The limited-edition 2021 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe Aero Edition 63 is an even more obnoxious version of an already brutal performance coupe – and it’s a platform that Aussies love.
As you’d expect by the use of the term ‘Aero’ in the name, the limited-edition coupe features body addenda that in all probability add to the aero efficiency at speed, but certainly add to the visual appeal even when it’s going nowhere.
I’m pretty sure no-one was looking at the C63 Coupe thinking that it wasn’t tough enough. Pumped and aggressive, it has bucketloads of street appeal, and looks every bit as nasty as the exhaust note or the performance figures indicate it should be. However, add an AMG rear spoiler and front lip section, and it looks a little tougher again. There’s also an airflow-optimised diffuser, and carbon fibre has been used for parts of the exterior to lighten the overall package up a little more.
We jest about the kit ‘probably’ adding to aero efficiency of course. It’s just that most owners will never get to sense that. According to Mercedes-Benz, the additions have been wind-tunnel verified, and they do in fact increase downforce and grip. That might be true, but most buyers – aside from those who attend track days – will be more concerned with what it looks like. The good news is it looks fast, even at a standstill.
The exercise is not just about styling, though – with the Coupe also getting the optional ceramic-composite disc brakes up front. There are 420mm rotors clamped by six-piston callipers up front and single-piston floating callipers working 360mm rotors out back. Lightweight rims measure in at 19 inches up front and 20 inches out back. The satin-black finish looks classy.
Inside, there’s exclusive Magma Grey and black nappa leather trim with yellow stripes and stitching. The front seats are AMG performance items (usually optional) and there’s the interior carbon-fibre trim package as well.
The second ‘63’ in the nameplate doesn’t refer to the engine or series. There will only be 63 of these Aero Edition Coupes available in Australia, so by the time you read this review, they might all be gone. Pricing starts from $188,600 before on-road costs. If the V8 engine is soon to go the way of the dodo, though, the extra outlay will be worth every cent down the track.
That’s a hefty $17,200 ask over the regular C63 Coupe, but approximately five-grand less than what it would cost for you to start with the base car and option it up to this level as you leave the showroom. Exterior colour options include Polar White or Iridium Silver like the hue of our test vehicle.
|2021 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe Aero Edition 63|
|Engine||4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol|
|Power and torque||373kW @ 6000rpm, 700Nm @ 2000–4500rpm|
|Drive type||Rear-wheel drive|
|Fuel claim combined (ADR)||10.3L/100km|
|Fuel use on test||13.2L/100km|
|Boot volume (rear seats up/down)||355L|
|ANCAP safety rating (year tested)||Untested|
|Warranty||5 years/unlimited km|
|Main competitors||BMW M3, Giulia QV, Audi RS6|
|Price as tested (ex on-road costs)||$188,600|
The 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 engine remains, thundering out 373kW and 700Nm through a nine-speed automatic to the rear wheels as per usual. Those numbers remain mountainous in the real world. The performance exhaust is standard, along with active dynamic engine mounts, LED headlights, heated front seats, head-up display, surround-view cameras, and a full suite of safety equipment.
The official fuel-use claim is an optimistic 10.3L/100km, but having said that, we did see mid 12s when driving sedately in traffic. Our average for the week was 13.2L/100km, which is hardly ridiculous given the temptation to drive like a loon.
Inside the cabin, the leather-trimmed seats are heated and electric up front, plus there’s a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, proprietary satellite navigation, smartphone mirroring, digital radio, a 13-speaker Burmester audio system, 12.3-inch interactive driver’s display, head-up display and ambient cabin lighting.
The second row is effectively for decoration – as we’ve said with C63 Coupe reviews in the past – with absolutely no room whatsoever if you have fully grown adults up front. At a pinch, you can squeeze occupants in there, but think of the second row as a place to store a bag or satchel. There are, however, two ISOFIX spaces in the back seat.
There’s no doubt that the front seat is a premium place to be, and it justifies the price tag and exclusivity of this C63. From the flat-bottomed wheel to the lashings of carbon fibre, the C63’s cabin evokes serious performance wherever you look. The only gripe from the front two pews is the fact the screen doesn’t respond to touch, meaning you are forced to use the touchpad control system.
We’ve written and said it before, but the fact that you mirror a smartphone – which is touchscreen – with an infotainment system – that isn’t – seems counterintuitive. It doesn’t get any less frustrating the more familiar you become with it either. The screen itself, the graphics, the quality of the image, are all exceptional.
A 355L boot is more than useful enough for both the daily grind and weekends away as well. You don’t get a spare wheel, but you do get a clever storage bin in its place. If you’re considering longer drives into more remote parts of your state, the lack of a spare might be something to note.
The centrepiece of any AMG is always what lurks beneath the bonnet, and the twin-turbocharged V8 engine continues to deliver the goods, as it has for some time. It’s savagely fast when you want it to be, brutal and nasty, but it’s capable of an easy – albeit noisy – cruise through traffic. Like all great V8 engines, its duality of character is something to enjoy.
Getting from 0–100km/h via the rear wheels only is always going to be a challenge with that much power and torque on tap, and yet the C63 is capable of executing it in 3.9 seconds.
The C63 really is a superb car in either coupe or sedan platform. Or wagon for that matter. It has the requisite street presence, but it also brings with it the fire and brimstone that you’d expect of what is effectively a premium take on the classic muscle car execution. The exhaust snarls no matter what speed you’re doing, and you’re only a lean on the right foot away from serious speed. This is a coupe that requires a racetrack to properly explore its limits.
The ride is firm but not uncomfortable, especially given the sports-tuned suspension and seriousness of the chassis. Over particularly nasty road surfaces, it is firm enough to get your attention, but this car isn’t designed for rubbish roads either. Most of the time, though, it does a good job of ironing out poor surfaces. That’s especially the case in Comfort mode, where you can roll around in – relative – anonymity. Road noise is nicely insulated, too, despite the low-profile, performance-focused rubber, which is a neat positive.
The steering is sharp and precise, and there’s a sense of precision delivered from every input. If you nail the accelerator pedal at a track day, though, be aware that the fat rear tyres will very quickly lose their grip on planet Earth. Cycling through Sport and Sport+ modes winds the wick up and focuses every input even further. We didn’t bother with Race mode – that one’s not for the street – but it’s as if the C63 hunkers down and poises itself as you move into the more hardcore modes.
One aspect of the drive experience that most impresses us is the nature of the transmission. It’s smooth and easy at cruising speed in Comfort mode, but razor sharp and rapid in the sports modes. It sits you back in your seat, and then whacks you in the back of the head when you do shift at redline.
The C63 gets a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and considering plenty of luxury brands still offer only three years, that’s noteworthy. There’s roadside assistance for the same period, too. Services are required every 12 months/20,000km, and there’s a three-, four- or five-year service plan available as well. The five-year plan costs $6550, and even the three-year plan offers a saving of $900 according to Mercedes-Benz.
While it will be hard to get your hands on a C63 as limited and exclusive as this, there’s no doubt the platform is exceptional. It’s a special car capable of serious performance. While there are practicality issues to be accounted for with a coupe of any kind, this one is pretty useful day to day. The fact it looks as tough as it does is a bonus.
Rejoice in these ‘last of a generation’ cars while we still can.