Friday 21 December 2007

Mercedes C63 AMG pricing announced (UK)

Mercedes-Benz has announced prices for its C-Class flagship models, the C 63 AMG saloon and estate. Available to order now and on the road in spring, the latest additions to the highly acclaimed range will retail at £51,317 for the saloon and £52,567 for the estate, increases of just four and 4.5 per cent respectively over the previous generation C 55 AMG. That’s despite a substantially more powerful engine and enhanced equipment levels.

Prodigious performance is delivered courtesy of AMG’s new 6208 cc V8 engine, which produces 457 hp at 6800 rpm – up 90 hp on the 5.5-litre V8 of the C 55 AMG. Even more outstanding is the torque delivery which peaks at 600 Nm, a figure unprecedented in this class. What’s more, the driver always has more than 500 Nm on tap between 2000 and 6250 rpm, ensuring supreme flexibility throughout the rev range.

On the road that translates into a 0 to 62mph figure of 4.5 seconds for the saloon and 4.6 for the estate (C 55 AMG 5.2 and 5.4 seconds respectively), while top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. As you might expect, there’s a delicious V8-sound track to match – all thanks to AMG’s race-winning heritage.

The engine is perfectly complemented by the seven-speed AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic transmission which features Sport, Comfort and Manual shift modes. Shift speeds are around 30 per cent faster in Sport compared to Comfort and 50 per cent faster in Manual mode using the steering wheel mounted shift paddles. There’s the added satisfaction of an automatic blip of the throttle as you downshift manually, which helps to maximise stability, particularly when braking into a corner.

The latest AMG models are more clearly differentiated than ever before, with a wide road hugging stance accentuated by flared wheel arches and two prominent power domes on the bonnet signaling the cars’ latent power. A honeycomb grille, large front apron, side skirts and a rear apron with black diffuser insert complete the assertive look. The standard light alloy wheels are titanium painted 8.0 x 18 five-spoke items at the front and 9.0 x 18 items at the rear. Optional 19 inch multi-spoke items are also available at £600.

A decidedly sporty interior features AMG sports seats with integral head restraints upholstered in luxurious Nappa leather with cross-piping and AMG badging. The small diameter AMG steering wheel has a flat lower edge and perforated leather trim and the trademark AMG tube-style instrument cluster adopts AMG specific lettering together with a 6.3 V8 logo in the rev counter. Front seats are fully electrically adjustable with memory, including adaptive backrests with side bolster and lumbar adjustment.As an alternative to the standard aluminium trim elements, carbon fibre trim is an option at £1520.

In common with all C-Class models, the C63 AMG features the readily intuitive central control system with colour screen, allowing rapid access to audio, navigation and telephone functions, and complemented by the multifunction steering wheel. Unique to AMG models is the Racetimer feature appearing in the central display which enables lap times to be recorded.

Naturally the estate model offers all the practicality of its siblings, including 1/3: 2/3 split rear seat, bag hooks and load ties, stowage compartments with covers, a collapsible shopping crate and a combined luggage cover and retaining net. Even more convenience comes courtesy of the standard Easy-Pack tailgate which automatically opens and closes at the push of a button. Able to swallow up to 1500 litres (VDA), no other premium estate in this class offers the C 63 AMG’s mix of performance and exceptional load carrying capacity.

AMG sports suspension with an all-new three-link front axle, a 35 mm wider track and the longer wheelbase common to all C-Class models delivers outstanding grip and agility.

The redesigned front wheel location is 100 per cent more rigid than the previous model to give more precise steering precision and more responsive braking, while the suspension geometry, larger anti-roll bar, and rebound buffer springs provide greatly improved lateral dynamics and higher cornering speeds. Feedback from the speed-sensitive AMG sports steering is also improved.

At the rear the multi-link suspension has been re-engineered with a 12mm wider track and more camber for enhanced cornering performance.

Stopping power is provided by 360mm discs with six piston calipers at the front, 330mm with four piston calipers at the rear.

New, three-stage ESP® can be turned off altogether for track use or switched to a Sport setting whose higher dynamic thresholds and corresponding drift angles allow greater driver interaction. Braking while in Sport mode or with the ESP® deactivated restores all normal ESP® functions until the brakes are once more released; traction control is active in all three modes.

Options unique to the C63 AMG models include the AMG driver’s package which increases the limited top speed and includes attendance at an AMG ‘Power and Passion’ driving event (£2160); and a Performance Package which comprises compound front disc brakes, a limited slip differential, performance suspension and a Nappa leather and Alcantara trimmed steering wheel (£3120).

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