Mercedes C63 Amg 2020
If you’ve ever wondered what 503 horsepower feels like strapped into a compact luxury car, Mercedes-AMG has the answer. Available as a sedan, coupe, or convertible, the 469-hp C63 and the aforementioned C63 S make up the top of the C-class’s lineup. Both feature versions of the same twin-turbo V-8, which pairs exclusively with a seven-speed automatic and rear-drive. The ride is rough, but with a firm foot on the gas you’ll have too much fun to care. An updated C63 goes on sale in early 2019.
Major redesigns occur every five years or so; not much changes in between. Dividing them into generations provides more meaningful distinctions in the shopping process.
Ugh. Mercedes should have left well enough alone, we thought to ourselves when we first heard about the updates made to the 2019 Mercedes-AMG C63 and C63 S coupe, cabriolet, and sedan. The list reads like something a technophile would stash under his or her mattress. It includes a larger standard infotainment screen, an available gigantic digital instrument cluster, nine-stage traction-control software, new AMG Dynamics chassis programs, one new driving mode, touch-capacitive nubs on the steering-wheel spokes, and little control nodules on the steering wheel that have their own miniature screens. It’s not often that extra displays or lines of code make a car more appealing to drive, especially one with the raw emotional appeal of the steroidal and brutish C63. Sigh, right?
It turns out the new model is better than ever.
In addition to the tech, which we’ll detail further in a moment, the three U.S.-bound C63 models—there’s also a rad wagon that’s not sold here—get AMG’s retro-handsome Panamericana grille, updated fascias, new exhaust finishers, and restyled LED lights. The car still squats with fat flares over fat rubber, ready to lay waste to a favorite piece of tarmac, but the refreshed exterior—and the grille in particular—imparts greater visual sophistication. Inside, the new displays feature the carmaker’s typical clean, uncluttered, and high-res graphic execution, and they bring a state-of-the-art feel that’s welcome rather than overwhelming.
You need the screens to take full advantage of the plethora of chassis modes, settings, and features anyway. A new rain-and-snow-optimized Slippery driving mode joins Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, and Race (S model only) on the roster of ways to alter the accelerator response, steering weight, adaptive damper firmness, transmission shift behavior, exhaust sound, and stability-control settings all at once. You can now activate these with a knob on the lower-right portion of the steering wheel, while a new pair of programmable toggles on the lower left can be used to fiddle with stuff like the individual exhaust, adaptive dampers, stability control, and transmission settings. (The knob and toggle buttons have LCD screens to display the current setting or function.) The center-console controls for these modes remain, but the new switches were added, Mercedes says, to enable easier selection of options on the fly during aggressive driving.
AMG Dynamics is new this year. It’s a piece of software tied to the driving modes that uses steering, speed, and yaw sensors to predict what the car is likely to do and then helps the driver by working the stability control and brake-based torque vectoring. Mercedes says AMG Dynamics makes the C63 more stable in Slippery and Comfort modes, friskier in Sport, friskier still in Sport+, and extra agile with a slight tendency toward oversteer in Race. We came to think of AMG Dynamics as a sort of multistage version of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control, and the car does indeed feel slightly nimbler, steadier, and more eager to turn in. Also, you should know that the AMG Dynamics modes are called Basic, Advanced, Pro, and Master and that Mercedes promises “even experienced drivers receive optimum assistance without being patronized by the system.” We didn’t feel patronized, which means that it was probably working.