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Driven: Mercedes-AMG C63 S

Driven September 2015

Driven: Mercedes-AMG C63 S

Portimao, Portugal is not known for many things, apart from a lovely racetrack just out of town. And yes, the hilly roads that surround the countryside on the outskirts. BMW had chosen this town and the racetrack for the international media to take a go at the M3 for the very first time, last year. Coincidentally, Merc has chosen the very same location to offer us a drive of the M3’s direct rival – the all-new AMG C63 S.

The boffins at Affalterbach, the headquarters of AMG, are known to transform regular Mercs into monsters. And that’s exactly what has happened to the C63 too. In terms of styling, the designers haven’t played with the lines too much, and have kept the changes subtle. Carbon fibre too hasn’t been used generously on this one. But then, the C-Class is already a good-looking car that doesn't need too much work on its looks, anyway. On the inside too, Merc offers a few options with the sort of upholstery that you like and the materials you fancy on the dashboard – carbon fibre or piano black finish.

Under the hood of this monster is a potent V8 – the same one that the AMG GT gets. It displaces four litres and generates a massive 510bhp and 700Nm in the S trim. The regular C63 produces 476 horses and 650Nm, but the word is that Merc will bring only the S trim to India. When? In the third quarter of 2015.

We call this V8 a potent one because it generates that huge amount of power and torque in a linear fashion and has enough grunt to plaster a smile on your face no matter what revs the engine is doing. In fact, it churns out peak torque right from 1750rpm right till 4000rpm. Our test car had an optional sports exhaust system; it makes the V8 sound even more evil. It also does the delicious crackles on the overrun.

The engine in the AMG GT is mated to a double-clutch transmission, but for a reason that's beyond our comprehension, the C63’s engine is married to a single-clutch 7-speed gearbox. It’s obviously not as quick and precise as the dual clutcher, but there will be very few occasions that you’ll want the tranny to be quicker than it actually is.

You might expect that the AMG engineers must have turned the C-Class’s comfortable ride into a backbreaking one. But it’s not that. Yes, it is stiff, but it’s one that you can live with, more so because of the smaller 18in wheels with more rubber to soak up the undulations.

The AMG boys don’t usually go wrong with the steering feel and the sort of feedback that the car gives when it’s being pushed, and that stands true here as well. The steering feels right, there’s ample eagerness from the car, and it can very well stick to the line that you want it too. Merc has found that sweet spot where the car is feels at home on the road as well as on a demanding racetrack.

When the C63 comes to India later this year, it’s going to give the M3 a real run for its money. It has a potent motor, a lovely exhaust note and handles exactly how you’d want it to. And it will have a similar price tag as well – ₹1.1 to 1.2 crore (ex-showroom). So does AMG have another winner? Hell yeah!

The numbers
3982cc, V8, biturbo petrol, 510bhp, 700Nm, 7A, RWD, 0-100kph: 4 seconds (claimed), top speed: 290kph (limited), ₹1.2 crore (estimated, ex-showroom price)

The verdict
Will spoil you with power and put a smile on your face with the way it handles. Just the way we like it.

Agasti Kaulgi

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