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2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe Test Drive Review

You can use a multitude of instruments to measure a variety of things around you. Need to know if a larger TV will fit in your entertainment center? Break out a tape measure. Want to know your shoe size and width before trying on a pair of new dress shoes? Put your feet in a Brannock Device. Curious about how long it takes you to run a mile? Time it on your chronograph watch.

Inches and seconds are common measurements that you can easily take with everyday equipment. But how do you measure the power of extra? I discovered how to do that the night before Valentine’s Day. I didn’t major in engineering or chemistry, so I performed the measurement in the most unscientific of fashions. I took my girlfriend to an Italian restaurant in Austin, Texas that we had both wanted to try for a while. From the perfectly balanced red wine to the addictive appetizers to the impressive main courses to the indulgent yet light red velvet cake, our meals were outstanding.

The extras made them even better. Our waitress took the time to listen to our questions and thoroughly explain the menu. A member of the staff came by once our main courses were out to freshly shred Parmesan cheese on top of them. After desert, our waitress surprised us both with complimentary snifters of house-made limoncello. I didn’t have a gauge or a meter that told my girlfriend how powerful those doses of extra were, but I didn’t need one. She could tell by the look on my face.

That’s similar to how it is with a Mercedes-AMG vehicle. A regular Mercedes-Benz is always a treat to drive. A Mercedes-AMG adds plenty of extra – more visual menace, increased power, stronger brakes, etc. You can formally measure almost all of the 2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe’s enhancements. For instance, it has 262 more horsepower than a C300 two-door and almost three more inches of front track width for better handling. I chose the most enjoyable method of measuring the C63 S’s extra: Driving it and seeing how big of a smile it put on my face.

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe

2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Exterior

A Mercedes-AMG vehicle is a blend of luxury car and sports car so it’s fitting that the C63 S Coupe was a mixture of sleek, understated body work with aggressive performance accents. For my particular test vehicle, Mercedes-AMG started with the foundation of a double crossbar grille, pronounced front air dam, sculpted sides, and rear diffuser. Then it applied a generous amount of options. Most of them were cosmetic and made the C63 S look ready for high-speed action. Two carbon fiber packages added the strong, lightweight material to areas such as the mirror caps, side sill inserts, rear spoiler, and diffuser. The AMG Night Package darkened a variety of parts on the Polar White body, including the window trim and square tips of the optional AMG performance exhaust system. The blacked-out 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels offered generous views of the AMG Carbon Ceramic braking system’s high-performance discs and bronze calipers. The Advanced Lighting Package’s active LED headlights and adaptive highbeams may not have made the C63 S look any faster, but they did make the bruiser Benz look cooler. The end result of all of that dressing up was a car that made a BMW driver fly by, then roll down his window and give me an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe

2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Interior

The blacks and whites and silvers and grays of the C63 S’s interior gave it a technical and purpose-built look. Black suede-like DYNAMICA fabric covered the sides of the flat-bottom steering wheel to improve grip. The stripe at the 12 o’clock position on the wheel told me when the car was pointed straight ahead. Rubber studs on the racy brushed aluminum pedals kept my right foot where it needed to be whether I was stopping or going. A swath of optional AMG carbon fiber trim curved down from the three center HVAC vents to the bottom of the center console.

While the designers were busy outfitting the cockpit for fast driving, they managed to keep their minds on creature comforts, too. The steering wheel was electrically adjustable and the optional 14-way power AMG performance seats were heated. Dual-zone climate control allowed me and my girlfriend to tailor the temperature on both sides of the car to our personal preferences. Using the center dial to adjust the settings of the standard 590-watt Burmester surround sound audio system and control the COMAND navigation setup on the 8.4-inch center screen included with it in the optional Multimedia Package was simple and quick.

The backseat only provided enough headroom and legroom for small children, but that didn’t matter to me. The front seats of the C63 S were the best place to be — especially the driver’s seat.

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe

2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Performance

The C63 S packs most of its extra under its hood. Twin turbos sit inside the “V” between the handcrafted 4.0-liter V8’s two banks of cylinders and help them pump out 503 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque – 34 more horsepower and 37 more lb-ft than the regular Mercedes-AMG C63. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT seven-speed gearbox cannot only handle all of that power, but also rev-match and upshift in as little as 100-milliseconds, depending on which AMG DYNAMIC SELECT mode it’s in (hint: skip Comfort and go to Sport, Sport+, or Manual). An AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with three-stage damping, an AMG limited-slip differential, and high-performance Michelin summer tires transferred all of that extra to the pavement.

In its most relaxed setting, Comfort, the C63 S was a monster on the prowl, waiting to strike. The AMG performance exhaust grumbled as I ran errands and made my way through suburban streets. Once I got away from the restraints of stop signs and right-angled roads, I switched to Sport+ and pressed down firmly on the loud pedal. That’s an especially fitting name for the right pedal in the C63 S. The computer-controlled vanes in the exhaust opened more, letting out an audible anger that bordered on murderous. I kept both of my hands on the wheel and held on for the wrinkle-erasing launch I had initiated. Then the C63 S and I blurred together into a streak of white that shot down the road. The steering was solid and unflappable as I entered and exited curves. Nothing distracted the C63 S from devouring the road in front of it. I don’t know if I was more excited or frightened. All I knew was that I was grinning. The C63 S’s extra was at a peak on my scale.

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe

2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Safety

In addition to standard rain-sensing wipers, 10-way airbag protection, Blind Spot Assist, PRE-SAFE predictive occupant protection system, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, and a rearview camera, my test vehicle was equipped with two optional safety packages. The Advanced Parking Assist Package added the PARKTRONIC parking aid with Active Parking Assist and the 360-degree Surround View System. The Driver Assistance Package contained Active Blind Spot Assist, DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop & Go Pilot, Active Lane Keeping Assist, and more features to keep me, my passengers, and even pedestrians safe.

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe

2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Overall

If you want to personally measure the power of extra in a 2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe, you can do it at an AutoNation-affiliated Mercedes-Benz dealer. Prices start at $75,500.* One optioned up like my press loaner will cost $101,290.

*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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