First Look: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series

Mercedes' AMG division is all about building machines that perform when the stoplight turns green and the road gets bendy. But there will always be those looking for something edgier, darker -- blacker. A true track attacker with exclusivity, extreme performance, and of course, massive fenders. For them, Mercedes has created the Black Series. And black is back for the new C-Class Coupe in the form of the new Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series Coupe.

Speaking of those mondo fenders, the C63 AMG Black needs them. In order to provide cover for the revised front axle and widened track, the front fenders are a good 2.2 inches wider than on the standard C-Coupe. The changes are even more pronounced in the rear, with the fenders ballooning by 3.3 inches to accommodate a similarly widened track. Filling those cavernous wheel wells are a staggered set of titanium gray 19-inch alloys measuring 9 inches wide in the front and 9.5 in the rear, wrapped with performance rubber measuring 255/35R19 (front) and 285/30R19 (rear). The tires should be more than up to the task of keeping the C63 Black Series planted on the tarmac - that is, when you're not sliding sideways around your local racetrack with a cloud of smoke in tow. Even stickier AMG-exclusive rubber from Dunlop is available with the Track package.

The fenders, rims, and tires are just part of the Black Series treatment. There's also a gaping front valence, glossy black front splitter, and both real and simulated vents gracing nearly every panel of the special C-Coupe's bodywork. Although some of the vents are for cosmetic purposes only, many of the car's racy bits are fully functional. The splitter aids downforce and stability to help keep the front end planted at warp speeds, while the rear diffuser helps smooth airflow underneath the back of the car and mimics the piece found on the race-ready SLS AMG GT3.

The Black Series edition is powered by a version of Mercedes' now legendary, naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V-8, which pumps out a robust 510 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque in this application. The engine's forged pistons, connecting rods, and lightweight crankshaft are straight out of the SLS AMG. Running the show is a new high-performance engine control unit, which makes possible the claimed 4.2-second dash from zero to 60 mph.

The C63 Black Coupe press kit is littered with references to the trickle-down technology from Mercedes' racing efforts and the car's other go-fast goodies, but what will really sell you is the sound. During our brief time with the car, we captured some audio and video clips that just might spoil the sound of any V-8 you hear from now on. The car's throaty engine note is reminiscent of the SLS AMG, and at full wail, its sport exhaust system will likely make this super coupe's presence known a couple blocks away.

Helping put the Black Series' 510 horses to the pavement is AMG's Speedshift seven-speed multi-clutch transmission. The four-mode semi-auto gearbox automatically matches revs on downshifts and can change gears in a claimed 100 milliseconds when in Sport Plus or Manual modes. A rear-axle differential lock is meant to provide ideal traction for the racetrack, while the three-phase Electronic Stability Program (ESP) optimizes traction for all other real-world driving situations.

Underpinning everything is an AMG sports suspension consisting of an adjustable coil-over system with a range of different settings. The widened track affords the car more natural grip, and with the addition of beefier sway bars, body roll should be virtually nonexistent. When it's time to lock things up, the Black Series employs 15.4-inch composite discs in the front and 14-inch integral discs in the rear. Rotors are drilled and slotted all around to improve fade resistance, and are clamped down by six-piston calipers in the front and four-pot units in the rear -- all painted red for maximum attention-grabbing effect.

Inside the coupe's cockpit, a hard-core racing influence envelops the entire cabin. The non-reclining sport bucket seats are finished in DINAMICA microfiber, with carbon-fiber inlays in the dash, and red accent stitching on every upholstered surface. The omission of rear seats is further evidence of how serious a track car the Black Series C-Coupe is, and deleting the seats saves weight and lends the car that gutted, race-car look. If you need to transport more than two people in your Black Series coupe, four-passenger seating is offered via the optional rear buckets from the standard C63 AMG Coupe.

A sleeper the Black Series is not. With an aggressively styled, over-the-top exterior and thunderous exhaust note, the C63 AMG Black Series is a car for drivers with similarly conspicuous tastes.

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