Swift doesn’t really do the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG performance justice, this is one seriously quick car. It's fitted with a 6.3-litre engine (the actual size is 6208cc) producing 457bhp and this is mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox. Performance is stunning, this car will not only thrust you into the back of the seat but it will blitz the benchmark sprint to 62mph in 4.4 seconds and it has an achievable top speed of 155mph due to it being electronically limited - although AMG will adjust the limiter to raise the top speed if required. In a straight line it comes out on top against the competition. The BMW M3 will cover the benchmark sprint in 4.8s, while the Audi RS5 completes the sprint in 4.6. Step on the accelerator and you’ll get an incredible audible delight from the big V8, the engine pops, bangs and crackles in a glorious fashion. There’s very little to weigh-up when planning overtaking manoeuvres – make sure there is a gap, plant your foot and it will all be over, safely and with a great deal of ease. Making short work of traffic is a cinch with this stunning bit of equipment.
The new gearbox offers a choice of driving experiences. If you are not in a hurry and want to cruise along then flick the rotary knob into 'C' - which stands for controlled efficiency - for more relaxed motoring. If you want a little more, then turn the knob to 'S', this step sharpens the throttle response and holds onto gears for longer. Finally there is 'S+', this is best used for when driving enthusiastically or when you are on a track day. The system is intuitive of what gear you want and when on track it enhances the experience.
Go Faster pack
For those who find the standard 457bhp simply not enough, then Mercedes offers an AMG Performance Pack Plus. Include is a host of new engine parts including titanium painted exhaust manifold, forged pistons, new connecting rods and revised crankshaft. The end result is another 30bhp bring the total power to 487bhp. The Pack also includes red AMG piston calipers and an AMG performance steering wheel trimmed in nappa leather and Alcantara.
For such a big car the C63 AMG Coupe has surprisingly good road manners. It may be stiffer, lower and wider than the C-Class Coupe that it is based on, but it corners superbly. Despite the all action set-up, the ride is surprisingly compliant and you won't find yourself desperate to get out and see a back specialist. The AMG has lots of front-end grip but if you really try hard you can provoke the back-end to step out slightly, especially when cornering hard and with the power on, before the safety systems step in to get everything back into line.
Select Sport-plus mode, ideal for track days, then the electronics will allow the car to step out a little further under power before reigning the car back in. In short, you can play at being the hero without the danger of spinning off. The steering is direct and precise, although enthusiasts will yearn for that little more in the terms of driver feedback.
Moving up to the larger Saloon and Estate doesn't change things, with both bodystyles delivering pretty much the same handling experience. Reaction to steering wheel inputs are instant and the amount of grip is superb. The only criticism is that feedback through the steering wheel is very poor so you can't feel how well the front tyres are gripping.
There’s nothing revolutionary going on in the cabin, but it is plush and built with the high-level of craftsmanship and detail that you would expect a Mercedes to have. The interior differs from a ‘normal’ C-Class with the addition of a chunkier steering wheel; deep, bolstered sports seats and a proper stability control button that you can find without having to scroll through the lengthy menu.
This is a range topping car so the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG comfort levels are high. Up fronts the seats are well bolstered and have good side supports giving a great amount of comfort for long journeys. The front seats are not only adjustable for traditional fore/aft, seat back and seat height, but also the side bolsters can be moved in and out and there is adjustment for the lower back support though the operating buttons are not easy to find and are awkward to use being located on the side of the seat upright.
There’s good space in the rear for two adults but head room is not massive. The cabin is well insulated from road, wind and tyre noise, but the experts at AMG have been clever in allowing the glorious pops and bangs of the 6.3-litre V8 engine infiltrate the cockpit. However, the soundtrack of the V8 is never over-bearing making longer journeys a pleasant experience.
All-round visibility is good and kit like Active Blind Spot Assist is a sensible cost option as it makes switching lanes on motorways much safer. Entry and exiting to the rear seats can be little awkward thanks to sloping roof lines and the two-door coupe bodystyle.