New Car: 2012 Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe

Even in the realm of high-performance rock-star cars, few can rival the profane, knock-your-teeth-out mayhem that is the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. Yes, the phenomenal BMW M3 offers a more cohesive all-around experience than the Benz, but the Merc is no slouch dynamically, and besides, its soundtrack is pure aural sex. And now you can get that same goodness in the newest addition to the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the C-class coupe. The two-door C63 AMG will debut at the New York auto show in April.

If you read our story on the recently updated Mercedes C63 AMG sedan, the coupe’s specs will sound familiar—the powertrain is the same, regardless of door count. As in the four-door, the rear-wheel-drive C63 coupe’s naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 pumps out 451 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque; the optional Development package increases horsepower to 481 (torque remains the same). For 2012, the coupe joins the sedan in featuring Benz’s seven-speed MCT automatic transmission, which swaps in a single wet clutch where the torque converter would normally go. Drivers can select from an Efficiency mode, or turn up the volume to Sport, Sport+, or Manual, modes in which gears are held onto for longer and downshifts are rev-matched. In the E63 AMG, where this transmission also finds a home, we found the gearchanges to be near-instantaneous, so we have high hopes for its performance in the already-no-slouch C63.

Let’s talk about that performance. Mercedes estimates that the C63 coupe, like the new C63 sedan, will take care of a 0-to-60 sprint in 4.4 seconds (4.3 with the Development pack). We think that’s just conservative Teutonic nonsense. The last two C63 sedans we clocked each ripped off 3.9-second 0-to-60 runs. One had the Development pack and the other didn’t, but both used the older-style automatic gearbox that’s now been replaced. It’s possible that the new MCT transmission could shave another tenth of a second off the 0-to-60 time, especially with its Race Start launch-control function, but we’ll find out for sure when we can load it with test gear and hit the track. When we do, we’ll also see about keeping Benz honest on its claim of an electronically limited 174-mph top speed for the Development pack version.

The C63 coupe features an AMG sports suspension with retuned springs and shocks and larger anti-roll bars; the layout is multiple links all around. The track is wider than the regular coupe’s by 4.3 inches up front and 3.2 in the rear; yes, the track increases are huge, but a wickedly modified front suspension and fat rear tires will do that. The brakes also are, naturally, upgraded from those you’d find on a non-AMG C-class coupe. The hot two-door has 14.2-inch rotors up front and 13.0-inchers in the rear.

Thanks to: Car and Driver


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