MERCEDES -BENZ C63 S AMG

GQ (Australia) - - MOTOR -

Benz’s C63 has long been wrapped in a death­match with BMW’S M3 for the ti­tle of ‘Most Awe­some Car You Can Ac­tu­ally Drive’. And the latest will strike a ham­mer blow. While days of hulk­ing, nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V8s are over, it’s hard to weep when the new one is a bi-turbo 4.0-litre mak­ing 375kw in this Amg-fet­tled ver­sion of the C-class. As the Mercedes hy­per­bole phrases it, the C63 S doesn’t just move the goal­posts, it cre­ates a new sports ground.

EN­GINE

In the be­gin­ning, there was the V8, and man saw it and said it was good. Then some mad Ger­man engi­neer de­cided it could be even bet­ter, down­sized its ca­pac­ity to just 4.0 litres and strapped on twin tur­bocharg­ers, and sud­denly it was mak­ing the kind of fig­ures that used to be the pre­serve of ex­otic su­per­cars – 375kw at a dizzy­ing 5500rpm and a lump­ing 700Nm (from just off idle) at 1750rpm. Man laughed heartily and de­clared that, yes, this was even bet­ter.

DRIV­ING

Belt­ing about in this car is like box­ing. The G-force has you mak­ing “ooooopph” noises and the sense of dan­ger is pal­pa­ble. Has a prodi­gious ac­cel­er­a­tion – 0-100km/h in four sec­onds – and is far more ag­gres­sive, and louder, than the car it re­places. Firm on the road, it also han­dles like it could grid up at Bathurst. You might end up slightly bruised – so what? You’ll want to jump back in and drive it all over again.

IN­TE­RIOR

The C63 S takes the clean, classy and sim­ple in­te­rior of the new C-class range then throws enough car­bon fi­bre at it to re­fit a space shut­tle. There’s swathes of the stuff – ev­ery­where from the dash to the mid­dle of the di­als, and it looks great, as does the sporty AMG steer­ing wheel. The seats are firm, racy and se­ri­ous-look­ing – the whole cabin re­flect­ing the se­ri­ous in­tent of this se­ri­ously in­tense ve­hi­cle. So se­ri­ous.

STYLING

Looks-wise, peo­ple ei­ther sit in the BMW M3/M4 camp or the AMG one, and in the past the Merc’s been the more un­der­stated, el­e­gant op­tion. But this new C63 S has lines Mike Tyson may have drawn, if he could, with a nose snubbed like a sawn-off shot­gun, the sides streaked and the neat rear topped off by wicked-look­ing quad pipes. Is to pre­mium sedans what New Mi­ley Cyrus is to Dis­ney.

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