The beast on the prowl !!
Mercedes Benz and their AMG division were known for their huge displacement engines. They stood out with their ability to maintain the shouty and the look-at-me look yet is able to seat 4 people in decent comfort. Attributes one would never associate with the three-pointed star. But they did it one after the other and created a need in the people to have showy things in their life. Even the introverts…
But then recently, Mercedes decided to ditch their massive 6.2 liter naturally aspirated engines for smaller turbocharged engines in order to take part in the phenomenon of downsizing that everyone was rushing to be a part of. Did this mean the shoutyness was going to go? Did this mean AMGs would become sane cars? In a word, NO. They didn’t.
Mercedes AMG (yes new name now) got hold of a 4.0-liter engine and strapped two turbos to it. This helped the car put out 507 BHP, which you would consider sprightly. They put this engine first in their latest sports car, the AMG GT. Everyone was startled at how much of a revelation the car went on to be with the new engine being an integral part of its success. So then the boffins at AMG decided to put this engine in a sedan. More so, in the latest C class.
And thus the 2016 Mercedes AMG C63S was born. Notice a new letter? Yes, the S is now a model and this means it has even more power than the stock C63. So the stock C63 has 470 odd BHP, which is fast, but then AMG decided that was not enough for a small sedan so they upped the ante and put in the full 507 BHP from the AMG GT. But to make it even madder, they put in more torque from the AMG GT. Yes, more torque than a 2-door sports car. In a car that you could drop the kids to school or do your grocery shopping. Sounds like a tasty recipe to me.
So push the aluminum finished started button on the dashboard, and you are greeted to a deep burble coming from the exhaust. Put the gear selector in D and I slowly trundle off. The car has its setting in Comfort mode. This makes the car a very sane and tame beast. The suspension is so comfortable that you can transport a glass full of milk without spilling it over. The engine is at its laziest map so when you prod the throttle slightly, you are not met with 507 BHP of fury. Gearbox is at its smoothest, making seamless shifts. One does not really get the picture on what this car can actually do if it is constantly driven in this mode. Your neighbors will thank you and so will your spine.
Put the car in Sport mode and things get slightly more exciting. You can feel it sharpening it up every time you try to cut your arrival time on Google Maps with speed. You can hear the exhaust a little more, which enriches the driving experience. You start thinking about how AMG can even make the exhaust of turbo engines sound so good. Till you put it in the Sport + mode.
I flick the switch up once more on the dashboard and thus Sport + is engaged. Throttle is much sharper. Traction control decides to take a break sometimes and let you just wag the tail. Ride becomes noticeably stiff and this is really not ideal for the pothole –infested roads here. The part leather and part alcantara steering becomes much sharper to use. You begin to learn that this is still an AMG. The hooliganism is still very much there. But then I realize there is one more mode left. Then I think what more could be possible? I mean I felt pretty happy in Sport +. Courageously, I flick the switch once more time and the display on the center console has one word in all caps: “RACE”. Gulp.
I feel a shudder. The car shudders. One look on the beautiful dials has it confirmed that this car has something more to give me. I am at a standstill. I build the revs. I launch. I have not faced acceleration such like this yet hear such an amazing exhaust note playing music to my ears. And mind you, I have driven the Lamborghini Huracan and the Audi RS7 recently. But this is unique. In this mode, you really need to focus. Or else it could go wrong very easily. And possible a very expensive crash. Acceleration is brutal and you are literally pinned to the bucket seats just holding on to the flat bottom steering for dear life. I take control of the transmission using the steering mounted paddle shifters. The car jumps to its red line in first gear in no time and the rear breaks traction! I pull the right paddle and quickly upshift. The acceleration is still relentless. Oh dear!
A corner approaches and I throw the car aggressively in the corner and pressed the throttle mid corner. The tail instantly steps out. This mode should be called the “Ken Block” mode. Absolute hooliganism. It is so easy to drift this car around bends. There is no way one will not enjoy this car around the bends. It has the ability to constantly put a smile on the driver’s face. But you better be wide-awake to try this at home.
But this car is not all about hooliganism or madness…
This is where the new C63S shines. It can still be the very maniacal and wild car the C63 was always known for. But this time, it can actually do its job of being a fast car as well. It can be made to handle like a proper sports sedan. It has not lost its essence yet it has overcome all its flaws. I mean one would really need to hate the three-pointed star to opt for the BMW M3 or any of its other rivals. It can still put down a damn good lap time around a circuit. It could be slower than an M3 but I am damn sure I would be much happier in the C63S. It is just this aura of the car. You just cannot be sad around it.
So this is the C63S really. It does not really make you miss the old naturally aspirated engine. It handles far better than the old car. It still sounds very much like an AMG and can set alarms off in the neighborhood. It still maintains its X factor when you want it. It is beautiful to look at and has very tasteful interiors (at least specs my car had). And it has the ability to put a smile every time you or I get behind the wheel.
And one cannot really put a price on that. A price for happiness. A price for satisfaction. It is what an AMG always did and I can gladly say, it is what an AMG still does.
A quick drive-around