Tested: 2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupé 

The fishtailing monster

Today I am writing to you from a secluded mountain cabin, mostly to avoid anyone bringing me another highly-strung, low-slung, high-power, low-profile tarmac monster. You see, I’ve just had a string of test cars which would fit perfectly into a top-trumps card pack – spearheaded by this Mercedes-AMG C63S Coupé.

For the sake of clarification, AMG sprinkles their lunatic pixie dust on quite a few C-Classes including three body shapes (sedan, coupé or cabriolet) and two turbo-petrol engines with varying power outputs. The less insane 3L ’43 models “only” develop 270kW but they’re not assembled at AMG and feature 4Matic all-wheel-drive.

I find that bizarre as all 4L ’63 models (476hp) and ‘63-S derivates (510hp) are shipped with rear-wheel drive only. That’s right, this half-a-thousand horsepower monster sends its grunt to the often-overwhelmed rear rubber. Case in point, even with launch control we couldn’t match AMG’s 0-100 claim of 4.1 seconds…

Our best time of 4.48 seconds is highly respectable but was marked by a ferocious battle between spinning wheels and flashing traction control lights. We tried one launch without any electronic helpers and had to abort the timing at 90km/h because the car was still fishtailing away from a fat black 11 engulfed in blue smoke.

So, the old AMG tradition of supreme tyre destruction is still possible with this 700Nm brute and woe betides anyone who toys with it in the wet! However; those who keep a cool head and sensible right foot will find that there’s lots of grip from both axles for spirited drives on their favourite curvaceous roads. It’s quite dexterous for an AMG.

As can be expected, this loony machine has multiple drive modes which agitate various parts of its drivetrain to offer better (scarier) response or sensible (ish) comfort. To test the 19-inch low-profile tyres, sporty suspension and unforgiving bucket seats, I chauffeured a pregnant lady to one of her favourite shops in Stellenbosch.

Her feedback wasn’t exactly positive, nor was the discovery that the concrete ride in this C-Class had produced alarming rattles in the cabin. More criticism fell upon the price of around R1.5 million and the car’s fuel consumption. Mercedes claims 8.9L/100km but I guarantee that you’ll see double that in mixed driving use.

I also predict that you’ll adore the sound of its Bi-Turbo V8 engine – which can be amplified by pressing the exhaust flap button. Add Sport/+/Race mode to the mix and you’ll also get upshift or deceleration pops, shots and burbles. For professional poppers, there are shift paddles behind the alcantara-clad sports steering wheel.

All of this is wrapped in a fairly elegant two-door shape with your choice of go-faster bits. Our test car had silver paint with black and red leather interior, as well as carbon-weave highlights inside and out. The rear seats are fairly usable and fold flat to extend the 355L boot to fit the results of a huge Stellies shopping spree.

Being a one-point-five-bar C-Class, it does come with just about everything that opens and shuts remotely or automatically. Climate and cruise control, multiple airbags and active driver aids, navigation and voice recognition, clever seats and headlights are just a few standard items.

Having recently tested the pin-sharp BMW M4 and sophisticated Audi RS5, this Mercedes-AMG gets my vote as the hooligan special. It’s no faster than the other two but thanks to its power advantage, it feels more unruly – dare I type it, dangerous – than the M4. A performance chart is included below for your perusal:

Audi RS5 Coupé BMW M4 Coupé Competition Pack Mercedes-AMG C63S Coupé
Engine 2.9L Turbo-petrol V6 3.0L Turbo-petrol i6 4.0L Turbo-petrol V8
Max. power & torque 331kW / 600Nm 331kW / 550Nm 375kW / 700Nm
Layout (engine, drive) Front, Quattro (AWD) Front, RWD Front, RWD
0-100km/h* (claimed) 3,99 seconds (3.9) 4,52 seconds (4.1) 4.48 seconds (3.9)
400m 12,17 s. @ 184,90km/h 12,45 s. @ 191,85km/h 12.34 s. @ 194.51km/h
100-0km/h** 2,99 seconds @ 36,85m 2,80 seconds @ 38,84m 2.94 seconds @ 40.59m

So, if you want the same absurd power as a GT S or E63 S but in a cheaper and crazier incarnation, this is the car for you. May I also recommend an advanced driver’s and drifting course? Each Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupé is sold with a two-year/unlimited mileage warranty and six-year/100,000km warranty.


0-10km/h: 0,44 seconds
0-20km/h: 0,91 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,36 seconds
0-40km/h: 1,75 seconds
0-50km/h: 2,17 seconds
0-60km/h: 2,59 seconds
0-70km/h: 3,03 seconds
0-80km/h: 3,50 seconds
0-90km/h: 3,96 seconds
0-100km/h: 4,48 seconds
0-110km/h: 5,02 seconds
0-120km/h: 5,62 seconds
0-130km/h: 6,26 seconds
0-140km/h: 7,00 seconds
0-150km/h: 7,80 seconds
0-160km/h: 8,68 seconds

0-100m: 5,66 seconds @ 120,82km/h
0-200m: 8,25 seconds @ 155,31km/h
0-300m: 10,41 seconds @ 177,97km/h
0-400m: 12,34 seconds @ 194,51km/h

100-0km/h: 2,94 seconds @ 40,59 meters (once-off)
Maximum deceleration G-force: 1,06G


0-10mph: 0,76 seconds
0-20mph: 1,44 seconds
0-30mph: 2,11 seconds
0-40mph: 2,76 seconds
0-50mph: 3,52 seconds
0-60mph: 4,30 seconds
0-70mph: 5,18 seconds
0-80mph: 6,18 seconds
0-90mph: 7,36 seconds
0-100mph: 8,75 seconds

1/4 mile: 12,38 seconds @ 121,11 mph

Maximum acceleration G-force: 0,72G

Altitude: 60m

All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box

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