AMG’s range-topper for the new C-Class convertible

Mercedes is debuting a ton of AMG products in New York this year, including the GLC43, E43, and CLA45. The latest addition to the roster is the new C63 Cabriolet, which follows hot on the heels of the C-Class Cabriolet and C43 Cabriolet that dropped in Geneva earlier this month. The C63 Cab adds the usual high-performance AMG’d bits and pieces, like an aggressive exterior package and an upgraded interior. The biggest news, however, is what’s making the go, as this range-topper replaces the C43’s twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 with a twin-turbo V-8.

Buyers can choose between two levels of C63 Cab – the standard version, or the even-crazier C63 S. Both are fire-breathing tire-shredders with a zeal for velocity, very much in line with the established AMG go-faster philosophy. But does the open-top design dilute the formula?

Updated 03/23/2016: The 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 was officially revealed in New York! Read on for all the details.

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

Exterior

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Even before its big reveal at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, the C63 Cabriolet’s aesthetics weren’t really a mystery. The look closely mimics that of the C63 Coupe, exhibiting all the pumped-up character you’d expect from a model at the top of the AMG totem pole.

There are massively flared wheels arches, an ultra-wide stance, and gigantic wheels. Funny enough, Mercedes says it had to redesign a lot of the standard Cabriolet’s exterior to accommodate the bigger engine and wider track. For example, the wheel arches add 2.5 inches in front and 2.6 inches in the rear, while the aluminum hood adds 2.4 inches of length.

There are massively flared wheels arches, an ultra-wide stance, and gigantic wheels.

Front and center is the traditional three-pointed star, which is bisected by a “twin-blade” radiator grille. Below that is an “A-wing” bumper, with large side intakes and a front splitter that juts off the chin. The hood bulges with muscular lines leading the eye rearwards.

In the flanks are more aggressive side skirts. The doors are frameless, and there’s matte chrome trim around the A-pillar. There are standard 10-spoke, 18-inch alloy wheels with a titanium grey finish on the C63, while the C63 S gets 19-inchers in a five twin-spoke design, also made from a lightweight alloy and finished in titanium grey. Options include forged cross-spoke wheels in matte black, staggered at 19-inches in front and 20-inches in back.

In back are slim taillights and a rounded tail. The quad exhaust tips get a chrome-plated finish, and come integrated with a well-defined diffuser. Additional chrome and gloss black are used for trim throughout the exterior, and the trunk lid sports a body-colored lip spoiler.

Letting in the fresh air is a multi-layered-cloth top, which will be offered in a variety of colors.

Interior

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Inside, you get the same C-Class layout and feel, but with a heady dose of AMG-ness where appropriate.

You also get a few of cabriolet-friendly features, such as AirScarf.

Basically, that means seat adjusters on the doors, three air vents placed below a freestanding infotainment screen on the center console, and tons of premium materials (leather, microfiber, aluminum) used throughout. The seats are sporty and highly bolstered, the steering wheel has three spokes and a flat bottom, and the gauge cluster is unique to the AMG line. Contrast stitching is used as well.

You also get a few of cabriolet-friendly features, such as AirScarf, which places heat outlets at neck level to keep you toasty while enjoying the extra headroom. Options include Performance seats covered in heat-reflecting Nappa leather.

Finally, the cloth top can be opened and closed at speeds up to 31 mph.

Drivetrain

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There are two performance levels to choose from when considering the C63 Cabriolet – the standard model, and the even-faster S model. Both come with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 engine, which also happens to be the same powerplant used in the C63 Coupe and AMG GT.

Engine features include a flap in the exhaust as standard for more sound when the time is right. There’s also an optional Performance exhaust that offers flap control with the push of a button. It should also be noted that the two turbos are mounted inside the cylinder bank “V,” making for a more compact design and quicker spool. Each engine is hand-assembled in Affalterbach by a single technician.

Each engine is hand-assembled in Affalterbach by a single technician.

The standard model pumps out 469 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 479 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm, while the S gets 503 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 516 pound-feet at 1,750 rpm. Both engine tunes mate to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddles on the steering wheel.

Put the hammer down, and 0-to-60 mph happens in 4.0 seconds in the S, while the non-S is a tenth slower at 4.1 seconds. At the top end, the standard model is electronically limited to 155 mph, while the S is electronically limited at 174 mph.

Drivetrain Specifications

Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet
Displacement 3,982 cc 3,982 cc
Output 469 HP @ 5,500-6,250 RPM 503 HP @ 5,500-6,250 RPM
Peak torque 479 LB-FT @ 1,750-4,500 RPM 516 lb-ft @ 1,750-4,500 RPM
Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.1 s 4.0 s
Top speed 155 mph (electronically limited) 174 mph (electronically limited)

Chassis And Handling

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Even with the extra weight that comes with a convertible body style and luxury-laden interior, the C63 Cabriolet should still be mighty quick, as evidenced by its test sessions at the infamous Nurburgring racetrack.

