Peachy powerhouse: Mercedes-AMG C63S Saloon

The Mercedes-AMG C63S Saloon has a new suede leather steering wheel with track-inspired functions.
The Mercedes-AMG C63S Saloon has a new suede leather steering wheel with track-inspired functions. ST PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG
The Mercedes-AMG C63S Saloon has a new suede leather steering wheel with track-inspired functions.
The Mercedes-AMG C63S Saloon has a new suede leather steering wheel with track-inspired functions.ST PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG

The revised Mercedes-AMG C63S Saloon will please driving fans with a family in tow

  • SPECS /MERCEDES-AMG C63S SALOON

  • Price: $480,888 with COE

    Engine: 3,982 32-valve V8 twin-turbocharged

    Transmission: Nine-speed automatic with paddle shift

    Power: 510hp at 6,250rpm

    Torque: 700Nm at 2,000-4,500rpm

    0-100kmh: 4 seconds

    Top speed: 290kmh (electronically limited)

    Fuel consumption: 10.1 litres/100km

    Agent: Cycle & Carriage

More power, more doors, more comfort. That about sums up the differences separating the Mercedes-AMG C63S Saloon and its two-door sibling, the C43 Coupe.

Both cars are facelifts. But while the C63S is more powerful by virtue of its bigger engine - a 4-litre V8 versus the C43's 3-litre V6 - it has not had an output upgrade from two years ago.

But just as well, as 510hp and 700Nm should meet the demands of even the most power-hungry among us. Those who wish to have less can opt for the C63 with 476hp and 650Nm.

But like the 43, the 63 has been given a cosmetic lift, with the most obvious change being the aggressive AMG grille. Darkened and with vertical louvres now, it gives the car a whole new personality.

Inside, a new suede-leather steering wheel with track-inspired functions is the most significant revision. A one-touch control here allows you to recall individualised driving modes, as well as to switch between factory-set drive modes.

Less obvious is the retuned suspension, which in the C63S results in a noticeably more pliant ride. Even though the car is appreciably heavier than the C43, it hides its heft very well.

The car is also more driveable on the whole. Its steering has a more natural feel to it, with not a trace of starchiness you might sense in the C43.

Despite having a lot more power, and all that power going to the rear wheels, the C63 is as well-behaved as the all-wheel-drive C43.

It is a touch longer than the Coupe and quite a bit taller. This makes for more interior room and better visibility.

In a race circuit, the Coupe is possibly quicker from apex to apex, but the beefier Saloon is a nicer car to drive all round. On a straight, it will leave the C43 far behind. More than that, it has the maturity and refinement of a proper grand tourer.

With its relative compactness, you do not really miss all-wheel-drive. The car's adaptive damping works well, leaving the driver unfrazzled in any state of drive. And it works well whether you are tooling about in city traffic in Comfort mode, or gunning down a relatively empty stretch in Sport+.

The C63S sounds better than the C43. It has a deeper and more textured repetoire, with less of a metallic edge. In default Comfort mode, the V8 burble fills the cabin, but does not overwhelm it. In Sport+, the volume goes up and so does the bass. Yet, there is no hint of hooliganism.

Beyond Sport+, the car has Race mode, which reduces electronic intervention for better track manoeuvres, but does not necessarily make you go faster.

The 63S is a wonderful driving machine, but it is also more comfy than the C43. Driver-side wheel well seems wider, and its AMG sports seats in front are more cosseting (but strangely do not come with auto easy access), and it is a five-seater, with more rear headroom. And it has four doors.

This clearly makes it a usable family car - one with zero compromises for the driving enthusiast.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2019, with the headline 'Peachy powerhouse'. Print Edition | Subscribe