First Drive: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe

On the outside, the coupe's AMG-specific bling largely mirrors that of the sedan. Beyond the uniquely styled hood, the flared fenders, and black roof, there's an aggressive front air dam, more prominent lower-body cladding, and a large rear diffuser. A carbon-fiber trunk-lid spoiler is a special tip-off that denotes a car equipped with the AMG development package.

The 2012 C63 AMG coupe arrives together with the 2012 version of the C63 sedan this fall. The extremely well rounded two-door should only add to the appeal of the C63, which already is the second-bestselling AMG car after the E63. AMG officials wouldn't yet reveal pricing on the new coupe, but they intimated that it will command a roughly 5 percent premium over the sedan. That works out to about $3000, putting the C63 AMG coupe at around $62,000, before any gas-guzzler tax (which hits the 2011 C63 sedan to the tune of $2100). The four-door is likely to remain the majority of C63 sales, but the coupe should easily account for 1 in 5 sales. The choice for BMW M3 or Cadillac CTS-V shoppers is going to get a lot harder.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe
Base price: $62,000 (estimated, plus gas-guzzler tax)

Fuel economy:
13 / 19 / 15 mpg (estimated)

Engine: 6.2L V-8
Horsepower: 481 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
Drive: Rear -wheel
Transmission: 7-speed automatic

Suspension, f/r:
Damper strut, coil springs/multi-link, coil springs

Brakes: Vented and perforated discs, ABS, Brake Assist
Curb weight: 3816 lb

Wheels: 18 x 8 in front, 18 x 9 in rear
Tires: 235/40R18 front, 255/35R18 rear

Competitors: BMW M3, Cadillac CTS-V

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