T WOULD be easy to dismiss the new C63 S Coupe as nothing more than a two-door version of its four-door sibling; a muscle car for the fashion-conscious. Not that there would be anything wrong with that, for such is the excellence of AMGís latest C63 sedan that you could scarcely blame the engineers for downing tools early and heading to the pub for a stein and bratwurst.
However, the crew from Affalterbach are an ambitious lot these days, and the desire for greater differentiation between the sedan and coupe C63 models has led to a fairly substantial re-engineering of the two-doorís underpinnings.
At the front thereís 20mm of extra track and 10mm wider rubber (now 255/35) as well as new tuning for the electrically-assisted power steering.
But itís under those fat rear haunches that the greatest changes I have taken place. In fact, virtually nothing is shared between the rear axle of the coupe and sedan. Working from the outside in, the tyres are 10mm wider (now 285/35) wrapped around (optional) 20-inch rims and thereís an extra 50mm of track.
Around a dozen rubber mountings have been swapped for uniball joints and the lateral arms have been stiffened and repositioned to increase traction and response, while the electronically-controlled limitedslip diff has a shorter final drive to improve acceleration.
So have these changes resulted in a radically sharper C63? Well, no.
While weíve no doubt that back-toback on road or track the coupe will assert its superiority, in isolation on unfamiliar Spanish roads the twodoor feels very similar to the sedan, unsurprising when the two cars are so fundamentally alike. Perhaps the steering has a little more weight in coupe than sedan, and maybe the two-door feels more keen to pivot mid-corner and drive off its rear axle, but weíre talking small percentage changes here.
What is certain is that the new C63 S Coupe is a complete monster.
Performance from the 375kW/700Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is shattering; 0-100km/h is claimed to take just 3.9sec (a 0.1sec drop over the sedan)
Fearsome engine; massively fast; beautifully resolved dynamics
Gearbox could be better; looks a bit funny from behind
but itís the punch in third and fourth gear which is outrageous. Race mode engaged, the throttle response is unbelievable for a turbocharged engine, as is the linearity of the power band, while the noise emitted from the exhaust is volcanic.
The seven-speed MCT auto is much improved and left to its own devices in Sport or Sport+ will choose the right gear 99 per cent of the time, though manual selection via steering wheel-mounted paddles is also possible. On the road the standard steel brakes are more than sufficient, however the tireless stamina of the optional carbon front brakes make them a tempting, if pricey ($10K!), proposition for track day fans.
While the engine is still the highlight of the new C63, its dynamics now run it a close second. The steering is excellent in both its weighting and response, giving immediate confidence to lean on the front end; grip levels are strong, yet the balance of the car is such that it can be adjusted with the brakes or throttle. Even better, Sports ESP is lenient enough to leave two black lines on the exit of every corner. Ride quality is reasonable, too; itís firm, as power much dynamics is the sedan, but itís tolerable with good body control.
If thereís one disappointment itís that weight has crept up by a fairly substantial 70kg over the sedan, primarily due to Mercedesí two-door bodyshells being heavier. A BMW M4 is almost 200kg lighter and more agile as a result, though the new C63 is an easier car to get to grips with.
As with the sedan, only the higher-grade ĎSí model Coupe will be available in Australia, but pricing and specification levels are yet to be confirmed. If the sedan is anything to go by, most equipment will be standard and the price should be in the $160,000 ballpark, though around 100 ĎEdition 1í variants will be available at a premium. In standard form, that will make the new C63 S Coupe the most expensive of all its rivals, however based on this first drive, itís also likely to be the best. M