The Mercedes-AMG C63 is even better with no roof
I spent the weekend looking for tunnels...
Let's get straight to the point. If I were to buy a Mercedes-AMG C63 tomorrow, it would probably be a cabriolet. Yes, I know, for some people this decision seems like a no brainer. They will argue that convertibles are more expensive than the regular coupes. That's true. Yet, the C63 S has never been cheap, so paying an extra CHF 4'200.- (£ 3.5K) shouldn't be too much of a problem. Also, one might say that convertibles are less practical with their smaller back seats and reduced trunk area. That's also true. However, if you are hesitating between a coupe and a convertible, it means you pretty much left practicality on the side. Finally, for the most annoying ones, they would mention that the structural rigidity is inferior and that car is heavier. Well, that's true again. But the C63 S has never been designed to be a focused track car. The regular coupe is already a pretty heavy baby with over 1'800 kg on the balance. Adding nearly an extra 100 kg by chopping the roof off won't really make a huge difference if you drive it as it was meant to, in GT mode.
I reviewed the Mercedes-AMG C63 already three years ago. However, it was a bit different. It had a roof, and was only a "base" version. The one featured in this particular article is the 2018 facelift model, it's a cabriolet, and it's more powerful. The C63 exists in multiple variants. First, there are two power outputs. The basic C63 produces 476 PS, while the "S" version makes 510 PS. In addition, Mercedes-Benz offers four different body styles such as a coupe, a cabriolet, a sedan, and a wagon. That's truly impressive, and no other car maker does that to their performance cars.
I borrowed this C63 S from Mercedes-Benz Switzerland who were kind enough to give it to me for an entire weekend. It's finished in a gorgeous Brilliant Blue Metallic colour and it has many black and carbon fibre accents that make the overall design even more aggressive. The first thing that strikes you when you start the C63 up is the noise the engine makes, especially when it's a cold start. To be honest I feared the note would change when Mercedes-Benz decided to downgrade the engine from a 6.2-litres to 4.0-litres. Thankfully, it's still uniquely AMG. Now, I guess you understand why I spent my entire weekend looking for tunnels, and why I love this car as a cabriolet.
The C63 is now better than ever. In 2018, it received a mild facelift which gave it a revised gearbox that came directly from the E63, and some new driving modes. These modes let you configure the car the way you want. From the exhausts note, to suspension harshness and the traction control level, you can set everything up and make this car your own. Visually, the car is very different from a standard C200. The C63 is wider, it has these distinctive four-exhaust tips, and the now-signature Panamericana grille that was first introduced on the AMG GT-R. Engine-wise, we have the twin-turbo 4.0-litres V8. A power unit that is truly amazing. It allows the C63 S cabriolet to go from 0 to 100 km/h in only 4.1 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 280 km/h. However, it's not only a great drag racer, as the chassis is now one of the best of its class. No more fears when taking a turn, the C63 is a more fun and precise car than ever. It may be a nearly two-ton car, but the AMG masks its weight brilliantly thanks to an engine, a gearbox and driving dynamics that work perfectly hand in hand.
The C63 is not alone in this market. There's the BMW M4, Alfa Romeo Giulia QV, Audi RS4/RS5 or even the Lexus RCF. They are all exquisite cars, but I cannot help but feel that the Mercedes-Benz is the sharpest and most technologically-advanced of the lot. Is it a better car though? It all comes down to your personal taste, but the C63 feels like the more grown-up option that has not lost its sense of AMG craziness. By that I mean that everything is near perfect. I'd say 95% perfect. It still misses out on some ride comfort and the steering is a bit too light to my liking. But apart from that, the only thing I can say is well done Mercedes-Benz, what a great package.
However, it's nearly the end of the road for the C63. A new model should show up next year in 2021, and rumor has it that it will lose half of its cylinders. Yes, you read that right, a four-cylinder C63. I know that downsizing is a reality and that all manufacturers have to adapt to emissions regulations. But I wasn't expecting that. On the plus side, we might have a small electric engine that will help to boost the power up. All I can say is that if we're heading the four-cylinder way, I won't have to be looking for tunnels anymore.
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Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet