New nine-speeder for hot C-Class
Mercedes-AMG has unveiled its facelifted C63 range in New York, with a mildly overhauled exterior and a tech-heavy interior but, in shocking news, no more power. What's going on in Affalterbach?
Power comes from the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 as before, making the same 350kW and 650Nm in 'base trim', or 375kW and 700Nm in range-topping C63 S guise. The 100km/h sprint takes 3.9 seconds in the S, and 4.0 seconds in the regular C63 coupe.
There are some drivetrain changes, though. Gone is the old seven-speed gearbox, replaced with a nine-speed wet-clutch automatic. It's backed by new software, designed to deliver quicker gearshifts and multiple downshifts when the driver holds the left-hand paddle.
Where the previous C63 made do with a mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle – only the S was offered with a clever electric unit – the entire range now runs with the same electronically-controlled diff down back. Designed to shuffle power to the wheel with the most grip, Mercedes-AMG says the system "pushes the critical threshold higher, making it even easier to drive at the car's limits".
The behaviour of the differential can be tailored with a range of new drive modes. Along with the Slippery, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ base configurations, drivers can toggle through Basic, Advanced, Pro and Master for the throttle mapping, ESP tune and chassis setup. If that's not enough choice, the entire setup (suspension, engine, exhaust and assistance) can be individually tailored.
From the outside, it's going to take a trainspotter to notice the differences between the old and new C63. The car gets the AMG Panamericana grille up front, along with new fins around the low-set air intakes. There's a mildly revised diffuser at the rear, along with new exhaust pipe outlets.
Mercedes-AMG is offering two new wheel designs in 18- and 19-inch forms, both of which have been aerodynamically optimised to better channel airflow at speed. The changes largely mimic those of the wider C-Class range, which is no bad thing.
It's a similar story inside, where the AMG Track Pack is now available on the base C63 and the C63 S. The world's circuits are loaded into the satellite navigation system, and drivers are able to track their lap times and find out where they're losing time.
There's a new flat-bottomed steering wheel, and the new analogue dials can be subbed for a digital display. The seats also have adjustable bolsters, too.
The updated C63 will touch down in Australia in December 2018.
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