The new Mercedes - AMG C 63 models
By Mark Salisbury
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 09:32
Powerful V8 engines, thrilling driving dynamics and distinctive, motorsport-inspired equipment have turned the top-of-the-range models of the C-Class from Mercedes-AMG into best-sellers. The C 63 perfectly embodies the core of the performance and sports car brand and now offers, in the guise of the Saloon, Estate, Coupé and Cabriolet even better dynamics and a more modern interior with extended individualisation options. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission with wet start-off clutch makes for an even more agile gearshift response. The 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine is available in two output variants rated at 350 kW (476 hp) or 375 kW (510 hp) for all four body styles and delivers the performance of a sports car – the top speed of C 63 S Saloon and Coupé is 290 km/h. Greater driving pleasure is guaranteed also by the redefined drive programmes, which allow further differentiation of the road performance of the eight-cylinder engine. Visually, the looks of the new C 63 are even more appealing: the AMG-specific radiator trim underscores the brand identity while emphasising the muscular appearance. The interior benefits from an optional fully digital cockpit with unmistakable AMG displays and the new generation of AMG steering wheels. The C 63 range will go on sale in June with first deliveries expected from October
“The AMG C-Class is our best-selling model series and therefore a key cornerstone of our company’s success of recent years. We have therefore increasingly expanded our C-Class offer: customers can now choose between twelve models from the C-Class family. As part of the latest facelift, we have upgraded all variants of the model series even more substantially,” says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “This relates to the 43-series models and especially, of course, to the AMG C 63. The perfected driving dynamics and expressive design underscore the powerful, muscular character of the rear-wheel drive icon.”
The impressive driving dynamics are based, among other things, on the elaborately retuned AMG RIDE CONTROL steel suspension with adaptive damping adjustment, the electronically controlled rear-axle limited-slip differential which is now also standard on all C 63 variants, and the dynamic engine mounts, which are part of the standard equipment on all C 63 S models.
Even greater emphasis on brand identity: the exterior design
The exterior of the new C 63 underscores the brand identity of the performance models with the AMG-specific radiator trim with vertical louvres in high-gloss chrome. With a redesigned transverse fin in the outer air inlets, the front apron in A-wing design gives an even stronger emphasis to the width of the vehicle.
When viewed from the side, eye-catching features include the sporty side skirts plus aerodynamically optimised AMG light-alloy wheels. Their specifically designed outer aero rings and spoke geometry which has been optimised in the wind tunnel help to improve air flow around the wheels and thus increase aerodynamic efficiency. The developers aimed for the optimal combination of aerodynamics, weight and brake cooling, for maximum performance and optimum efficiency.
There is a choice of two aerodynamically optimised wheel designs for the C 63: in the standard specification, the vehicles are shod with 18-inch 10-spoke aero-wheels, painted in tantalite grey with a high-sheen finish. Standard on the S-variants and optional for the basic models, there is another, 19-inch design with five twin spokes, also painted in tantalite grey with a high-sheen finish.
Redesigned rear view
The rear view, too, with two remodelled twin tailpipe trim elements in high-gloss chrome, has a muscular look, which is reinforced by the new, more expressive diffuser. The S-versions are additionally provided with a diffuser board. The lateral air curtain look of the rear apron makes for improved air flow at the rear end, as does the spoiler lip on the boot lid (Estate: roof spoiler), which is painted in the vehicle colour.
The optional AMG Aerodynamics package for the C 63 Coupé provides an even sportier look: the more expressive front splitter, spoiler lip with integral Gurney flap, broader side skirt inserts, flics in the rear bumper and more expressive diffuser insert are finished in high-gloss black.
New trim and equipment details: the interior design
The interior reinforces the dynamic calibre of the new C 63 with numerous details. The standard specification includes the classic-sporty equipment with black seat covers in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre, combined with trim in black piano-lacquer look/light longitudinal-grain aluminium.
New options for all four body styles include trim in anthracite open-pore oak wood, open-pore walnut plus the combination of longitudinal-grain aluminium for the doors and black open-pore ash wood for the centre console. Additionally available are AMG trim in carbon fibre/light longitudinal-grain aluminium and AMG trim in matt silver fibreglass.
The options for the upholstery are nappa leather in black, black with grey accents, red pepper/black, platinum white pearl/black and, as a new option, magma grey/black with yellow contrasting topstitching. For Saloon and Estate, a combination from the designo range comes with diamond quilting in saddle brown/black and platinum white pearl/black.
Performance seats with extended features
The optional AMG Performance seats provide optimum lateral support when adopting a dynamic driving style thanks to the special design of the seat side bolsters of the seat cushion and backrest. As an option, the seat side bolsters can be perfectly adjusted to the body contours by means of built-in air cushions. The Performance seats additionally lend the interior a sporty, distinctive character with their integral head restraints. The seats can not only be heated, but now also climatised in three levels in conjunction with leather upholstery. For the Cabriolet, there is also the optional AIRSCARF neck-level heating. The AMG Performance seats are available in all upholstery options.
Interior with innovative display concept and operating system
Whether with touchpad and Controller, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel or via voice entry: the operating system of the C 63 is just as versatile as it is flexible. All options are aimed at enabling the control tasks to be carried out as conveniently, quickly and appropriately to the situation as possible.
Just as flexible is the display of the optional fully digital instrument cluster in front of the driver with 31.2 cm (12.3-inch) screen diagonal, which brings the vehicle functions directly to life with the three AMG-specific display styles of “Classic”, “Sporty” or “Supersport”.
A host of additional AMG information
Via the specific AMG menu, the driver is able to call up a host of additional information to make the driving experience even sportier:
- Warm-up: engine and transmission oil temperature plus charge pressure as Boost display
- Setup: current status of systems such as the drive system, suspension, AMG Dynamics, exhaust system, ESP®, transmission
- G-Force: display of current g-forces in a coordinate system and ability to save maximum values
- Race Timer: manual stopwatch for lap times and colour display of fastest and slowest laps, plus average speed and distance
- If the AMG TRACK PACE option is ordered, instead of “Race Timer” the instrument cluster shows the “AMG TRACK PACE” menu, with visualisations of race tracks, sector and lap times
- There is also a specific AMG TRACK PACE view in the optional head-up display (HUD) with circuit graphic, bends, braking points, delta speed and absolute times
- Engine Data: engine torque / rated output in a bar chart plus charge pressure as Boost display
In addition there is a digital display of the speed and the currently engaged gear. Manual transmission mode is identified by a yellow “M” and a prompt to shift up when reaching maximum engine speed, a touch inspired by the world of Formula 1.
The visualisations in the central media display equally enable further vehicle functions to be experienced even better, among other things through animated presentation of the driving assistance, vehicle and communication systems. A media display measuring 17.8 cm (7 inches) with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels comes as standard on board. Another alternative is the 26.0 cm (10.25-inch) media display with a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels, standard in conjunction with COMAND Online.
Firm grip guaranteed: the new generation of AMG steering wheels
Extremely sporty design, a grippy shape with a heavily contoured rim and intuitive operation are the key attributes of the new AMG steering wheel in nappa leather, which comes as standard equipment. It has a flattened bottom section and is perforated in the grip area. The galvanised steering wheel gearshift paddles allow an even sportier driving style with manual gear shifting. On the C 63 S, the steering wheel comes as standard with a rim in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre (optional for C 63). The AMG steering wheel is optionally available in nappa leather with trim in black piano lacquer, DINAMICA all-round as well as DINAMICA with trim in high-gloss carbon fibre
The built-in Touch Control buttons are a new feature. These can be used to control the functions of the instrument cluster (left) and the multimedia system (right) by means of horizontal and vertical swiping movements of the finger. Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and the cruise control are adjusted in the control panels on the left. The control panels on the right are used to activate the voice control and telephone, and to regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the multimedia system.
As an option the performance steering wheel can be equipped with extra innovative features. They consist of a round controller with an integral display beneath the right-hand steering-wheel spoke, plus two vertically positioned colour display buttons beneath the left-hand steering-wheel spoke.
The AMG drive programmes can be actuated directly via the controller. The selected drive programme is shown on the colour LCD display directly integrated in the controller.
With the two freely configurable display buttons and the additional switches, further AMG functions can be controlled within easy reach, directly on the steering wheel. This means that the driver can concentrate fully on dynamic driving without having to take their hands off the wheel. Each function required can be depicted on the other LCD display, and its switch is tapped by the driver to set the respective function. The driver’s two preferred AMG functions can be defined in this way and the settings changed with just one tap of the finger.
AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission with shorter shift times
The C 63 now makes use for the first time of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission, which the Mercedes-AMG developers have tuned specifically for a dynamic driving experience. A wet start-off clutch continues to replace the torque converter. This saves weight and optimises the response to the driver’s accelerator pedal input, particularly during acceleration and load changes.
The multiple downshift function allows more spontaneous bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in “Sport” and “Sport+” drive programmes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gear shifts in the other modes. In all modes moving off occurs in first gear in order to always guarantee a dynamic driving experience.
“Manual” mode can be selected using a separate button in the centre console. The gear changes are based on the selected drive programme, and the driver can now change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.
Yet more differentiation in driving experiences: AMG DYNAMICS
Depending on the engine, up to six drive programmes are available: “Slippery”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+”, “RACE” and “Individual”. These levels are selectable via the gearshift paddle in the centre console and stored with the new drive programme attribute AMG DYNAMICS, which can be adjusted to match the C 63’s handling characteristics to different demands and driving conditions in a much more differentiated way.
Behind the umbrella term AMG DYNAMICS are the agility functions “Basic”, “Advanced”, “Pro” and “Master”, which are automatically selected by the respective drive programme. Parameters relevant to driving, such as the response of the engine and suspension or the control thresholds of the completely redeveloped ESP®, are intelligently adapted according to the drive programme.
The spectrum ranges from extremely safety-oriented to highly dynamic. The “Master” mode, which is included in the RACE drive programme, guarantees optimal agility and makes ideal use of the new C 63’s high driving dynamics potential – for example by means of higher yaw rates and faster response of accelerator, gearshift and electronically controlled rear-axle limited-slip differential.
Irrespective of the drive programmes, as before the driver can use the display buttons in the centre console to directly select manual transmission mode, their favoured suspension level and also the exhaust system, for instance.
Data logger for use on the race track: AMG TRACK PACE
As the virtual race engineer for recording data when driving on closed-off race tracks, AMG TRACK PACE provides a significantly extended and even more precise scope of functions. On the C 63 S, AMG TRACK PACE is a standard (C 63: optional) part of the optional COMAND Online infotainment system.
If this function is enabled, while driving on a race track, over 80 vehicle-specific sets of data (e.g. speed, acceleration) are recorded ten times per second. On top of this there are displays of lap and sector times and also the respective difference for a reference time. Because specific display elements are shown in green or red, the driver is able to see at a glance without reading numbers whether he/she is currently faster or slower than the best time.
After putting in some fast laps, the driver can use the data to analyse and, if necessary, improve his or her driving skills. In addition, acceleration and deceleration values (e.g. 0-100 km/h, ¼ mile, 100-0 km/h) can be measured and saved. Thanks to a new developed algorithm which determines the vehicle position as precisely as possible, AMG TRACK PACE even detects when the circuit is left or shortened. Alongside GPS data, the sensors available in the vehicle (acceleration, gyroscope, steering angle, wheel speeds) are used.
The data are displayed on the multimedia display, in the instrument cluster and on the head-up display. Known race tracks, for example the Nürburgring or Spa Francorchamps, are already stored. Furthermore, it is also possible to record your own circuits. The map display can be switched from 2D to 3D and updated online.
With adaptive damping adjustment: AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension
With its adjustable, electronically controlled damping system, the AMG RIDE CONTROL steel suspension of the C 63 provides both sporty driving dynamics and brand-typical comfort on long journeys. The basis for this is formed by the 4-link front axle and multi-link independent rear suspension. The AMG-specific kinematics and elastokinematics with newly developed components result in very high camber stability when cornering at speed. The axial brake connection on the front axle supports the agile and precise handling.
The adaptive damping adjustment comes as standard. This fully automatic, electronically controlled system adjusts the damping at each wheel to the current requirements. This improves driving safety and ride comfort. The damping is adjusted individually for each wheel, and depends on the driving style, the road surface and the selected suspension setting. The ideal operating point can be selected at all times on the basis of a broad scope of information relating to acceleration or vehicle speed, for example.
