First Drive Review 2015 Mercedes C63 AMG: Roll Tide

The 2015 Mercedes C63 AMG. (MB)

The 2015 Mercedes C63 AMG. (MB)

We’ve already established the goodness that is Mercedes-Benz.  Very little, if anything, in their world is wrong.  Even when it is wrong it is still more right than just about anything else.  We mention this because everything that we have ever driven that originates from the German town of Affalterbach has been near perfection.  In this case, near perfection is mentioned only to prevent the AMG engineers from having their collective selves grow too big for their collective britches.

Case in point is the new Mercedes C63 AMG.  When told we would be getting the new 2015 model for a week, we knew we were in for a very good week, and we were not disappointed.

For this latest model, which was introduced only a year prior, the 2015 C-63 AMG sedan has gotten a bit wider (0.5 inches), a little longer (2.1 inches) with a brand-new aerodynamic kit featuring a new front fascia/grill, aluminum front fenders and a wider hood, rear diffuser, and an integrated trunk-lid spoiler.  Mercedes has also dropped the “Benz” from the name of its best selling AMG model.  The biggest chage however comes under the hood as the hand-built naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V8 has been replaced by a hand-built 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8.

Inside, the cabin is accented with carbon fiber with a dash wrapped in napa leather and a flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel.  The gauges have a pleasing looking carbon weave-pattern and signature AMG numerals. On the center stack is an IWC analog clock, AMG Dynamic Select switch, COMAND touchpad, and other fun controls specific to the AMG models.

Our tester, the C63, as opposed to the C63 S with its sportier accents and increased horsepower (469 hp for the C63, 503 for the S model),  had the multimedia package featuring the high-resolution 8.4 inch screen with COMAND, navigation, satellite radio, and a rearview camera.  We also had the Driver Assistance Package with such niceties as blind spot monitoring, pre-braking assistance and active lane keeping assist.

From the outside, as it’s always been, the C63 is a head turner, evoking several parking lot talks during our week. The best thing however, and it’s no surprise, is the C63 of the road.  Firing up the V8 delivers a pleasing rumble that can be changed via three electronically controlled exhaust flaps controlled by a button on the center console. The exhaust note can be tuned, as can the seven-speed multiclutch automatic transmission and the suspension, from comfort, to sport , to sport-plus and for the really adventurous, race.

On the road, well on the road, the C63 is as close to motoring perfection in a performance sedan as you can get.  The sports suspension system has electronically controlled shock absorbers with a rear locking differential (the C63 S has an electronic rear lock) and can be dialed in to drive and sound fantastic no matter if the drive is around to the grocery store, on  a twisty mountain road, or a race track.

The AMG engineers say the C63 will go 0-60 in 4.0 seconds, we did it in 3.8.  In short no matter what we threw at it; aggressive cornering, rocket launch takeoffs or high speed runs, seemed to phase it.  However, that’s the expectation when behind the wheel of an AMG product, and as with others, the C63 does not disappoint.  All of this in a sedan with room for a family and the civility to remain tame until the beast is called upon.

The other nice surprise is the efficiency of the new, slightly smaller, engine.  The designers wanted power with  better fuel economy and they got it. The new 4.0 liter delivers 18 city, 25 highway as opposed to the 13 city, 19 highway from the 6 liter. All without sacrificing the performance AMG is famous for.

The interesting side note here is that since 1997 Mercedes has built their AMG models using German designed and made engines and transmissions, in Tuscaloosa Alabama.  With a love for Alabama Crimson Tide football being almost the law in Alabama, there is no doubt somewhere along the way an American worker has stared at the final product and said proudly “Roll Tide”.  And Roll Tide indeed.  The Mercedes C63 AMG is easily one of the best performance luxury sedans on the market. There is a great deal to be proud of, in both the design and manufacture of this fine machine and the pride in owning one.  The BMWs, The Audis, the Lexus, all, at least in our opinion, come up just a little bit short. All are good, the C63 however is better.

The 2015 Mercedes C63 AMG

MSRP: $ 71,900
MSRP (as tested): $89,035
Engine: 4.0 liter twin turbocharged V8 with 469 horsepower and 479 lb-ft torque
Transmission: Seven speed shiftable Automatic w/OD
Fuel Mileage (EPA estimated): 18 city, 25 highway, 20 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested mixed conditions): 21 mpg

Exterior Dimensions
Wheelbase     111.8 in
Length, Overall     187 in
Width, Max w/o mirrors     72.4 in
Height, Overall     56.5 in
Track Width, Front     63.3 in
Track Width, Rear     60.9 in

Interior Dimensions
Passenger Capacity     5
Front Head Room     40.9 in
Front Leg Room     41.7 in
Front Shoulder Room     55.3 in
Front Hip Room     N/A in
Second Head Room     37.1 in
Second Leg Room     35.2 in
Second Shoulder Room     55 in

Basic: 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain: 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion: 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance: 4 Years/50,000 Miles

Greg Engle