SLEEP-DEPRIVED neighbours, take note: the most important thing about the new Mercedes-AMG C63 is not that its all-new, V8 engine produces more power than the outgoing car or that, as a result, the new model is the fastest AMG C-class yet ‒ it’s that Mercedes has taken pains to ensure its distinctive, barking exhaust note is even throatier.
In line with the specialist tuning division’s recent elevation in Mercedes hierarchy first seen with the just-launched Mercedes-AMG GT, the new C-class-based fire-breather follows the new naming convention (instead of Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG) and comes in two flavours: standard and S. As before, it is available in saloon and estate forms, and makes its debut at the Paris show.
Like the outgoing model, which also came in standard (badged 457) and tuned (507) forms, the new model is powered by a V8 engine, albeit one that has shrunk from 6.2 litres to 4.
So why is it still called the C63? Because, says Mercedes, like its predecessor it takes its name from AMG’s first racing car, nicknamed the Red Pig, that debuted in the Spa 24 Hours in 1971, and which started life with a 6.3-litre V8.
Back to the present day, and what the new model’s engine has lost in capacity, it has gained in turbocharging ‒ and not one turbocharger, but two. As a result, the standard Mercedes-AMG C63 develops 469bhp and 479lb ft of torque, an increase of 18bhp and 36lb ft over the old “base” C63 457 version.
The hotter S version, meanwhile, develops 505bhp and 516lb ft, compared with its outgoing equivalent, the C63 507, which produced 3bhp and a more telling 66lb ft less.
What all this means is that, pedal to the metal, the fastest version, the Mercedes C63 AMG S saloon, sprints from 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds compared with the old 507’s 4.2 seconds, on its way to a limited top speed of 155mph (the 507 went on to 174mph). The new S estate is 0.1 seconds slower than the new saloon.
The difference between the standard versions of old and new C63s is more pronounced with the new saloon going from 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds, 0.4 seconds faster than the old 457 model.
But comparisons with its predecessor are irrelevant when the new C63’s model sector is dominated by two equally strong contenders, one of them recently refreshed.
Fortunately, for the Mercedes, the Audi RS4 Avant is 0.6 seconds slower from 0-62mph than the standard C63, and 0.7 seconds slower than the S version. At least in automatic form, the BMW M3 and M4 are tougher nuts to crack with 0-62mph coming up in 4.1 seconds: the same as the standard C63 saloon and only 0.1 seconds slower than the C63 S.
The 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 gets an all-new look and, of course, the new C-class’s aluminium and steel structure, to match its new-found power and performance.
Outside, wider front wings, a deeper front bumper incorporating air scoops for the intercoolers, sill extensions and a new rear bumper accommodating the car’s quad tailpipes distinguish the C63 from lesser models.
Under the skin, changes to the standard C-class chassis include sharper steering, a wider track front and rear, uprated brakes and stiffer suspension.
The cabin features AMG performance seats and steering wheel, a choice of high-grade finishes and a head-up display featuring a 360-degree camera. Options include AMG ceramic brakes, a track-oriented suspension package and, just for the neighbours, an even angrier-sounding exhaust.
The Mercedes-AMG C63 saloon will cost just under £60,000, or around £2,000 more than the outgoing model. The estate will cost around £61,000. S variants will cost around £6,000 more.
Sales begin next month and the first cars are expected to arrive in the UK in early 2015.