This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG (15-18) review.

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Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

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.

Gearbox modes

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.