Mercedes has taken the wraps off its 2008 C 63 AMG — the most potent version of its new C-Class sedan. The car delivers a whopping 457 horsepower, putting it comfortably ahead of BMW’s all-new M3.
In typical AMG fashion, the C63 features large performance-oriented tires and wheels, an aggressive bodykit, a much sportier interior, and suspension and chassis improvements.
The sprint to 62 mph takes a scant 4.5 seconds according to Mercedes — and that’s likely a conservative estimate: real world acceleration is typically even quicker than claimed times.
Maximum torque of 443 pound-feet comes at 5000 rpm. The torque curve is equally impressive: from 2000 to 6250 rpm the driver always has more than 360 pound-feet on tap — ideal for powerful acceleration in any engine speed range.
A new seven-speed AMG automatic transmission with paddle shifting provides a wide range of driving modes. The different modes are “S” (Sport), ” C” (Comfort) and “M” (Manual). Gearshifts in “S” mode are around 30 percent faster than in “C”, and no less than around 50 percent faster in “M” mode.
The C 63 AMG owes its outstanding handling dynamics to the AMG sports suspension and an all-new three-link front axle design. The stiff configuration of the springs and gas-pressure shock absorbers ensures optimal road contact and low body movements when negotiating serpentine bends at speed.
The new front axle has a 35-millimetre wider track – visible by the more widely flared wheel arches – and therefore ensures lower dynamic wheel loads when cornering.
The front brakes have size 360 x 36-millimeter discs with six-piston fixed callipers, while deceleration at the rear is handled by 330 x 26-millimeter discs with four-piston fixed callipers.
The Electronic Stability Program offers a variety of settings. In “ESP ON” mode, the onset of handling instability leads to braking intervention at one or more of the wheels, accompanied by a reduction in engine torque. Briefly pressing the ESP key activates “ESP SPORT”. In this mode the braking intervention to counter oversteer or understeer, as well as the accompanying reduction in engine torque, allows a higher dynamic threshold. Prolonged pressure on the ESP key activates “ESP OFF,” whereby there is no intervention.