Mercedes-AMG C63S Coupe £72,000 est.
WE SAY: AN ONSLAUGHT OF NEW MODES HELP YOU GET THE BEST FROM MERC’S ÜBER-COUPE...
The C63 Coupe is the sort of car you make involuntary noises around. “Ooof” at the swollen wheelarches – which the four-door C63 saloon and estate do without. “Hnnng” at the front wheel’s negative camber. And for 2018, “hmm” at the Hannibal-mask front grille that’s been inherited from the AMG GT R. Then, an “errrm” when you drop into the thinly padded bucket seat and attempt to set it up.
Hanging from the steering wheel are two new, cheapo-plastic toggles. The right-hand dial is AMG’s version of the Ferrari manettino. Twizzle it around and the car cycles through its factoryapproved modes: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and in this C63S, Race.
Click the button face itself and no matter which setting you’re in, you shortcut straight to your tailored Individual setting. It works well. Switch the traction control off and that little dial is now a nine-stage assistance-level ratchet. How big an accident would you like to have?
Meanwhile, two buttons on the left spoke switch from quiet to loud pipes, or between the three suspension moods, and so on (though why you’d ever defect from the guitar string-taut Comfort ride is beyond me.)
Now, you hone your skills with the AMG Dynamics feature. It’s like a driving coach that lives in your dash and modifies the standard-fit electronic rear diff’s behaviour. There are four modes: Basic, Advanced, Pro and a worryingly titled Master, which tickle the stability control and diff lock-up from benign to tyre-wrecker.
Once it’s all tied down, revel in the results. In Race mode, with t/c at at halfway, you’re left with enough to do – enough to catch, enough to enjoy – without feeling like “It’s-not-if-I-crashbut-when”. So, more excuse to enjoy the mighty V8, meaty steering and sublime balance.
Unlike the vast majority of modern fast cars, you’re getting a good chunk of the car’s ability from it without the risk of falling off and without going absurdly fast.