Mercedes-Benz and performance division AMG have finally pulled the sheet off of the upcoming 2016 Mercedes-AMG C63, after months of speculation and anticipation from the power-hungry masses. Set to make their official debut at the 2014 Paris auto show, the 2016 Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG and hopped-up C63 AMG S will join the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT and GT S as bearers of the brand’s next-generation twin-turbo V-8 engine technology.
Although many lament the departure of the old C63’s 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated V-8, known for its intoxicating bellows and rasps, the new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 packs 503 reasons for enthusiasts to embrace the future. The so-called M177 engine used in the 2016 Mercedes-AMG C63 is closely related to the M178 in the AMG GT, producing 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque in base form, and 503 hp and 516 lb-ft in the S model. It also features active engine mounts which adapt to driving conditions using magnetorheological fluid. Unlike the GT’s M178, the M177 engine in the C63 uses wet-sump lubrication rather than dry-sump.
One downside of the old car’s 6.2-liter engine was that it was awfully thirsty on gas, returning EPA fuel economy ratings of 13/19 mpg city/highway, but the German automaker claims that the new C63’s 4.0-liter engine is about 32 percent more fuel efficient. The good news is that it should still sound like a bat out of hell—the C63 comes standard with a sports exhaust system that features an electronically controlled exhaust flap. For an even better and more variable soundtrack, there’s an available performance exhaust upgrade that brings the flap number to three, allowing for more variability in how much and what type of noise the V-8 exhales.
Like the AMG GT, the C63 delivers its power to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. The standard 2016 Mercedes-AMG C63 features a mechanical limited-slip locking differential at the rear while the uprated C63 S benefits from a more precise electronic rear differential. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard on the C63, and 19-inchers come with the C63 S. Ceramic brakes are optional on the C63 S for the ambitious track frequenters who want to put the new C63 to the test. As in the AMG GT, the high-powered sedan utilizes an active sport suspension with three-stage adjustable damping.
When all is said and done, the C63 and C63 S accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.0 and 3.9 seconds, respectively. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. These numbers match up almost identically to the performance of the 2015 BMW M3, which does the deed with just 425 hp and about 75 lbs less weight. Weigh-in for the Mercedes-AMG C63 totals 3615 lbs, while the C63 S totals 3648 lbs.
Compared to the standard C-Class, the 2016 Mercedes-AMG C63 receives a few visual adjustments. To account for the car’s wider track and burly V-8, the sedan wears a unique, 2.12-inch longer front end with 0.55-inch wider aluminum fenders, as well as structural reinforcement to handle more intense forces. Aerodynamic upgrades include a modified front skirt, front splitter, wider intakes for better cooling, and a new hood with twin “power dome” bulges. Around the rear the C63 looks mean with its quad-port chrome-plated split exhaust, three-fin rear diffuser, and sharper rear decklid.
Inside, the layout is familiar from the normal C-Class, but the sporty atmosphere is enhanced by extensive use of carbon-fiber weave patterning, two-tone trim, aluminum detailing, drilled pedals, and a meaty leather- and Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel. The C63 S “Edition 1” takes the most aggressive visual approach with forged 19-inch wheels and a host of high-gloss black exterior pieces and unique interior design elements. Edition 1 cars also sport special wheels with a red-painted lip, red grille and mirror accents, and gloss-black exterior trim.
No doubt AMG fanatics will be pleased to see that, as with the old C63 and M3, the new Mercedes-AMG C63’s generous power output proudly out-guns that of the new six-cylinder BMW M3/M4. But numbers don’t account for everything, and we can’t wait to have a run in both super sedans for a comparison. The 2016 Mercedes-AMG C63 and C63 S will hit U.S. showrooms in March 2015. Expect to see pricing later this year or early next year, likely not far off of the M3’s $62,000 cost of entry; the 2014 C63 AMG sedan started at $61,175. Although a high-performance C63 wagon is planned for Europe, sadly it won’t come to the U.S. market.