On a dead straight road heading to Seremban without any car in sight, driving at a leisurely 80km/h and thought to myself “should I try how fast I can go?” gently leaning on the throttle, the environment begins to pass at warp speed touching 280km/h like its nothing, slowing back down while emitting cracks and pops, growls and evil voices from the exhaust. I did it once, and I did it again, because I could and it felt great. And it’s the most dangerous drug I’ve had in a long time.
This car is not for the faint-hearted. The 4.0-litre engine makes sufficient power and torque to fire the C63S to a hundred in just 3.9 seconds despite it weighing more than 1.5-tonnes. And, it costs a whopping RM795,888 in this Edition 1 guise. So, is it worth it?
The Mercedes-AMG C63S Edition 1 is the hopped-up version of the regular 473hp and 650Nm C63 coupé and the Edition 1 label makes this a little bit more special than the normal S. This comes with gloss black aero pack that includes a front dam with carbon fibre, side skirts, rear diffuser and a ducktail rear spoiler.
But as the regular C63 coupé, the C63S comes with wide wheel arches housing staggered large 19- and 20-inch wheels, giving it the stance of a C-Class coupé with roid rage. And it’s got every right to look as such.
It has large front intakes that let plenty of air into the radiators to manage the heat produced from the 4.0-litre biturbo V8 engine, and it that’s not enough indicator, there are AMG logos, “V8 biturbo” badging on its flanks and a C63S badge on the rear trunk lid.
Besides the AMG bits, the C63S does have regular C-Class things like its LED headlamps with adaptive high beam, LED rear combination lamps, rain sensors, stereo cameras and radar sensors monitor the traffic around the car – more on this later. Does it look great? It does and every time single time the C63S always makes an epic appearance with all the heads craning to have a second look.
The C63S Edition 1 is just as special inside; it comes with yellow and black contrasting seats and interior trimming and the imprinted ‘Edition 1’ at the lower half of the steering wheel reminds you that you’re driving something that’s very special. Besides the matte chrome trims, the C63S come with a set of authentic ‘dry-look’ carbon fibre trimming, which looks amazing.
The control buttons located on the Dinamica microfibre wrapped sports steering wheel are quite large and chunky; not a bad thing because it’s much harder to miss when most of your focus is on the road ahead, be it hunting for your favourite song, setting up the cruise control or answering your phone calls via Bluetooth connectivity.
The Edition 1 comes with a pair of 14-way powered electrically adjustable ARTICO – or Artificial Cow – quilted and perforated, with contrast stitching AMG Performance seats with top and bottom bolster adjustment with built-in thorax airbags and reclinable to rear seat access. Also, there’s the automatic seatbelt handover first serialised in the W126 S-Class coupé.
They provide optimum lateral support with pneumatically adjustable side bolsters for your thorax and thighs to unsure that the driver is snugly fit when the driving gets spirited, which are surprisingly very comfortable to sit in.
The rear seats, however, are very much standard C-Class coupé seats clad similarly as the front seats. If there’s a need to share the thrill with others, the rear seats can accommodate persons of slightly smaller frame comfortably, while bigger individuals may struggle.
Also due to the more restricted room and sloping roofline, getting out can be challenging for the inexperienced. When there’s the need to carry the children around, there are ISOFIX guides available at both ends.
Being a high-performance Mercedes-AMG coupe, practicality is not completely thrown out of the window. The C-Class practicality is retained with wide storage pockets in both doors, along with a decent-sized covered area at the bottom of the dashboard with removable cup holders, a deep air-conditioned cubbyhole beneath the central armrest and rear passenger cubbies and cupholders.
Boot capacity measures in at 355-litres, which is decent enough for long road trips. But the good thing is that the rear seats can be folded down flat allowing more room for storage. The interior is fabulous; it’s executed well and feels like how a premium car should for the money.
Infotainment wise, the C 250 AMG as tested comes with a seven-inch Audio 20 CD multifunction touch screen display with navigation. The colour screen mounted nice and high up on the dashboard, controlled by a dial and touchpad positioned between the front seats.
Most of the time, though, you’re better off sticking with just the dial, because it’s quicker and easier to use on the move. It also displays the reverse camera located at the rear of the car with guidelines that assist you when reverse parking into tight spots.
