The last time that I was one right foot away from 500+ HP was at Richard Petty's Driving Experience….and as powerful and capable as that machine was, I believe that Mercedes' C63 AMG could leave it in the right-hand lane.
AMG, as you probably know, is Mercedes' performance line…just as "M" is BMW's.
All I can really say is that these guys take performance seriously.
174 MPH top speed. 0 – 60 in around 4 seconds. And brakes, tires, and cornering capability to get you home…or around the track…and back in one piece.
Power comes from a big 6.3 liter 32-valve naturally-aspirated V-8 running through a 7-speed automatic. "Regular" C-Series AMG's…if there is such a thing as a "regular" AMG…pump out 451 HP and start with a window sticker just a little North of 63K. Ours had Mercedes' Bad-Boy 507 HP $9,750 AMG upgrade…'cause hey….we all know that 451 HP is just not enough, right?
Optioned out with the above upgrade, which included a lighter-weight aluminum hood with functional and sinister looking vents, 19" alloys vs the standard 18's, and high-performance brakes with red calipers…..plus $3,950 worth of Platinum matte-finish paint, our C63 AMG come in with a sticker of $87,885.
Lotta' money for a car…..not too much at all for a virtual super-car.
This C63 AMG can hold it's own with everything out there except true exotics costing one or two hundred thousand more…..and at under 90K, that, folks, is a bargain.
Now…back to the performance. Drive this vehicle with both hands….please.
And if you feel the need to floor it, make sure you've got all four wheels pointed straight ahead. Even then, you'll most likely leave a back stripe of rather expensive rubber behind.
Fortunately we had Mercedes' $2,030 limited slip rear end which kept both rear wheels engaged and in-synch. Without it, misbehave and you're likely to find yourself in a ditch somewhere.
One other "must-have" option on this machine is their $970 Parktronic parking assistance. The C63 rides low as do all true performance machines….and a dinged or damaged front or rear is going to cost you far more than the $970 radar system.
One or two more tributes to the nature of this magnificent beast: Every time I got in, I was subconsciously trying to depress the clutch. Not that it needs one…not that I could out-shift Mercedes' excellent 7-speed. It was just that this felt like such a high-performance machine that I expected it to have a stick....and maybe a roll-cage, too.
Lastly, the sound. While the C63 AMG has an excellent harman/kardon surround system with all the tactile touch-points that allow you to never have to take your eyes off of the road….it's also just flat-out soul-satisfying to roll down the window and listen to all of those 6.3 liters just growl and rumble. Such are the decisions that the 1% must make.
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