2022 Mercedes AMG C 63 S Coupe review

Brett Davis

It is so sad to think we will never see a jackhammering V8 in a sporty little coupe or sedan from AMG ever again. This is the last one. The 2022 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S.

Over the past 40 years or so AMG has arguably been the king of hugely powerful brute V8 engineering from Germany. The E55 AMG, introduced in 1997, was a particular highlight for me and instantly placed the AMG brand onto my wishlist. It featured a 5.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 developing 260kW.

High-performance V8 engines were obviously employed in Mercedes-Benz vehicles before that too, including the W124-series 500 E in the 1990s. It featured a tough 5.0-litre V8, with chassis and suspension tuning by Porsche. The engine produced 240kW and offered an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.

After these, AMG started toying with the idea of supercharging V8s for more combustion capacity, and then from around 2006 AMG switched to outright cubic inches, with the long-running and very desirable 6.3 naturally aspirated V8 (actually 6208cc).

The V8 layout was mainly deployed in Merc’s large models in the E-Class and S-Class families (including SUVs), but in 2008 the bonkers engineers at AMG decided to shove that famed 6.2L unit into the C-Class of the time, the W204. It was an insane package, offering more power than any rival.

How could they possibly top that? Well, the following generation, launching in 2015, the W205, introduced AMG’s relatively new (at the time) M177 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 into the mid-size sedan and wagon, with the coupe and convertible following in 2016.

Even in 2015, which wasn’t that long ago, the C 63 set new benchmarks for outright power, with the S version developing an insane 375kW and 700Nm. The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio following shortly after matched it for power but not torque. So, what’s next?

The all-new C 63, launching in Australia in mid-2023, will feature a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder from that lunatic A 45 S super hatch, paired with potent electric motors. Combined, they’re talking 500kW. That figure seems like a perfectly fitting natural progression for the AMG heritage, setting new benchmarks for its class once again. But as you can imagine, losing the V8 will no doubt upset many fans.

So let’s take one last look at the outgoing icon to see just how much of it we will miss, and investigate what areas are in need of an update. Prices start from $190,000 for this coupe version, which makes it the most expensive default model in its specific market segment.

2022 Mercedes AMG C 63 S Coupe – THE SPECS

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Output: 375kW@6250rpm / 700Nm@2000-4500rpm
Transmission: Nine-speed auto
Drive type: Rear-wheel drive
Wheels: F: 19×9.0, 255/35  R: 20×10.5, 285/30
ANCAP: Not tested
Tare weight: 1840kg
Power-to-weight: 4.90:1 (kg:kW)
Official fuel economy: 10.3L/100km
Economy during test: 14.5L/100km
Fuel capacity/Type: 66L/98 RON[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]Power efficiency: 36.40kW:L/100km
0-60km/h: 2.45 seconds*
0-100km/h: 4.22 seconds*
0-200km/h: 12.67 seconds*
2.31 seconds*
1/4 mile: 12.22 seconds at 196.8km/h*
Max acceleration: 1.077g
100-0km/h braking: 2.88 seconds at 35.40 metres*
Max deceleration: -1.370g
Decibel at idle (/Race mode): 48/51*
Peak decibel at 60-100km/h: 89/94*
Priced from: $190,000[/column][end_columns]

* Figures as tested by PerformanceDrive on the day. Factory claims may be different

2022 Mercedes AMG C 63 S Coupe – THE PACKAGE

The body of the C 63 coupe is different to the regular C-Class coupe. Both front and rear wheel arches are pumped out to support a wider track and fatter tyres, and the bodywork is infused with a variety of heat-extracting vents and cool-air intakes for various components. At the back is a chunky diffuser and trademark quad-outlet exhausts with square tips.

Underneath you’ll find the outdated MRA 1 platform, with the latest C-Class range now on the MRA II layout. Unlike the next-gen C 63 though, this is pure rear-wheel drive. The heavy-duty differential features some of the craziest heat-dispersing fins we’ve ever seen on a road car, with some underbody aero treatment at the front helping to reduce drag and lift.

On the front are a set of 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 255/35 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, with this test car showing off the optional carbon ceramic braking package ($7900), including six-piston front calipers painted in bright gold. At the back are a set of 20-inch wheels that are nicely dished in to offset the extra width over the fronts, with 285/30 tyres and regular discs mounted behind.

Being an outgoing model, the interior is starting to appear old compared with modern Mercedes vehicles. The main media screen looks like it has been tacked on at the last minute, although the graphics and resolution are stunning. There are a lot of physical buttons around the place too, which is not the current trend. However, we don’t mind this approach because we think buttons are easier to use when driving compared with digging around within a touch-screen.

This multimedia screen includes a range of cool apps and functions as well, including a full performance menu with the ability to record acceleration sprints and lap times, along with live engine monitoring with real-time power and torque output readouts. The digital driver’s cluster is also an impressive highlight as it presents very fine graphics and options to customise the gauges and display theme.

This test car features the carbon interior pack ($2200), with the exotic but lightweight material used for most of the dash fascia and a bit of the centre console. It gives the decor a very sporty aesthetic and provides instant confirmation that this is a proper, high-end AMG model.

The driving position is suitably low, with perfect spacing and positioning of the steering wheel and pedals. The sports seats in the front are very comfortable and extremely supportive, holding not just your hips and waist, but also your knees and legs thanks to big bolsters at the front end of the chair.

There are two seats in the back and they can be used by adults. Legroom is obviously tight compared with the sedan, but it’s really not bad compared with other coupes of this size. There’s even climate bents and cup holders in the back. And speakers, as part of the excellent Burmester 13-speaker sound system.

