Mercedes launches 2012 C63 AMG
BY IRA SIEGEL For Sun-Times Media March 24, 2012 11:10AM
2012 MERCEDES-BENZ C63 AMG
ENGINE: 481-horsepower 6.3-liter V-8 with AMG development package
TRANSMISSION: seven-speed automatic
DRIVETRAIN: rear-wheel drive
FUEL ECONOMY: 13 city/19 highway
BASE PRICE: $61,430
AS TESTED: $78,405 (includes $1,700 gas guzzler tax and $875 for destination)
Mercedes-Benz has launched a new C-Class coupe for the 2012 model year. Let it be known that this represents the first two-door coupe Mercedes-Benz has offered in this segment.
With a starting price of around $37,000, the 2012 C-Class coupe gives Mercedes-Benz a more affordable entry in the two-door segment. The new C-Class coupe is available in three variations: C250, C350 and the high-performance C63 AMG.
Based on the styling of the C-Class sedan, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe features a more dynamic theme and lower roofline topped off with a standard panorama sunroof.
Separating itself from the C250 and C350 is the new C63 AMG coupe. It’s easily distinguished by its lowered ride height, specific hood with power domes, AMG-specific alloy wheels, dual twin chrome exhaust outlets and much more.
As you’d expect, each of the three coupes feature its own unique power plant. The C250 is powered by a new 201-horsepower, direct-injected, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. The C350 features a new 302-horsepower direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6.
Performance enthusiasts can start drooling. The C63 is powered by a hand-built 6.3-liter naturally-aspirated V-8 engine that pounds out 451 horsepower. You get even more horsepower (481) when ordering the optional AMG development package.
Lucky for me, my sharp-looking Mars Red 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG tester featured the optional AMG development package. Oh yeah!
That package adds $6,050 to the C63 AMG’s $61,000 price tag and includes 30 extra ponies (thanks to lighter pistons, rods and revised crankshaft), exclusive intake runners with a titanium gray finish, beefier brakes with red-painted calipers, specific steering wheel, carbon fiber trunk lid spoiler and a top speed that’s raised from 155 mph to 174 mph. Wow!
With or without the AMG development package, the C63 AMG is engaging and extremely pleasing to strap yourself into.
The highly-bolstered AMG sport seats look splendid and provide plenty of support and comfort. It’s a good thing I decided to shave off some weight a few years ago or I would have found the seat cushion to be too snug.
The cabin seats four but there isn’t much legroom for rear passengers. You’ll find plenty of amenities in the C-Class coupe, including a new generation of telematics and much more.
My tester’s Monroney listed that it had the keyless-go option, but there was no push-button in my tester. That meant you had to insert the key/fob and give it a twist to fire up the V-8.
With the throaty roar that emanated from the sport-tuned exhaust once the engine fired, my heart started thumping and I could hardly wait to locate some open road and drop the hammer. With the AMG development package, 0-60 mph happens in just 4.3 seconds. That’s 1/10th second faster than without the package.
Teamed to the powerful and responsive V-8 is a Mercedes AMG seven-speed automatic transmission with three modes of operation. The S, S+ and M modes deliver increased agility and are selected via a rotary control knob.
The transmission also can be shifted manually via the steering-wheel-mounted aluminum shift paddles. By the way, the C63 AMG’s steering wheel is race-car-like with flattened top and bottom sections. It’s a beautiful and functional steering wheel.
The ride is confident and athletic with excellent road feel and precise steering. The high-performance braking system provides short stopping distances and nicely resists brake fade after repeated stops.
Regardless of which 2012 C-Class you choose, all include a host of safety features. One of the more remarkable safety features, though, is the standard and innovative attention assist system that warns drivers when they get drowsy. At highway speeds, the system identifies erratic steering corrections drivers make as they get drowsy. It triggers an audible warning, and a “Time for a Rest?” message with a coffee cup icon appears in the instrument cluster.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe is an amazing car that will delight anyone fortunate to take its wheel.
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