Like the sedan version, the C63S comes fitted with 13 high-performance Burmester speakers with 9-channel DSP amplifier distributes its 590 W output across the speaker system. The woofers are built into the front of the car body instead of the doors, which uses the driver and passenger footwells as acoustic horns to boost sound pressure.
So, is it good? In this test, I’ve loaded 97kHz 24 bit FLAC audio files in a flash drive and an SD card. Sadly, the COMAND system had a tough time loading the large audio files. Therefore, down sampling under 64kHz is required.
With 590 W, there is no short of impact when it comes to orchestra or soundtracks and even with rock, metal and electronic music. The track on play was Snarky Puppy feat. Metropole Orkest’s The Curtain, which the system delivers an airy, spacious soundfield, where the pizzicato heard crystal clear.
There’s a good level of detail throughout, expressive and doesn’t break a sweat at maximum volume. But most of the time, the audio system takes its place on the bench, as the sonorous growl of the doubly forced fed V8 is what that is most desired.
That’s coming from a pretty tricked out 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. A V8 can be described metaphorically as two four-cylinder engines in unison by a single crankshaft, but the 3,982cc engine is literally how it’s described.
The displacement is exactly twice of the M133 engine in the 45 AMG models, which the M177 essentially being two four-cylinder engines bonded together. The injectors are Bosch’s new piezo-electric direct fuel injectors, and they deliver five squirts of fuel per combustion cycle. The M177 may look akin to the M178; the difference is that former uses wet-sump lubrication, while the latter features dry-sump lubrication, allowing it to be mounted lower in the AMG GT.
Unlike the turbochargers of the M133, the turbochargers sitting in between the M177 makes slightly less boost only bringing up to 1.2 bar, as opposed to the 1.8 bar of boost in the M133 four-cylinder. Not only that, the two turbochargers is nested in between the cylinder banks, which makes it a “Hot-Inside” V8. This results in reduced turbo-lag and quicker throttle response with the linearity of a naturally aspirated engine.
Mated to the angry V8 is the AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed automatic transmission, which can be adjusted on the fly to suit the driver’s needs. Depending on the driving needs, there’s a choice between efficient and comfortable settings in Comfort, quick and brief in Sport and sharp and snappy in Sport Plus, and full manual mode in Race – which shifts up automatically when you’re really focused on the drive.
Regardless of drive mode, the gearshifts are done without any hesitation and without interruption in between. And when there’s a need to overtake a slower vehicle, MCT 7’s fast and responsive kickdown to where the peak power is at quickly and emphatically. Also, there’s also the Race Start function, which allows the driver to make clean, launches, especially when going from naught to a hundred in a brief 3.9 seconds.
However, you can’t get everything. When it comes to fuel economy, forget it. But for this review, the lowest fuel consumption figure achieved was 7.6L/100km and even then I was hypermiling. On average, the big V8 drinks at 11.4 Km/l on Highway, while 14.6km/l Combined is achieved.
Those numbers pretty impressive considering that it makes 510hp and 700Nm at full chat, which a part of me just want to pump more fuel in, in defiance of not wanting the fun to end. But seriously, it’s worth every single of my hard earned Sen.
When I first drove the C63S on Sepang International Circuit on its debut in Malaysia late 2016, I initially thought that the amount of power would make a helter skelter mad drive on the streets. However, my mind was changed completely when I drove it around town. It’s like a happy and cuddly grizzly bear with a belly full of fish when driven in Comfort; the transmission shifts ever so gently under 3,000 rpm, while lifting the throttle enables “Coasting” mode with a little sail icon appearing in the multi info display.
There’s no problem navigating through tight corners and spaces in around housing areas. It’s easy to park as well, thanks to its wide-angle cameras located at the front, side mirrors and at the rear enables a pseudo bird’s eye view above allowing accurate placement of the car within the parking box. Besides the cameras, the ergonomics are spot on without any blind spots or intrusion of the view outside.
When cruising on major expressways, the C63S is pretty civilised. The throttle allows a wide range of modulation in Comfort mode, which makes it easy to control the amount of power needed, which does take quite a lot of travel to unleash the engine’s fullest potential. Likewise, the brake feel is amazing; the brake pedal feels firm and progressive which makes it easy for the driver to modulate, not only for comfort but makes things easier in managing the car’s weight balance.
