Mercedesamg C63 S
As tough as a woodpecker’s lips but now with newfound bandwidth
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