Boot space is measured at 355 litres. That’s about the same as an average hot hatch. And we mean that in a good way as hot hatches are known for their practicality. The floor runs deep but the area isn’t very tall. However, it’ll easily handle a set of golf clubs or luggage, or a load of shopping.

2022 Mercedes AMG C 63 S Coupe – THE DRIVE

We are genuinely sad and even a bit depressed to see this V8 engine disappear. At least in the C-Class – it will continue on in other models. It offers serious brute force, but also loads of character and noise. You get the sense this is not just a means of propulsion. It’s designed to be a cherished companion and the heart of the car.

For example, when you’re simply cruising along you get to enjoy its deep, bellowing soundtrack. There is a bi-modal exhaust but like in some competitors, the loudest mode is not as clearly defined when idling as you might expect. You need to get the beast revving to fully appreciate its awesomely large lungs. There’s a distinct throaty intake noise too, and a gargling crackle on the overrun, characteristic of a big-power AMG V8.

The noise isn’t as clear-throated or as thumpy as a naturally aspirated V8, as turbochargers inherently muffle the sound slightly. But as far turbo engines go, particularly V8s, this one belts out a muscular and hammering tune. It’s about as loud as you’d want it as well, without drawing too much attention to yourself.

The engine doesn’t feel turbocharged in terms of its response. Peak torque is available from just 2000rpm, which means any gear, any time, you’ve got loads of grunt right at your foot. As a result, low end acceleration is strong and with the nine-speed MCT auto it seems to run out of gearing before it runs out of traction. Well, to some degree. First gear is over so quickly you won’t even notice if there is any wheelspin, and then in second gear it really starts pulling. Hard.

Second gear is over really fast as well though and then you’re into third. If you still have it pinned, concentrate as you’ll be approaching 120km/h. From fourth is where it really pulls and shows off its incredible top-end speed. We clocked 0-200km/h in just 12.67 seconds using our Vbox Sport and a private road. We also clocked the quarter mile in 12.22 seconds at 196.8km/h.

There is a launch control system to make sense of it all. And it seems like a great system, as it properly holds the revs at an adjustable rev point (use the cruise control buttons to raise or lower the revs) and then releases the power in a controlled yet rapid fashion.

We couldn’t match AMG’s 0-100km/h claim of 3.9 seconds. After multiple attempts the best time we saw from the Vbox was 4.22 seconds (the on-board timer showed a best of 4.48). However, since we test vehicles on a fairly average piece of tarmac, we think you could expect quicker times on a drag strip or on a very smooth surface. That’s still a very respectable time for a rear-wheel drive car with 375kW.

Despite packing 700Nm of torque, there is heaps of grip available if you want it. Applying a ‘grip’ style of driving around corners, following a good racing line and using as little steering angle as possible results in enormous lateral g-force. It feels really light in weight too, so you can pounce from corner to corner like a nimble rabbit. Of course, if you prefer, this thing can also smoke tyres like a drifting champion.

There is a 10-stage traction control system available, allowing you to slowly progress and hone your drifting skills before unleashing the full potential. An electronic locking differential ensures optimum power distribution between the left and right wheel, however, if you’re not in the right driving mode it is possible to experience some inside wheel wheelspin on high-load hairpins and so on. Rivals such as the BMW M4, in our opinion, are a bit more predictable in this area as the differential locks up more consistently, in our experience.

Ride comfort is firm and pointed, as you’d expect from a serious sports car. If you’re jumping into this thinking it is simply a top-line C-Class luxury coupe, you might be shocked by the focused ride quality. But in our view, since this is as hardcore as it gets for the C-Class range at the moment we think the suspension tuning is ideal for a vehicle with this level of power and torque. If it were any softer we think 700Nm might start to influence the car’s direction when encountering mid-corner bumps. Whereas as it is, the car always feels firmly planted and controllable.

Fuel economy around town is obviously not the best, but on the highway you can expect around 10-11L/100km quite easily. Overall we recorded an average rate of 14.5L/100km, which included plenty of performance tests. Also keep in mind we only had the vehicle for one week so we likely found the V8 too irresistible, especially given it was our last time to review one. After extended use and a normal level of driver excitement we think 12-13L/100km could be achievable. The official average is 10.3L/100km.

2022 Mercedes AMG C 63 S Coupe – THE VERDICT

We can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for at least some of the traditional engineers at AMG to make the switch from a V8 to a four-cylinder hybrid. This engine is such a pleasure to drive with. It’s crispy and responsive, yet deeply powerful and relentless. The song it sings and character changes it showcases as the revs climb make it one of the most appealing and memorable V8s we’ve ever experienced.

We’ve heard great things about the new hybrid from overseas reviews, with some media saying the new model is more dynamic and more adaptable than ever before, as well as being faster and smarter than ever before as well. As much as we don’t like the idea of going from a V8 to a four-cylinder, we guess we will all have to adjust to the new world of performance vehicles in some way or another, while holding onto these old V8s with loving admiration as they grow into iconic classics.

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]PROS:
– V8 sound and characteristics are thoroughly enjoyable
– Lightweight and agile handling
– Muscular design treatment from AMG
– Media interface and instrument cluster graphics and functionality
– Decent passenger space for this class
[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]CONS:
– Fit and finish questionable in some places; a few rattles inside
– Expensive for its class[/column][end_columns]

As always, if you’re thinking about buying a new car don’t forget to click here to speak with our car buying specialists.

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