On highways is where the C63S shines; it munches the kilometres like how Anthony Bourdain would eat his way through in an episode of No Reservations without breaking a sweat. The C63S cruises comfortably at speeds of 160km/h with minimal wind noise. Sure there’s some road noise but who cares when there’s the V8 soundtrack to pay attention.
The only drawback from a car like this is a firm ride, where even in Comfort mode there’s isn’t much give from the electronically controlled damping system when driving over the speed lines and over rough patches.
Soon enough, you’ll forgive the stiff ride when you’re taking the C63S at full chat through mid-corner and realise the immense mechanical grip to be had. And being a rear-wheel driven car, it’s even more rewarding to drive. Tested on my usual stomping ground, I gave it my all and going full attack at corner exit, and what I’ve soon realised I’ve just done the equivalent of poking a tiger in the plums. But you’ll get a sense while driving the C63S as a law-abiding plebeian, how truly capable and breathtakingly fast this car is. It’s just a lovely, lovely thing to drive.
Driving such a powerful car is something the privileged can truly enjoy, and passing on the opportunity to drive it on the limit was something I couldn’t stand letting go, and driving this very car in Project Cars 2 just wouldn’t cut it – interestingly, the in-game C63S felt quite uncanny through the Logitec G27 Racing Wheel, minus the pure visceral feeling which you can only get in real life.
The 4-link front axle and the multi-link independent rear suspension is engineered to provide camber stability during cornering which makes full use of the wide Pirelli P Zero tyres fitted all round and with the damping tuning controlled individually on each wheel, the C63S’ is pretty faultless when driven hard on uneven and undulating surfaces. There’s barely any body roll, and it has this lovely composure to it and has this fluid and effortless suspension control.
With its massive mechanical grip, there’s also effective aero grip in the mix as well. The aero kit may not look as much, but when you drive it at speeds above 130km/h, the C63S feels planted and you can literally feel it sticking itself snuggly on to the road.
It’s a car that inspires confidence because the steering is very good! Its quite light, with a genuine precision around the front of the car, which you can point it exactly to where you want to place it. The steering has some feedback but enough to tell you what’s going on, and with its stiff chassis, you receive loads of information from the wide Pirellis at the rear axle through the bottom of the front seats.
The seven-speed gearbox works, pretty well but not great; there’s a slight delay during downshift and feels a little lazy, but it’s a lot better than most Mercedes gearboxes which came before. But it definitely doesn’t feel like a regular slosh box, far from it. In comfort, it switches ratios smoothly, while in Sport, Sport Plus or Race is a lot more aggressive knowing that the gearbox is doing its thing. Of course, the new nine-speed is not used here, as the huge torque output would probably smash it to pieces.
On top of that, the electronically controlled AMG limited-slip diff on the rear axle provides quick acceleration out of corners with some throttle steer when you lean progressively into the throttle. And with that much power, the C63S’ 1,750 kg kerb weight doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on its handling agility and body control.
What defines the C63S is the way it goes. But, there’s a need for more noise. Sure, you can open exhaust valves for a much louder exhaust note, but it would be great if there were more from the front. But the thrust you get is immense and the instant response from the turbochargers is just phenomenal; its one of those cars if you weren’t told that it’s turbocharged, you’ll won’t have a clue it was turbocharged.
The C63S is a car for drivers who are very performance focused and wouldn’t be disappointed with what the apex C-Class can offer. To sum it up, RM795,888 is a lot of money, but in return, you do get a lot of car.
Whether the C63S is worth 800 grand, it’s really up to the individual. If you can afford it, then the answer is probably yes. Because the Edition 1 does feel a little more bespoke in both of its dynamic repertoire and in its interior. The C63S Edition 1 is a heck of a car and maybe with a little bit more roar from its engine.
+ Solid build quality
+ Burmester audio system
+ Extremely engaging and addictive to drive
+ Insanely quick
+ Handles like a dream
+ Reasonably firm ride
+ Beastly exhaust note
– High running costs
Mercedes-AMG C63S Edition 1
Price Msia: RM795,888.00
Engine: 3982cc (M177 DE 40AL) V8 twin-turbo
Fuel Economy: 7.6 l/100km (Tested)
Transmission: 7-Speed Steptronic Automatic