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Mercedes C63 AMG review: special edition DR520 driven (2008-2011)

£54,870 when new

Car specifications

Brake horsepower
Fuel consumption
0–62 mph
Max speed
Insurance Group


Facts: This is a new, UK-only ‘special edition’ Mercedes C63 AMG, of which there will be just 20, only available from MB World at Brooklands. It costs 10 grand more than the stock C63 AMG, you can specify either saloon or estate in either matt white or matt black (both of which are vinyl wrap) and the ‘DR520’ tag points to a ‘Dyno-Rated’ output of 520 horsepower, which translates to about 513bhp at the wheels. Even more impressively, the car has been ‘limited’ to 187mph (that’ll be just over 300kph in Euros), so you can be sure of beating up all those M3s with their paltry 155mph limiters.

See more pics of the Merc DR520

Extra facts: a standard C63 AMG prods out an altogether respectable 450-odd bhp. There’s an official ‘performance pack’ upgrade available that peps that up to nearer 480, but the DR520 gets a new crank and pistons to lob power up to well over 500 - basically a Brabus upgrade but with a Merc-backed warranty and satin features. The rest is basically a performance pack C63 AMG (slightly bigger brakes, stiffer springs over the stock car), though you’ll pay an extra £1,500 notes for the AMG limited-slip differential, which you’ll need.

The experience is basically a C63 that pushes a good deal harder in the kidneys, but you only really get the full effect after 5,000rpm, when the DR520 steps up with the full trump card of supercar-wilting pace. Before that, you get all the ‘normal’ goodness of a stock C63; easy cruising, excellent low-down burble, epic torque. The steering is excellent for an estate car, the brakes similarly competent, though they could do with a bit more bite within the first inch of pressure. Equally, the 7G-Tronic box is too slow from the paddles, so you’re better off just using the ‘Sport’ mode and putting up with it.  

Be aware though, this is a lot of power in a relatively small car. Traction off, you leave most junctions in a haze of tyre smoke, but if there’s even a sniff of rain, leave the traction on. Other than that, you’re looking at gentle understeer at first, oversteer later, slow in, fast out. Or slow in, sideways out, which is less fast, but more pleasing for spectators.

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