Mercedes-Benz C63 2012 amg, Mercedes-Benz C63 2012

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series: Track Test

If the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe isn't loud enough for you, then try the version that's called Black Series.
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Like the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe but feel the need for a touch more focus and exclusivity? After all, it’s been AMG's bestseller of all time, so there’s more than a few of them on the road these days.

Its official nameplate is the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series, and while it’s virtually a twin of the C63 AMG coupe, let's just say this is the monster child edition and you can't get one for love or money. All 32 'Blacks' that were allocated for Australia were sold sight unseen, and there’s another 12-15 orders that Mercedes-Benz Australia hopes to be able to fill.

Currently, though, there is only one Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series car in the country, flown in especially for Mick Doohan's drive in the Australian Formula One speed comparison event last weekend, where it dusted the V8 supercar after organisers clearly miscalculated the speed of the car with Mick behind the wheel.

If you’re asking why the ‘Black Series’ is white (good question) it’s due to the fact that the SLS AMG GT3 race cars, from which the C63 Black draws it’s inspiration, are painted white out of the box. It’s a good contrast, too, with the black painted wheels with red brake calipers, along with various carbonfibre aero bits that adorn the car.

CarAdvice also got to track test the C63 AMG Black Series with James Brock riding shotgun, even if it was only for a couple of laps before hopping into an E36 AMG Estate with former Formula One pilot David Coulthard and our own MotoGP star Mick Doohan, for a lesson in car control.

Mercedes-Benz is quick to point out that the ‘C63 Black’ is a car that has been engineered for the track with some new engine components giving it a top speed of 300km/h verses 250km/h for the standard C63 AMG Coupe. The fully adjustable AMG suspension, rear axle differential lock, high-performance composite brakes and AMG sports bucket seats make up the distinguishing performance highlights of the C63 Black.

In standard spec, owners of the C63 AMG Black Series will get only two seats for their $245,000 but these are special AMG sports buckets that you’ll be pleased to settle into on those occasional track days. But for those more interested in the German Touring Car-style bad boy looks for the road, you can order the four-seat set-up, which gives you exactly the same seating arrangement as the C63 AMG Coupe. Nothing wrong with those sports seats, either, and at least you can pick your kids up from school.

There’s more power and torque than the standard coupe, too, with a jump from 336kW (354kW with the AMG performance pack) to a bruising 380kW, and from 600Nm to 620Nm of torque. While that might seem like a sizeable increase in power (less of an increase on the torque side) it’s not that easy to tell from behind the wheel, especially over a couple of laps at Albert Park. It goes to show you just how quick the stock C63 AMG is when you’ve got the right pedal well and truly planted. And then there’s that thunderous AMG exhaust rumble.

However, on paper the Black Series is the faster car, blasting from 0-100km/h sprint in 4.2 seconds compared with 4.4 seconds (4.3 seconds with the AMG performance pack) for the C63 AMG coupe. While the straight-line advantage is only fractional there’s a larger gap when it comes to high-speed stability and handling, especially if you tick the AMG aerodynamics package.

At over 200km/h down the main straight the C63 Black is completely settled as we turn in for our first corner and the brakes feel bullet proof under huge loads.

That extra high-speed stability is thanks in part to the carbonfibre front splitter and fully adjustable rear wing, which could have been lifted straight from Coulthard’s AMG DTM car. Front lift has also been reduced by the use of carbon ‘flicks’ or winglets that protrude out of the side of the front apron.

I doubt we were going quite quickly enough to take full advantage of the aerodynamics on this car, but it did feel very well sorted and completely predictable through the faster turns at Albert Park.

There are also some handling gains with the C63 Black’s wider front and rear tracks (40mm and 79mm, respectively) as body roll, which is only slight on the standard C63 AMG Coupe, has been all but eliminated on the Black Series version. The car feels more nimble and can carry more speed into the corners.

There’s no messing about with AMG’s seven-speed MCT gearbox, either; it’s either in Sports + “S” or manual “M” mode for the quickest shift times, and the sound of the automatic double-declutching going from sixth to third is an aural treat. However, you’ll need to watch the rev counter, especially in the lower gears, as this V8 likes to rev and you’ll be bouncing off the rev limiter at 7000rpm in no time at all.

Grip from the standard fit Continental tyres is very strong, despite the mega torque going to the rear wheels, but spec the AMG track package and dry track grip will be extra sticky with special Dunlop semi-slick sport tyres.

The idea of a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series with room enough for the whole family makes a whole lot practical sense, but only if you were able to retain the AMG sports bucket seats, as they are both surprisingly comfortable and super supportive on the track. The red seatbelts are also a nice touch to what is a highly accomplished road car for the track.

It’s one of the shortest track tests we’ve ever conducted at CarAdvice but after driving the only example of the C63 AMG Black Series in the country on Melbourne’s Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, you won’t hear a single complaint from anyone here.