Mercedes-Benz and AMG tied the knot years ago. But until now, models endowed with the genes of both the German automaker and its in-house tuner held on to the Mercedes-Benz name. The arrival of two new models at the Paris Motor Show marks a change in nomenclature: both the latest C63 high-performance sedan and the new GT sports coupe are officially called “Mercedes-AMG.”
The two cars share more than center stage of the Mercedes stand in Paris. Powering each is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, replacing the naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter mill of the outgoing C63. From launch next March, the new high-performance version of the C-Class is offered exclusively as a four-door.
Output from the downsized motor is 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque in the C63, or 503 hp and 516 lb-ft in the C63 S. By comparison, the 6.2-liter unit powering the previous-gen car tops out at 507 hp, but generates “only” 450 lb-ft torque at a lofty 5,200 rpm.
The new turbo V8 hits peak torque at just 1,750 rpm, yielding quicker acceleration times according to the automaker: 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds for the Mercedes-AMG C63 and 3.9 seconds for the C63 S.
A seven-speed paddle-shifted automatic carries over to the new model, although Mercedes says it now shifts both up and down more quickly thanks to hardware and software changes. A mechanical locking rear differential is now standard, as is an adaptive suspension with three damping settings.
Aside from mechanicals, the Mercedes-AMG C63 gains the interior and exterior styling elements of the new-generation C-Class, albeit with extensive tweaks. The entire front end, in fact, is exclusive to the AMG version. The front section is stretched by more than two inches, requiring a longer hood. Wider front fenders, fabricated in lightweight aluminum, provide a wider track. The aggressive front fascia includes large cooling openings and a racing-inspired splitter.
Also differentiating the C63 is a unique rear fascia, with twin tailpipes flanking each side of its three-fin diffuser. A subtle lip spoiler on the rear decklid adds downforce. Standard, 18-inch wheels are staggered-width, and 19-inch wheels and sticky sport cup tires are also available.
The look inside is equally performance-minded. A thick, flat-bottomed sport steering wheel, carbon-weave trim and heavily bolstered front seats with integrated head restraints suggest the car’s quickness and agility.
Buyers seeking more exclusivity can choose the special Edition 1 based on the C63 S. Available at launch, it includes interior and exterior design details executed in a red-and-black color scheme.
On sale in March of 2015, the new C63 and C63 S will be the first model to market boasting the hyphenated Mercedes-AMG name. The GT sports coupe is expected to follow next spring. Pricing has not yet been announced, but we expect it to start in the mid-$60,000 range.