This is the car Mercedes-Benz's increasingly influential AMG performance car off-shoot is relying upon to steal the thunder from the likes of the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Lexus RC-F: the rapid new second-generation C63 AMG Coupe.
Set to make its public debut at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show prior to going on sale in Australia in mid-2016, the muscular four-seat performance coupe is powered by the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 direct injection petrol engine as the recently introduced C63 sedan and wagon.
In top-of-the-line S form that will be offered as standard in Australia, the new rear-wheel drive C63 AMG Coupe packs 375kW and a generous 700Nm of torque. This is 17kW and 100Nm more than that served up by the naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine used by the first-generation C63 AMG Coupe with an optional Performance Package.
It also trumps the RS5, M4 and RC-F by 44kW and whopping 270Nm, 58kW and 150Nm and 24kW and 170Nm respectively, making the new C63 S the most powerful rear-wheel drive car in its class.
According to official performance figures released by AMG, it is capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in just 3.9sec, or some 0.4sec faster than its direct predecessor. As before, top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h, although buyers can specify the new car with a so-called Driver's Package which lifts its maximum velocity to 290km/h.
The styling of the new C63 is significantly differentiated from standard versions of Mercedes-Benz's second-generation C-Class coupe. The only exterior elements shared between the two cars are the frameless doors, roof and boot lid. The remainder has been designed expressly for the new car, with front fenders extending by 64mm and rear fenders up by 66mm in width over those of its standard sibling.
The wider body has been developed to house a revised chassis featuring unique tracks both front and rear. It also permits the fitment of standard 255mm wide tyres up front and 285mm rubber at the rear. The previous model ran on 235mm front and 255mm tyres. The wheel sizes vary according to model, with the new C63 receiving 18-inch rims and the C63 S 19-inch alloys.
Typical AMG styling touches include a heavily structured front bumper with a black insert and integral front splitter, a prominent grille featuring an oversized three-pointed star emblem, "V8 turbo" identification along the flanks, black exterior mirror housings, beefed-up side sills, subtle boot deck spoiler, uniquely designed rear bumper, four trapezoidal shaped tail pipes integrated into the rear valance and diffuser element.
Inside, there are AMG specific instruments, controls, gear lever, trim applications along with a flat-bottom multi-function steering wheel and sport seats. Buyers can specify more heavily contoured optional performance seats, which allow a lower seating position
As with the latest C63 sedan and wagon, the C63 Coupe will be sold with the choice of two power outputs in selected markets. In standard guise its twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, known under the internal codename M178, kicks out 350kW and 650Nm, although this particular engine tune is not expected to be made available in Australia.
In the headlining S model, which receives dynamic engine mounts, the reserves are increased by 25kW and 50Nm through increased boost pressure and changes to the inlet manifold to 375kW and 700Nm – giving it exactly the same power output but 50Nm more torque than the Mercedes-AMG GT S.
With a kerb weight of 1725kg, the new C63 S Coupe tips the scales 70kg above its predecessor, owing mainly to its increased dimensions. But with an additional 17kW, it offers a marginally improved weight-to-power ratio than the old C63 Coupe with Performance Package.
Drive is channelled through AMG's seven-speed Speedshift MCT (Multi Clutch Transmission) automatic gearbox fitted with a shorter final drive than in the C63 sedan and wagon. In the standard C63 Coupe it operates in combination with a mechanical locking differential, but in the C63 S it is allied to a faster reacting electronic locking differential.
As with the C63 sedan and wagon, the driver can choose between four different driving modes on the C63 Coupe and up to five on the C63 S Coupe. Its switchable electronic stability control system also offers three distinct settings: On, Sport and Off.
In standard C63 Coupe guise, AMG's latest model possesses a claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.0sec – making it 0.1sec faster than the C63 sedan and 0.2sec faster than the C63 wagon. The 3.9sec time quoted for the C63 S Coupe is a respective 0.6sec, 0.4sec and 0.6sec faster than the official 0-100km/h times quoted for the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Lexus RC-F.
Despite the wholesale lift in performance, AMG claims the new C63 AMG Coupe is significantly more economical than its predecessor with an official consumption figure of 8.6L/100km for both models and corresponding CO2 emissions of 200g/km.
Underpinning the new C63 Coupe is a heavily reworked version of the C-class coupe's chassis featuring a four link front and multi-link rear suspension. It receives new steering knuckles, wider tracks, a unique rear axle carrier which moves the contact surface of the rear wheels 25mm outwards of that of the C63 sedan and wagon, stiffer elastokinematics and greater negative camber. The dampers are adjustable in three stages at the press of a button.
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