Via a switch on the centre console the driver can select between three different sets of damper characteristics, namely “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport+”, and thus individually influence the driving experience — from highly comfortable to sportily taut.
Rear-axle limited-slip differential: optimal traction, including on the race track
For improved traction and driving dynamics, the C 63 and C 63 S are equipped with an electronically controlled rear-axle limited-slip differential. This reduces the slip on the inside wheel when cornering, without any control intervention in the braking system. The result is that it allows the driver to accelerate out of corners earlier thanks to the improved traction. The car remains more stable when braking from high speeds, and the limited-slip differential also improves traction when accelerating fast from a standing start. The greatest benefit of the electronically controlled rear-axle limited-slip differential is the especially sensitive and fast control, which pushes the critical threshold higher, making it even easier to drive at the vehicle’s limits.
Direct and with clear feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering
The electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering has a variable ratio. It impresses with its precise, authentic feedback. The steering servo assistance is reduced at high speeds, and continuously increases at lower speeds. This means that comparatively little steering force is required at low speeds, and that the best possible control over the vehicle is maintained at high speeds. The steering servo assistance in the two modes “Comfort” and “Sport” is automatically linked with the currently selected drive programme.
Unique offering in the segment with V8 biturbo engine
All four body styles are available as basic model and S-model: the proven AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine in this case puts out 350 kW (476 hp) or 375 kW (510 hp), while the maximum torque is 650 or 700 Nm. Depending on body style, the C 63 S accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, the C 63 in 4.0 seconds. The top speed is up to 290 km/h for the C 63 S and 250 km/h for the C 63 (both electronically limited).
V8 biturbo closely related to engine in the Mercedes-AMG GT
The 4.0-litre eight-cylinder biturbo engine is already used in numerous AMG Performance vehicles. A characteristic feature is that the two turbochargers are positioned not on the outside of the cylinder banks, but inside the cylinder “V”. The main advantages of this design are the compact engine construction and optimal response.
The spray-guided direct petrol injection system ensures clean and efficient combustion with high thermodynamic efficiency. Fast-acting piezo injectors enable multiple injections of fuel to be delivered to the engine on demand and with the utmost precision.
The large cooling system guarantees the performance of the engine even under extreme loading ‑ such as at track days on the race track. The same is true for the flow-optimised cylinder heads, which are made of a special heat-resistant alloy. Continuous adjustment of the intake and exhaust camshafts improves power delivery and efficiency. It delivers excellent throttle response and optimises the charge cycle for every operating point. An oil pump with variable control also contributes to low fuel consumption.
One mechanic assembles each engine in the engine shop in Affalterbach according to the “one man ‑ one engine” principle.
Exhaust system with flap technology for a differentiated engine sound
The typical V8 engine sound is another key element of the AMG driving experience. The C 63 comes as standard with an AMG exhaust system with a variable flap. This is steplessly map-controlled depending on the drive programme, the power demanded by the driver and the engine speed. The engine sound varies accordingly between discreet/suitable for long-distance driving, and robust/emotively appealing. A Performance exhaust system with three selectable exhaust flaps is optionally available for both engine variants. This gives the driver an even wider sound range. In any case, the exhaust systems are designed in such a way that all statutory noise limits are complied with at all times, irrespective of the flap position.
C 63 S with dynamic engine mounts as standard
The more powerful C 63 S comes with dynamic engine mounts. These resolve the conflicting aims of comfort and dynamic performance by reducing vibrations in the engine/transmission unit. These dynamic mounts are instantly and variably able to adapt their rigidity to the driving conditions and style of driving. Soft engine mounts improve comfort, as they provide more effective decoupling of noise and vibration. However, handling and agility benefit from a generally stiffer mount set-up. The driver feels more connected to the vehicle when driving dynamically, as there is more feedback and the steering response is more direct. All in all the driver benefits from more precise vehicle control: minimised mass movements of the major assemblies mean less corrective action to be taken by the driver when steering into bends.
Wellness on long-distance journeys: ENERGIZING comfort control
The optional ENERGIZING comfort control is also available for the new C 63. It networks together the various comfort systems in the vehicle and uses specific functions of the air conditioning and seats (heating, ventilation) plus lighting and music moods. Depending on the mood or requirement of the driver, it generates a special wellness set-up to enhance well-being and performance.