Even though the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe hasn’t been unveiled yet, as its official launch is expected at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the model’s 2017 AMG version has already started testing. A camouflaged, pre-production prototype was recently spotted near a Mercedes-Benz testing center in Stuttgart, Germany.

Despite the heavy camouflage, most of the extra design features are easily distinguishable, and if my eyes don’t deceive me you are looking at a pretty beefed-up C-Class, even compared to the C63 sedan. There is a touch of extra aggressiveness thanks to the lower suspension and the wider front fenders, while those with a keen eye can also check out the traditional, A-shaped, front bumper with larger air intakes, an oversized brake system with cross-drilled rotors, and a quad-tip exhaust system.

Oddly enough, the spied prototype features different front and rear wheels, with the front ones identical to those found on the Mercedes-AMG C63 S and Edition 1 models. At first glance, the rear wheel-and-tire combo seems slightly larger than on the C63 sedan, where 265/35 R19 is the largest option. Like the sedan, the 2017 C63 Coupe will come in two flavors initially, both powered by different versions of the same powerplant — a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 that is nearly identical to the one from the Mercedes-AMG GT. The "regular" model will deliver 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, while the C63 S Coupe will feature 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, both versions making it the most powerful coupe in its segment.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe.

Why it matters

The 2017 C63 Coupe will arrive in a segment that was until recently dominated by the BMW M3 Coupe, and is currently led by the BMW M4. Despite clearly outgunning the M4 in terms of power and at least straightline performance, the new AMG model will also have to battle the likes of the Lexus RC F – which is less of a threat performance-wise – and the pretty potent 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe, which features two fewer cylinders but almost as much horsepower as the "basic" C63. A new Audi RS5 is still a long way from coming, so the aforementioned trio will be the main contenders in this highly disputed segment for a couple of years.

The ample amounts of both horsepower and torque will probably keep the C63 Coupe as tail-happy as its predecessor, but the improved AMG suspension and lower weight could transform it into the an M4-killer on the track as well – obviously, depending on the track.

2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe - Spy Shots

2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe Begins Testing: Spy Shots High Resolution Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe Begins Testing: Spy Shots High Resolution Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe Begins Testing: Spy Shots High Resolution Exterior Spyshots
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