Following a leak that took place late yesterday, Mercedes Benz has spilled the beans on the revamped 2016 Mercedes C63 AMG which will make its debut at the Paris Auto Show in October. Aimed squarely at the redesigned BMW M3/M4, the C63 along with its more potent sibling the C63 S look to take a bigger chunk of the luxury performance sedan market, while also scorching track times and handling courses at the same time.
The exterior styling of the C63 retains the basic profile and S-Class esque cues of its mainstream C-Class relative, but a more muscular front fascia as well as a twin slat radiator grille give the C63 a much more purposeful look which is enhanced further by bigger front air dams and model exclusive mesh accents. The rear fascia has also been tweaked for C63 duty and features a built in air diffuser, rear bumper vents, as well as four exhaust pipes which are a signature design cue of the iconic in-house tuner. AMG engineers also lowered the C63 somewhat thanks to a new adjustable sport suspension which improves handling behavior, while also allowing the car to have a lower stance than the decidedly more mainstream C-Class.
The interior of the C63 features a performance oriented cockpit that offers a balanced blend of luxury and performance oriented flair. A meaty three spoke flat bottomed steering wheel provides ample grip and feedback, while an AMG spec instrument cluster delivers clear and precise information to the driver and as a nice bonus even features a healthy dollup of carbon fiber to amp up the exclusivity factor somewhat. Occupants will also appreciate the supportive sport bucket seats which features a sultry combination of Alcantara and leather accents that looks stylish, and also helps keep the driver firmly in place during spirited driving. A potent Burnmester sound system will be available as an optional piece of equipment, and it will join an extensive list of options that include fun enhancing items such as performance sport seats that feature more bolstering versus the standard thrones, more material selections, as well as the latest in luxury features with some lifted from the S-Class.
The main change here for 2016 is the C63’s performance hardware especially at the very heart of the beast, its potent V8 engine. The previous generation’s naturally aspirated 6.3 liter V8 (aka M156) was an enthusiasts dream and powered nearly all of AMG’s lineup during its time in production. However for the new C63, that iconic power-plant has been shelved in lieu of an all new twin turbocharged 4.0 liter V8 (M177) which is a close relative of the unit found in the recently unveiled AMG-GT sports car. Good for a solid 469 horsepower and an equally stout 479 lb-ft of torque, these figures are higher than the base AMG-GT, while also allowing it to out muscle its archenemy the 425 horsepower inline powered BMW M3. Buyers looking for even more muscle can opt for the C63 S model which equals the 503 horsepower wielded by the up-level GT S, but makes up for it by offering more torque ( 516 lb-ft versus the GT S’s 479 lb-ft). Regardless of which model is selected, both versions will route their power through a new 7 speed AMG Speedshift MCT automatic transmission with no manual option in the cards. Despite this, the new transmission should please buyers with its lighting quick shifts as well as its high level of configurability.
Mercedes claims that the C63 S is capable of making the sprint to 60 mph in a swift 3.9 seconds, while the base model can accomplish the same task in a slightly slower 4.0 seconds flat. These are strong figures that are higher than many rivals that have eschewed V8’s and embraced less cylinders and turbocharging as their means of achieving performance. Expect these early figures to possibly change, especially when the full potential of this engine is truly known. Much of this potential is thanks in part to its new turbochargers which are placed inside the valley of the engine to make it more compact, while also increasing responsiveness at the same time since the exhaust gases have a more direct route to the turbines versus a conventional setup that requires the gases to navigate further up the engine which contributes to the annoying phenomenon known as turbo lag. In addition to the unqiue location of the turbochargers, the C63 also nabs the GT’s trick dynamic engine mounts which can alter their stiffness depending on various driving conditions stiffer for more spirited driving, and softer for comfort oriented cruising. Handling has also been honed to perfection, and the C63 now features a new aluminum intensive independent suspension system which cuts unsprung weight while also incorporating electronically adjustable shocks that can be tuned to comfort or performance settings.
Balancing out its quest for raw muscle is the C63’s surprising level of efficiency, with Mercedes claiming that the 2016 C63 AMG will be the most fuel efficient V8 powered car in the performance sedan category. A majority of the credit goes to a new C63 exclusive feature which will eventually trickle down to other AMG models in the near future. Known as the “Gliding Function”, it allows the drive train to be decoupled from the engine if the driver lifts off the throttle at speeds between 37 and 99 mph. The company claims that the new feature as well as other tweaks allow the C63 to consume 32 percent less fuel than its predecessor though don’t expect figures that will make the Toyota Prius lose sleep anytime soon.
Look for the 2016 Mercedes C63 AMG to make its debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October, with the first units slated to arrive in Mercedes showrooms sometime in March. Unlike other recent Benz offerings, look for both the base and S models to arrive at the same time with official pricing for both models being revealed closer to its official launch. Can the new V8 fill the lofty shoes of its M156 predecessor? Only time will tell but we can not wait for the chance to find out.