Driven - April 2017

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe Driven Review

We Drive The Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe in South Africa

If Thor had a car, it would be the Mercedes-AMG C63 S. Nothing more, nothing less. You could imagine him driving to his local Starbucks in Asgard, indulging in his “delicious cuppa” smashing it on the floor, bellowing for another and climbing into his C63 S for his daily rounds. This would be before he activates the exhaust flaps from the console, and uses lighting to propel himself to our “green” planet.

That just gives you a taste of the C63 S’ personality. Its loud, it’s in your face, it wants to eat all the children in your neighborhood and I just love it, to a point… From a pure presence perspective, you’ll struggle to find anything this side of R2 million and if you are a hooligan like me, it’s the perfect vehicle for scaring little dogs and their people in Parkhurst or at your local farmer’s market.

 

What you get in this beast of a car is 4.0 liter bi-turbo V8 with those lovely turbos nestled within the V. This is called a “hot V”. From this configuration, this compact engine churns out 375 monstrous kilowatts with a healthy thud of 650 N.m. This is because we had the S version on test, you know, for the people who find the “normal” C 63 lacking in poke with its miserly 350 kW and 600 N.m. Here though, is where it gets tricky.

I have never spent time with a vehicle that constantly has an ESP light flashing at you. It becomes such a normal fixture within the cabin that when you don’t see it flicking, you think there is something wrong. That orange light right in the middle of the well lit display is accompanied by the fuel reserve light that also likes to make a guest appearance more often than appreciated. The massive torque being sent to the 285 section nineteen-inch wheels at the rear all but struggle to the point where you decide to engage Sport Handling mode which allows for a little bit of slip from the rear axle, but not enough to make you change your underwear. Speaking about underwear…

When the C63 S arrived at our offices, it coincided with the test of the year, being the Mercedes-AMG C63 S sedan, the BMW M3 Competition Pack M-DCT and the new kid on the block, the Alfa-Romeo Giulia QV and as tempting as it would be to reveal those test results, those will be kept for another article and feature. What surprised me was the nature of the C63 S. As much as it’s a fully accomplished sports coupe, it felt nervous at the limit and when you sat back and thought about it, the biggest downfall of the C 63S is its weight.

 

The vehicle is just not as nimble as its competitors through the twisties, a fact that reared its head while attacking a couple of S-bends. The vehicle then decided to fight back with what can plainly be described as the most violent tank slapper I have ever experienced. This came about when we found that even though the ESP can be ‘deactivated’, there comes a point where the control module feels like the angle that you have decided to adopt is too lary and therefore gives the inside wheel the slightest of grabs, mid-power slide! Then weight transfer happens and boom, the fight of your life happens with that steering wheel, right foot and sphincter actuating in sync. I know we are nitpicking here, but this is just in comparison with its competitors and something to note granted that this is the cream of the C-Class crop.

Other than that, the C63 S, with deep pockets, is a lovely beast to live with. It’s thirsty, very thirsty, despite Merc’s claim of it being the most fuel-efficient high-performance eight-cylinder motor but it has all the modern conveniences that you would expect from a vehicle of this calibre, and in my opinion, it looks the best in its class, along with that addictive noise. I’m glad the ladies and gents from Affalterbach decided to employ Thor to come up with the noise from those exhausts. It was a very expensive week but man, what a week! The C63 S will be sorely missed.