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2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 First Look

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/24/2014 Alex Nishimoto

We were big fans of the C63 AMG and its naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8. But all good things must come to an end. The C63 AMG is dead. Long live the 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63.

No, that's not a typo. Mercedes is following through with what it started with the Mercedes-AMG GT, dropping the "Benz" and replacing it with the name of its Affalterbach-based tuning arm. Though its name has changed, the C63 is still a C-Class stuffed with a V-8 engine -- just not the M156 we fell in love with. As we first heard this year in Geneva, that engine has been replaced by the M177, a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 that Mercedes says is a close relative of the M178 found in the Mercedes-AMG GT. The engine in the standard C63 makes 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, which is more than the base GT's 456 hp and 443 lb-ft. The C63 S model makes the same 503 hp as the GT S, but significantly more torque at 516 lb-ft (compared to the GT S' 479 lb-ft). Both 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 variants route power to the rear wheels via an AMG Speedshift MCT seven-speed automatic transmission.

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 S© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Mercedes estimates that the C63 S model can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds, with the standard C63 just a hair slower at 4.0 seconds. Those are likely conservative estimates, considering the previous C63 AMG Coupe Black Series we tested went from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds with nearly the same horsepower but substantially less torque at 509 hp and 457 lb-ft. The 2015 C63 also weighs less than the 3952-pound 2014 C63 AMG Coupe 507 Edition we last sampled, with European C63 models weighing in at 3615 pounds, and C63 S sedans tipping the scales at 3648 pounds.

Just like the GT, the C63 tucks its two turbochargers inside the V-8's valley. This makes the powertrain more compact and also optimizes responsiveness. In addition, the C63 gets the GT's dynamic engine mounts, which can vary their stiffness depending on driving conditions. Also variable is the sound emitted from the C63's four tailpipes. A standard sports exhaust system uses an electronically controlled exhaust flap to alternate between a low-key hum for long-distance driving and a more visceral sound for spirited canyon romps. For even more aural control, a performance exhaust system is available with three electronic flaps. Mercedes claims the C63 will be the most efficient eight-cylinder car in the high-performance segment. Helping in that mission is a new "Gliding Function," which can decouple the engine from the drivetrain if the driver lifts off the throttle between 37 and 99 mph. The automaker says that the new C63 consumes roughly 32 percent less fuel than its predecessor.

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 S© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 S A mechanical locking differential comes standard on the C63, while the C63 S gets an electronic locking differential. Both reduce slip at the inside wheel for more immediate acceleration out of corners, but the unit in the C63 S can be tuned through three electronic stability program (ESP) modes. Underpinning the C63 is an aluminum-intensive independent suspension featuring electronically controlled shocks, which can be tuned for comfort or performance. Base C63 sedans ride on titanium gray-finished 18-inch alloy wheels in a staggered fitment, measuring 8.5 inches wide up front and 9.5 inches at the rear. S models get 19-inch alloys that feature a split five-spoke design and a titanium gray finish. A high-performance ceramic composite brake system is available on the C63 S, along with optional sport cup tires.

As you might expect, the C63 looks like a standard C-Class with the usual AMG visual tweaks applied. The car gets AMG's "A-wing" front valance, as well as a front splitter for improved downforce. In back is a rear diffuser insert with three fins, which fills the gap between the characteristic AMG quad exhaust tips. The C63's interior is what visually sets it apart the most from its lesser C-Class siblings. A three-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel features a red strip that marks the 12:00 position and is placed in front of a two-binnacle gauge cluster with carbon weave-pattern dials. That carbon theme continues on the center stack, which features an IWC analog clock, AMG Dynamic Select switch, COMAND touchpad, and other controls specific to AMG models. Sports seats upholstered in MB-Tex vinyl and Dinamica microfiber come standard, while performance seats with more bolstering and a lower seating position are available.

The 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 arrives in the U.S. next March, with both standard and S models going on sale at the same time. Can the new engine possibly live up to our dearly departed naturally aspirated 6.2-liter M156? We can't wait to find out. 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 S© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 S

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 S© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 S
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