BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been at each other throats since the dawn of the wheel. The two prestigious brands are in a self perpetuating battle right across their range. A-Class VS 1 Series, E-Class VS 5 Series, ML VS X5, SLK VS Z4. Each company has a defense for the others offense and today the cars being produced are at such a high level that personal preference is sometimes all that separates them. However, Mercedes has never had an answer to BMW’s M3, a car that has become something of a cult leader amongst petrol heads. Turning to their AMG performance division, the three pointed star now has a machine they would like to share with us.
Well, it damn well knows how to make an entrance! Rumbling, spitting and snarling the C63 AMG Coupe came into focus. Visually it displays its intent from the moment you lay eyes on it, the car just dominates its surroundings. Like a python, the C63 is all muscle with flared arches, bold body lines and that blunt nose. It could never be called an elegant looking machine but my god, it looks purposeful. If we are going to draw comparisons between the M3 and this car all day long then it has to be said that whilst an M3 next to this looks subtle enough to ferry your Mum to the bank, the AMG given half the chance would probably eat her.
Yet, opening the doors reveals a lavish interior with all of the refinement you would expect from any other Mercedes-Benz. It seats four in the finest of leather with the two occupants up front being treated to brilliantly supportive body hugging seats. It would appear that this brute has a soft heart hidden within its angry outer shell… There is adequate space for adults in the back, granted you wouldn’t want to spend hours back there, but for a coupe of this caliber it is pretty good. It even has generously sized boot meaning that this car can been seen from the get-go as more than just a weekend toy.
Driving around at low speeds is a genuinely calming experience with the suspension soaking up the bumps well and the 7 speed automatic gearbox managing menial cog swapping. From within the cabin the engine is barely audible. That is until you step on the noisy peddle… Immediately the AMG tuned naturally aspirated 6.2 litre engine makes itself known! This cars vocal chords teamed artillery grade exhausts produces a sound that penetrates your chest and resinates with your brain. There is no false piping of noise through speakers in this car, oh no, it just grabs your eardrums and blasts them with a symphony of 480BHP. Stealing pistons and a lightweight crankshaft from its bigger brother, the SLS, this performance pack equipped Coupe provides an experience that is more than just a desirable soundtrack.
Opening the taps and turning the car up to maximum attack surges it towards the horizon with no hesitation what so ever. The pick-up is immediate and absolutely intoxicating. 0-62MPH is completed in just 4.4 seconds and it will go on to an electronically limited top speed of 155MPH. Throwing the Merc into a corner brings nothing but a smile to your face. The steering is direct and provides good levels of feedback to the driver. It is very competent when the road gets twisty and thanks to those ceramic-carbon brakes, its stopping power is impressive. I do wish there was a manual option for this car and though the 7 speed box does a fine job, its manual mode could respond a bit faster. Turning ESP off and twitching the throttle will induce a power slide that is almost pantomime in nature. It is epic fun but those tyres do cost £310 each, nevertheless, it will provide a situation where you can remind yourself what it was like to be six years old again.
At around £63,000 this car with all of the toys is not cheap, but that does not mean it isn’t good value. It is a car with many different characters, a Jekyll and Hyde if you will. On the one hand it is a fabulously refined car that offers all and more of what you expect to live with day to day, but also it is a weapon of mass destruction and more than capable of giving you one of the best motoring experiences of your life. It really does tick all of the boxes, but should you buy one over an M3? I suspect a BMW M3 would be a little fast round a racetrack, but there is no getting away from the fact that the C63 AMG Coupe is just more fun to drive. Whilst the M3 is deeply satisfying on the move, this cars split personally will have you chuckling to yourself every time you fire up that beastly 6.2 litre engine.