I first drove a Mercedes-Benz C63 in 2013. Well, I was a petrified passenger, not the driver. It was a brutal first-time experience that left me thinking I would never be man enough to harness the sheer aggression that exudes from every down press of the aluminium accelerator.
It then became a goal, an obsession, to learn how to drive these fierce AMG’s in the hopes of being able to tame them with an almost god-like balance between hands, feet and eye co-ordination. Anything less would surely result in a mangled Rubik’s cube of steel.
After some time spent at the AMG Driving Academy in Zwartkops, Pretoria where I was hurled around every corner by the maestro himself, Clint Weston, only one thing was confirmed to me – almost every AMG commands a truckload of respect.
“The glorious sound of German muscle trying to rip your face off with every gear shift is addictive…”
A year later, I find myself behind the wheel of a 2014 C63 AMG Edition 507 – a car that gets its name from the 507 ponies that are nestled precisely within eight of the cylinders of the 6.2 liter handcrafted engine. This ‘swan song’ of Mercedes’ W204 range is an absolute animal. In the few days I had the car, I never once drove with the radio on. The glorious sound of German muscle trying to rip your face off with every gear shift is addictive despite the uneasy feeling that the grim reaper sits right behind you in the passenger seat. In short, I absolutely fell in love with the beast and I truly believed that the impending turbo-version of the W205 C63 would never come close to the rawness of this car.
I was wrong.
It was almost a year since the W205 C-Class was launched by the time the ’63 arrived on our shores in 2015. I had grown accustomed to the interior of the new C-Class and its impeccable road manners, and by now I had also gotten used to the way Mercedes’ designers thought – I was almost sure I knew what the ’63 was going to look like, inside and out. And I wasn’t disappointed.
The new AMG is absolute German in every way – meticulous attention to detail; craftsmen-like finishes to every switch and dial; delicacy in every swathe of cowhide stitched together, with a watchmaker-like mix of leather and brushed aluminium. Simply put, the interior keeps an Instagram enthusiast like me satisfied for months on end.
Of course, there is also oodles of Mercedes-Benz technology ranging from safety equipment, to entertainment functionality, to precision track-induced focus. But like a kid on Christmas morning, I didn’t come to read the cards and admire the pretty wrapping paper – I came to rip the paper off and drive this latest iteration of Affalterbach’s Frankenstein creation.
Despite being more than 2-liters smaller than its previous versions, Mercedes have slapped on two turbos to the all-new 4.0 V8 engine with some pretty smart new design technology that’s worthy of a whole ‘nuther article in itself. All you need to know, is that this new ’63 is properly fast and still as raw as any of the previous AMG’s. Only this time, you can actually drive your mom to church on Sunday without her knowing you’ve been eating M3’s the night before. It truly is a two-faced AMG – something no other AMG has ever been before. It can be (fairly) quiet when you want it to, and a widow-maker if you dare it to. Despite every car these days having more drive technology that’s as limiting as iTunes is when you want to have fun, this AMG still allows you to write your own death wish by turning off all the electronics, if you dare. In doing so, the ’63 is completely
unleashed rabid and still needs massive respect, but the ‘joy’ factor is immeasurable. Highways beg you to turn them into runway strips; roundabouts plead for you to leave layers of Continental rubber behind; and any underground parking lot or tunnel makes you giggle on euphoria as the V8 howl causes concrete to tremble.
This ’63 is the new kid on the block – he has all the cool moves, sports all the latest trends. Girls want to be with him, and guys want to be like him. If I had to nit-pick, I’d say that the new shape of the W205 is perhaps a bit softer than the outgoing C63 and the rear could have been a tad more aggressive for a car of this nature. But then again, there will be variations to come – in particular, I can’t wait to see what Mercedes does for the C63 Black Series in a few years to come…