Review from TheCarEnthusiast:Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG models

I've never seen much point in saloons. Give me an estate anytime. And if that estate comes with a 6.2-litre V8 engine with 450bhp then all the better. That's exactly what Mercedes now offers with its C 63 AMG Estate, a car that blends estate car practicality with supercar pace. The perfect all rounder then?

In the Metal

Forget for a moment - if you can - the fact that under the bonnet of this estate car lies a 6.2-litre V8 engine. Nope, it's impossible, AMG not making it easy by making the C 63 look like it's packing a huge amount of power. It's a very muscular looking car; the unashamed extended wheel arches necessary due to the C 63's wider track front and rear. Whether the 'powerdomes' on the bonnet are actually necessary to give clearance for the mighty engine nestling beneath is debatable, but as they look fantastic, who cares?

What is necessary is the deeper, and massively punctured front bumper, as it feeds cooling air into the engine bay and brakes. If there's a more aggressive looking estate out there we've yet to see it; yet, it's just about subtle enough to let you slip by unnoticed. If the engine's not running, that is.

What you get for your Money

Power, and lots of it. The C 63 AMG features AMG's high revving naturally aspirated 6.2-litre unit, which delivers an ample 451bhp at 6,800rpm. It's not just the power that impresses either, as there's a thumping 443lb.ft of torque available from 5,000rpm. If that all sounds like it's going to be a peaky, rev-hungry nightmare it's worth noting that some 367lb.ft of that torque is offered from just 2,000rpm, meaning the C 63 estate is a very, very rapid car. The numbers say 62mph arrives in just 4.6 seconds, that just 0.1 seconds slower than the saloon.

What the wagon adds though is a useful increase in load space, offering a boot capacity of anything between 485 and 1,500 litres. Plenty then. Just be sure to make sure that you've got everything lashed down in the rear luggage compartment though, as with all that grunt on offer, if it's not tied down it'll be broken by the time you get to your destination. Being the range-topper in the C-Class range the C 63 comes with just about everything you can imagine as standard, however, AMG is always open to requests if you don't think it's got enough grunt, or you want even greater stopping power.

Driving it

There's so much pleasure to be had from just starting the C 63's V8 that you could quite happily not bother going for a drive. It's got a nicely cultured exhaust and engine note. There's a hint of American muscle car with it, overlaid and beautifully mixed with a tone that's more reminiscent of V8s wearing the prancing horse on the cam covers. The exhaust burbles menacingly at idle, its note changing to a tearing metallic shriek when the V8 is being extended. There's something odd about sitting in the surroundings of the C-Class, albeit AMG-ified with leather sports seats, AMG instrumentation and badges, and having it accelerate at a pace that's more super, than family car.

The suspension is firm though just on the right side of comfortable, even if the large 18-inch wheels and tyres mean there's a bit of road noise on less than perfect surfaces. The chunky AMG steering wheel requires some muscle to move, its weighting reassuring, its reaction to input free of slack and remarkably feelsome. The brakes are sensational, though AMG offers the option of larger carbon ceramic discs, these requiring larger 19-inch alloy wheels too. We'd save the money. Seven gears are offered via AMG's Speedshift 7G-Tronic transmission, an automatic that gives you manual control via paddle shifters. It might blip the throttle on downchanges and be smooth on upshifts, but by not having a proper manual transmission AMG is limiting the C 63's appeal.

Worth Noting

This is the first car in the Mercedes range where AMG was involved from the model's conception. That means there are far fewer compromises to the AMG changes than there might have been if AMG's involvement had only begun later in the car's development. And that shows. The C 63 AMG, in both saloon and estate feels far more complete a performance car than its AMG relatives. AMG has made extensive changes to the steering, going so far as relocating the front axle to allow the engine to fit, and stiffening up the front significantly in the process. It couldn't have done this so effectively had it not been involved from the beginning of the design process. As ever, ask nicely and AMG will customise your C 63 to your personal preferences. Officially there's a performance pack option that increases the electronic speed limiter from 155mph to 186mph, adds some extra coolers and the option of a proper limited-slip differential. However, if you can afford it AMG can do it...


A time difference of 0.1 seconds is a small price to pay in the acceleration stakes for one of the most exciting and fastest estate cars you can currently buy. Far more entertaining to drive than its bigger E 63 relative or its Audi RS6 Avant rival, the C 63 AMG is one of the most rounded and enjoyable performance cars available today.

Link to the review

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