortable over bumpy surfaces.
The standard all-wheel drive setup on the C43 aids grip in slippery conditions and helps put the power down out of corners, the rear-wheel drive only C63 and C63 S require far more care and a lot more skill in similar conditions.
Refinement levels are impressive and the cabin remains quiet at most speeds unless you choose to prod the throttle enthusiastically.
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 coupe is equipped with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 which produces 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque, a 9-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. 0-60 mph takes 4.6-seconds, which is competitive for the class although fuel efficiency is slightly behind its direct rivals and you can expect a best of 27 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in city driving.
The C63 is a different animal altogether and its 4.0-liter V8 produces 469 hp along with 479 lb-ft, if that is still not enough then the range-topping C63 S offers 503 hp and 516 lb-ft. Both are rear-wheel drive and equipped with a 7-speed automatic transmission. They offer serious performance too, the 0-60 mph dash is over in 3.9-seconds or a tenth sooner in the C63 S, right up there with the class leaders, and that monstrous torque output and V8 engine note really add some excitement to the package.
All three AMG models come very well equipped and the basic equipment levels include a panoramic sunroof, heated and 14-way powered front seats, LED headlamps and taillamps, power trunk, keyless entry and power-folding side mirrors.
The 7-inch infotainment system comes with Bluetooth integration although you will have to add the smartphone integration package for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay features. Safety systems include blind spot assist, a rearview camera, adaptive braking, crosswind assist and collision prevention assist plus.
A number of AMG specific features such as a sport exhaust system, 3-stage stability program, performance braking system and body styling items are unique to the C43 and C63/S models.
Notable packages include the Driver Assistance Package which offers brake assist with pedestrian recognition, active lane keeping assist, active blind spot assist and speed limit assist and the Multimedia Package which adds a touchpad controller, 8.4-inch hard-drive navigation system with map updates for 3 years and voice control.
Carbon-ceramic brakes a head-up display and an AMG sport exhaust system are some of the standalone features and there is a wide range of styling options that allow for further customization.
The 2018 AMG C-Class Coupes offer a stylish and dynamically accomplished package with a choice of powerful and charismatic powertrains. Basic equipment levels are good and there are a range of cutting-edge convenience and safety extras to choose from.
A very sporty ride is the only real downside here and if you are in the market for a fast and luxurious European coupe, the AMG C43 and C63/C63 S models should feature high on your list.