2018 Mercedes AMG C63

PHOENIX — 503 horsepower, 516 lb-ft of torque, AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT seven-speed transmission. The car is flanked by 19-inch front/20-inch rear AMG forged cross-spoke wheels. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and is brought to a smooth but certain stop with large 15.8-inch cross-drilled and vented ceramic brakes with specially painted brake calipers. All this goodness came wrapped in a gorgeous brilliant blue drop top Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S. This car is the bomb.

On a weekly basis a press vehicle is dropped off at my place of residence and the previous vehicle is picked up. It varies from pickup trucks, to economy cars, electric vehicles, SUVs and so forth. But a few times each year something really special arrives that I don’t want to give it back the following week. Such was the AMG C63 S tested here.

The hand-built 4.0-liter V-8 bi-turbo engine is the same used in the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, E-Class sedan and other C-Class models. Our test car was also equipped with the $1,250 optional AMG performance exhaust system with flap control. That means there is a greater differentiation of exhaust notes, depending on the selected transmission mode with additional (and preferred) control via pushing a button on the center control panel in the center console. This is the awesome, throaty growl and cracks you can never get enough of. It isn’t loud enough to arouse the neighbors, but what there is, is delicious.

We really liked that the car’s dynamic select driving control menu allows the driver to dial in their desired level of performance ranging from the plush “comfort” mode to the aggressive “Sport,” or the distinctly sporty “Sport+” and “RACE” modes, making the car what you want it to be. The selection button is located on the center console.

Outside, the design of the C63 S is striking and the vehicle looks bigger than it is. That’s because AMG cabriolet versions have flared wheel arches that are 2.5 inches wider at the front and 2.6 inches at the rear compared with the standard C-Class Cabriolet. There are two bulging powerdomes on the longer aluminum hood and the AMG “A-wing” front spoiler serves as an air deflector for the three engine-cooling air intakes. In the rear, our C63 S was fitted with an optional narrow carbon fiber rear spoiler.

Inside the C63 S is nicely appointed, with some of the best bucket seats I’ve ever occupied. From the leather seats, brushed aluminum precision switchgear and gorgeous turbine styled air vents, all materials are top-rate with exceptional build quality. Although, I wasn’t in love with the placement of the center LCD screen, which looks like it was just added after the car had been
completely built.

The Cabriolet also offers a supreme level of safety. It comes standard with Attention Assist drowsiness detection system and Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which helps to prevent rear-end collisions. Many other optional assistance systems are available to increase both comfort and safety.

Without question, this car is a beast, but it’s also something you might not expect. For such a high-performance vehicle, it’s actually quite friendly, even thoughtful. That’s because, while cars such as those built by AMG and others keep getting faster, those who buy them are not becoming better drivers. So while it’s an amazingly fast car, Mercedes makes it very easy to drive, with loads of technology built into the vehicle.

So what’s delivered is a very track capable car but also a perfect car for daily driving without compromising safety, comfort, audiophile luxuries and long drive comfort that makes one fully appreciate everything this car has to offer. Just be prepared to open your wallet.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $81,500
Price as Tested: $100,235
Engine: 4.0-Liter bi-turbocharged V-8
Horsepower: 503
Transmission: AMG SPEEDSHIFT® MCT 7-Speed automatic
Fuel Economy: Not Available
Seating: 4

Crash Test Results: The C63 S hasn’t yet been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Competes With
Audi S5 Cabriolet
BMW M4 Convertible

Fab Features
Incredible acceleration and braking
Sinister exhaust notes
Intoxicating to drive

— Jim Prueter