New C63 AMG Review

Mercedes-Benz performance division AMG has eked out more efficiency from its fastest C-Class, the C63, as part of a technical and visual update.

The revised version of the compact executive express makes its first appearance in the metal at next month's Geneva motor show, and will arrive in Australia in August - a couple of months after the rest of the facelifted C-Class range.

The C63 AMG retains its 6.2-litre V8, which produces 336kW and 600Nm, but switches from a seven-speed conventional auto to the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox employed in the likes of the SLS 'Gullwing' supercar.

Mercedes says the new gearbox and the introduction of a new power steering pump help to reduce fuel consumption by about 10 per cent to 12 litres per 100km for the sedan, and 12.3L/100km for the wagon.

A launch control system forms part of the transmission package, along with four driving modes that slow and lower revs or quicken and raise revs depending on whether the driver is seeking economical or thrilling motoring.

The C63 sedan, which currently costs $150,980 locally, still takes 4.6 seconds to reach 100km/h from standstill, or 4.5 if buyers again pay extra for an optional AMG Performance package that brings a higher power output of 358kW through lighter engine components.

There's extra muscle for the exterior in the form of a new bonnet that now features a 'power dome' bulge and is now constructed from aluminium rather than steel.

New clear-lens headlights incorporate LED daytime running lights, the grille is tweaked, and the lower air intake expands in size and is finished in high-gloss black.

Changes are more subtle at the rear, limited mainly to a slightly different design for the diffuser-style lower bumper.

The C63's updated interior includes the addition of a new colour LCD graphic display, Comand menu-control system with internet access, and the AMG steering wheel, with flatter top and bottom sections, from the new CLS63.