Wednesday, 14 March 2007

New 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

By Dr Long

Mercedes-Benz’s latest vehicle to undergo AMG transformation will be the recently premiered W204 C-Class. It will be named – rather expectedly – C63 AMG, a successor to the outgoing 2006 model of lower alpha-numerical order, the C55 AMG.

The luxury automaker has been plonking its new AMG hand-made 6.3L V8 into every conceivable model of late. To date, DaimlerChrysler AG have for sale the CLK63, E63, S63, CLS63, R63 and the ML63, all in AMG guise. Next up, the junior exec sedan in MB's lineup will get the same 32valve DOHC V8 displacing 6,208cc. Official output figures are 507hp @ 6,800 rpm and 630Nm of torque @ 5,200 rpm in most versions. In the C63 AMG however, this sophisticated 6.3-litre V8 will be massaged further to pump out massive (estimated) 520bhp! Should this power trip materialises, this ‘baby’ Mercedes saloon is slated to be the fastest car of its kind in the world. But it is widely expected to churn out ‘only’ 485bhp in its final form. In comparison, the most powerful C-Class model currently sold is the W203 C55 AMG, which is already delivering a punchy 362hp from its 5.5L twin-Kompressor V8.

According to insider sources at MB’s AMG division, the C63 should be able to outgun the 420bhp Audi RS4 as well as the upcoming BMW M3, which is rumored to be good for around 415bhp. If all claims come true, this hotter C-Class may lead the teutonic trio’s power race.All that brute will be sent to the C63's rear wheels via Merc’s current 7-G Tronic transmission, albeit retuned for better shift responsiveness and incisiveness. An AWD, 4Matic model is also expected further down the road. Standard lightweight AMG alloys are 18-inches with upsizing options. Six-piston calipers up front bite fade-resistant ceramic-composite disc rotors, to effectively haul this AMG saloon down from speed.

AMG director of marketing and sales/branding, Mario Spitzner promises a compact muscle car that’s sportier with more crisp performance. However, he exclaimed: "The world doesn't need two M3s", adding that the Merc is likely a more civilised tourer minus that European boy-racers’ demeanour. Loosely translated it means that the C63 will remain aesthetically understated versus its Munich rival, with ride and handling that are aptly refined. In other words, not sacrificing comfort in the quest of all-out hard-edged handling, a common and affable trait for the three-pointed star - with the exception of DTM cars and the McLaren SLR supercar. We can expect not only a powerful drive, but a smooth and comfortable ride too, with steering and chassis that emphasises composure and confidence on the road.

Prototype C63s have been caught undergoing high-speed testing on several occasions on autobahns and at Germany’s challenging Nürburgring circuit. The super upmarket C63 AMG has been spied to sport a lower and wider air dam with bigger air inlets. Other key differences from the normal C-Class variants will be a set of imposing quad exhausts and the ‘obligatory-now-for-high-performance-car’ rear diffuser. This high performance BMW M3 and Audi RS4 challenger is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2008, possibly at next year’s Geneva International Motor Show.

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