Mercedes-AMG C63 review – A proper Affalterbach hot rod - Engine and gearbox

Available as a Saloon, Coupé, Cabriolet and Estate, the C63 offers massive performance and your choice of style or practicality

Evo rating
Price
from £60,460
  • Fast and sounds great
  • Ride is firm and engine isn't as characterful as previous C63's

Engine and gearbox

Its new hot-V 3982cc twin-turbo V8 has a lot to live up to replacing the remarkable naturally aspirated 6.2-litre engine AMG enthralled us with for all those years. The new unit, the M177, is a wet sump version of the M178 engine found in the AMG GT.

Turbocharging can rob an engine of much of its aural character, significantly reducing the exhaust note and completely muting the induction noise. By combining the exhaust ports of both banks of cylinders into each turbo, a hot-V configuration removes the typically lumpy off-beat noise that a cross-plane crank V8 is known for. But Mercedes has compensated for all of this with a rambunctious exhaust, that despite the odds, has a definite V8 burble at idle and a raucous blare at full throttle. Pleasingly, anyone who has heard the old naturally aspirated 6.2 V8 will certainly recognise some of its character in the soundtrack of the new car.

It’s a little more subdeued in Comfort where there is a bit of gas rush (think Megane R26 R) complementing with the woofle. But once the valves in the pipes opened up in Sport and Sport+ mode (or when you press the exhaust button) the noise is back to being appropriately bold for a AMG. The noise is then also complemented with some angry rasps on gearchanges.

The gearbox is the seven-speed MCT speedshift auto rather than the dual clutch from in the AMG GT that we might have expected. However, the auto’s shifts have been improved significantly when compared to how it was in the old C63. The main bone of contention in the past was the delay between pulling a paddle and an actual shift, now any such delay as been all but wiped out. A certain crispness and sense of mechanical involvement is still lacking compared to the best dual-clutch ‘boxes but it’s hard to fault the performance.

To be honest, such is the torque on-tap from low revs there’s little need to flex your fingertips and work the aluminium paddles to override the gearbox. It’s huge fun to simply point and shoot the C63 out of corners, letting the transmission do its thing and feel the epic, endless rush of the biturbo V8 as it hits the meat of its mid-range. Work the engine harder and there’s plenty left at the top-end, too. In fact it leaves you feeling slightly giddy. Addictive only begins to describe the manner of this car’s performance.

evo Comment

'The engine is a truly mighty thing. Aurally exuberant and explosively potent, it makes the car heart-poundingly rapid when you pull the pin and merely imperious when you simply wish to make progress. - Richard Meaden, Contributing Editor (evo 211)

Most Popular

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo 2022 review – a sports utility vehicle done right
Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo – front cornering
Porsche Taycan

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo 2022 review – a sports utility vehicle done right

A convincing play at being the ultimate everyday driver of the future. It’s heavy and doesn’t have enough range, but there’s lots here to like
2 Jul 2022
A car wash loophole in an MGF – evo Archive
Car wash loophole in an MGF
MG

A car wash loophole in an MGF – evo Archive

How the drop-tops Grand Challenge got some of the evo team in a lather
21 Jun 2022
GMA T.33 specs, prices and rivals – the tricky second album to the T.50
T.33
GMA

GMA T.33 specs, prices and rivals – the tricky second album to the T.50

Brother to the T.50 and different in spirit, if not layout, the T.33 is the car Murray’s been wanting to build for 25 years
30 Jun 2022