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PERFORMANCE | 10 out of 10
qualifies as a hooligan's delight
the C63 is unshackled
big power, neck-straining thrust
slingshot acceleration, surgical handling
The in-house tuners at AMG transform the unassuming C-Class into the slightly wicked C63 and alter its mood from efficient to ferocious.
The rear-drive C63 AMG is powered by a massive 6.2-liter V-8 that rumbles out 451 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. The L.A. Times points out "each engine is hand-built by one technician, who then signs it as a testament to their confidence in its quality." Signature or no, the first-ever power unit developed entirely by AMG spins out breathtaking numbers; the C63 shoots to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and can press a top speed of 155 mph even higher, to 186 mph, with an optional sport pack. It's "one hell of a ride," the L.A. Times crows, while Automobile calls it a "hooligan's delight" and AutoWeek describes its performance as "unshackled." The Detroit News sums it up as "slingshot acceleration," and ConsumerGuide boils it down to "big power, neck-straining thrust."
The AMG engine is bolted to a seven-speed automatic transmission-with no manual option (sorry, shifty types)-and it's a great substitute, with less pedal ballet and more focus on rapid, decisive gear changes. Motor Trend calls the lack of a manual gearbox a "chink in the C63's armor," but they note it has a manual-shift mode. The L.A. Times describes the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG's seven-speed automatic gearbox as "spectacular."
The C63 AMG tightens handling down to the bare essentials, with almost no body roll, boasting a revised front and rear suspension, a wider track, quicker steering, and big 18-inch wheels with 14.2-inch front disc and 13-inch rear disc brakes. It's "surgical handling," as the Detroit News puts it, and "there are precious few places short of a race track where you can drive this car anywhere near its potential." To TheCarConnection.com's editors, the C63's handling is a bravery-enhancing drug: controllable, brilliant, with just a touch of dynamic softness in its ride control. According to Edmunds, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG enjoys "responsive steering, stable handling [and] smooth ride quality." ConsumerGuide reports that the "ride is firm, but not brick-hard in the way of many high-performance cars," largely due to the "AMG-tuned suspension." Brakes are "more than up to the performance...this car just hunkers down and stops...no muss, no fuss." Automobile compares it to Audi and BMW sports sedans and declares the C63 AMG "further elevates the level of adhesion, and when it senses that the driver wants to play, it plays along." If the stock C63's handling isn't aggressive enough, Mercedes offers an AMG Performance Package that adds a limited-slip differential, two-piece perforated disc brakes, and an AMG steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara.
Fuel economy for the C63 is rated at 12/19 mpg. It "slurps gasoline like a linebacker on Gatorade," the Detroit News observes.
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG has thunderous acceleration, deft handling, and strong braking.