Mercedesamg C63 S

As tough as a wood­pecker’s lips but now with new­found band­width

Wheels (Australia) - - First Drives -

IF YOU didn’t know it was there, you’d never spot Bil­ster Berg Drive Re­sort. There’s a tiny sign off an un­pre­pos­sess­ing Ger­man coun­try road that leads to a nar­row track and then you see it. The Mause­falle (Mouse­trap) is the very first part of the track you clap eyes on and it looks like some­thing from Luna Park ren­dered in bi­tu­men, drop­ping off-cam­ber into a bend and com­pres­sion and then ramp­ing back sky­wards into the stepped

Steil­wand (Steep Face) be­fore dis­ap­pear­ing over a crest at the next bend. We’re here to drive a 375kw car on this manic cir­cuit. My mouth goes a lit­tle dry at that prospect. I feel like Chief Brody from Jaws. We’re gonna need a big­ger track.

Mercedes-amg in­sists that we won’t. Its lat­est C63 S coupe might be the only V8 in its class, and ca­pa­ble of rat­tling off the sprint to 100km/h in a mere 3.9 sec­onds but the Af­fal­ter­bach­ers in­sist that this lat­est ver­sion is so minutely tai­lorable to your own skill level that it’s a car that can seem as be­nign as you need or as an­gry as you can han­dle. Of course, those fa­mil­iar with the Dun­ning-kruger ef­fect will ap­pre­ci­ate that we’re of­ten not very good at recog­nis­ing our own in­ep­ti­tude. With that in mind, I start the first ses­sion on track with all the elec­tron­ics di­alled up to Max­i­mum Nanny.

Be­fore we get too far into the physics of fall­ing off Bil­ster Berg, a quick primer on where we are with this car. This C205 gen­er­a­tion coupe de­buted in 2014 so, in AMG’S plan­ning sched­ules, it’s due for a mid-life re­fresh that will take it through to its re­place­ment with a six-cylin­der hot hy­brid, due in 2020. So, if you feel that there’s no sub­sti­tute for a V8, you’ll need to fling an or­der in smar­tish. The 4.0-litre ‘hot-vee’ twin-tur­bocharged V8 con­tin­ues as be­fore, but it’s now mated to a clever MCT-9G nine­speed trans­mis­sion that’s nei­ther a tra­di­tional auto, a twin-clutch, nor even (strictly speak­ing) a se­quen­tial, as it’s ca­pa­ble of block down­shifts. It uses a wet start-up clutch to fi­nesse gearchanges to al­most twin-clutch smooth­ness, and the soft­ware is so good that it’s rarely to be found hunt­ing be­tween gears.

Two very clever con­trol sys­tems also fea­ture on this gen­er­a­tion C63 S. AMG has had a good, long think about how keen drivers in­ter­act with the car dur­ing lim­it­driv­ing and the re­sult of that process is the devel­op­ment of AMG Dy­nam­ics and AMG Trac­tion Con­trol. Be­fore we get to those, a quick word on the driv­ing mode se­lec­tor. This now adds a torque­lim­it­ing slip­pery road mode to

Model Mercedes-amg C63 S Coupe En­gine 3982cc V8, dohc, 32v, twin-turbo Max power 375kw @ 5500-6250rpm Max torque 700Nm @ 2000-4500rpm Trans­mis­sion 9-speed au­to­matic Weight 1745kg 0-100km/h 3.9sec (claimed) Fuel econ­omy 10.1L/100km Price $165,500 (es­ti­mated) On sale Septem­ber 2018

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