2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series

This car was made for southern California, with its roads as smooth as glass, its easy access to tracks, and its proximity to twisting canyon roads. Driving the C63 Black Series away from this automotive land of milk and honey may leave drivers wondering why they didn't go for the "regular" C63 AMG Coupe due to the stiffly sprung suspension, steering that feels connected to nothing, and the bi-polar accelerator pedal. Yes, you can take this car to the track and drive it home, but unless your route consists completely recently paved blacktop you won't want to. Even the car's best feature - its maliciously evil-sounding exhaust note with a crackling overrun becomes neutered unless you use the slow-to-react paddles.

But this car isn't about the grocery run - not even close. (And plus, all 800 copies of the limited-run car are spoken for anyway.) As we found out during our first drive, the C63 is "totally unhinged and wild." Find a winding road, put your foot down, and smile. The 510-hp 6.2-liter V-8 roars toward redline as coupe is launched forward like rocket from a fighter jet. However, there is a visceral feeling that seems to be missing; unlike, say, the Jaguar XKR-S, the C63 Black doesn't make me cackle upon burying the go-pedal and hearing the howling V-8. Overall, its on-road manners are compromised by its on-track expertise. The sacrifices are not worth the rarely used benefits.

Donny Nordlicht, Associate Web Editor

In most real world situations, the Black Series is hilariously overkill. Commuting in the C63 AMG Black Series is akin to trying to drive in a finishing nail with a sledgehammer - your movements become so cautious that the extra potential is wasted. Donny is right, this car needs to be in Southern California where the roads are smooth and twisty. Track time (or easy access to unpatrolled stretches of desert highway) is essential for this car. There's no way to enjoy the considerable power from the 6.2-liter V-8 when you're dodging potholes and stopping for school busses. Indeed, a standard C36 AMG makes a lot more sense for a daily driver.

But the Black series isn't about making sense. Logic goes right out the window when your C-class costs more than an S-class. Daily driving quibbles disappear quickly once you're belted into the supportive bucket seats with a helmet on and an open track day about to start. Anyone wealthy enough to buy a Black Series has enough money for a few sensible daily drivers and a membership to a private track where the Black Series can really shine. Even with the economy the way it is, all 800 copies of this car are already sold. That's 150 more than AMG had planned to sell, but demand was so high the limit had to be raised.

Phil Floraday, Senior Web Editor

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