Up front is a four-link suspension set-up with model-specific steering knuckles. The rear axle was made specifically for the coupe and cabriolet, and comes with a multi-link suspension and higher negative camber. The wheel bearings were also moved outwards by an inch compared to the sedan. The standard C63 Cab gets a mechanical limited-slip differential, while the S gets a more sensitive electronic unit.

As you’d expect, there are multiple driving settings for nearly every component of the car

As you’d expect, there are multiple driving settings for nearly every component of the car, allowing the driver a multiplicity of options when it comes to finding the right balance between comfort and sportiness. This includes the AMG Ride Control adaptive damping, electronic stability control, electromechanical speed-sensitive steering, and even the dynamic engine mounts.

The brakes are drilled 14.2-inch discs on the non-S, while the S gets 15.4-inch discs. Larger 15.8-inch brakes made from ceramic are available for the S, offering shorter stops, less fade, and reduced unsprung weight for better steering response.

Both the C63 and C63 S get wheels measuring nine inches across in front and 10.5 inches across in the rear. The non-S tires are measure at 255/50 R18 in front, and 285/35 R18 in the rear. Meanwhile, the C63 S gets tires measured at 255/35 R19 in front, and 285/30 R19 in back.

Safety

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The C63 comes standard with a variety of active and passive safety technology. This includes attention assist, which can detect when the driver is getting drowsy or distracted, and collision prevention, which can help avoid frontal collisions.

You’ll also find additional safety technologies on the options list.

Prices

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The AMG C63 Cabriolet will arrive in dealers sometime this fall. There is no official pricing numbers as of this writing, but since the hardtop costs around $65,000, we’re thinking the Cab will tack on an additional $10K for an MSRP of $75,000, give or take a few grand. That would place it right alongside the BMW M4 Convertible in terms of pricing. If you want the top-spec C63 S, expect to shell out around $90,000.

Of course, those number are before you start digging into the options list, which will include a variety of packages for more performance (ceramic brakes, sport exhaust), a sportier look (upgraded aero, interior amenities), and additional trim (carbon fiber, glossy black).

Competition

BMW M4 Convertible

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Probably the closest rival for the C63 Cabriolet is the BMW M4 Convertible. Under the hood is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Power hits the ground via an active differential, while adaptive suspension keeps it line. The 0-to-62 mph sprint is done in 4.2 seconds.

Read the full review here.

Audi RS5 Cabriolet

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Before settling into the Merc, cross shoppers will undoubtedly need to take a look at the Audi RS5 Cabriolet. While a bit tamer than the AMG monster, the RS5 is no slouch, packing a 4.2-liter V-8 good for 444 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. Routed through a seven-speed automatic transmission and standard quattro AWD system, a run to 62 mph takes 4.9 seconds. There’s also optional dynamic suspension to help it turn.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

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It’s always amazing to see just how advanced the modern sports convertible has become, and this latest effort from Mercedes is a solid indicator of where the new benchmark is when talking about performance. This is particularly important when you’re talking about handling. While extra output can easily make a boatload of straight-line speed, making it turn without the rigidity of a metal roof can be quite tricky. I’m excited to see how this Merc performs when it’s put on the track.

  • Leave it
    • * Cloth top is a little low-tech for a Mercedes
    • * Can it hang with the M4 in the corners?

Press Release

The new MY2017 AMG C63 Cabriolet combines an intensive open-air ambience with the AMG V8 engine to create an exhilarating performance experience. The Biturbo engine developed in Affalterbach by AMG is available in two output ratings, with 469 hp or 503 hp. Flared wheel arches at the front and rear, the wide track and large wheels underscore powerful exterior looks. Agile longitudinal and lateral dynamics come courtesy of the sophisticated AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive damping adjustment, rear-axle limited-slip differential and dynamic engine mounts (on the AMG C63 S).

Performance-oriented AMG enthusiasts can enjoy the largest selection in the market segment with the Mercedes-AMG C-Class, available in the U.S. as Sedan, Coupe and Cabriolet by Fall 2016 with a V6 Biturbo engine and all-wheel drive with the C43, or the C63 and C63 S model with a V8 Biturbo engine in two output ratings. "The C-Class is a decisive factor in our company’s success. The new combination of intensive open-air ambience and powerful V8 engine is unique in the segment and perfectly supplements our large C-Class range," says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. Extensive know-how from motorsport and the passion of the AMG engineers, designers and product managers form the basis for an emotional driving experience with the new Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet. It will be celebrating its world premiere on March 23, 2016 at the New York International Auto Show. The AMG C63 Cabriolet will be on sale at US dealerships by fall of 2016.

Unique offering in the segment with V8 Biturbo engine

The C63 Cabriolet is exceptional in every respect, being the only vehicle in the segment to boast an 8-cylinder Biturbo engine. Mercedes-AMG thus meets the wishes of those customers who desire a combination of a highly emotional, unmistakable engine sound and torquey power delivery.

The driver also benefits from the unrivalled performance: the C63 S Cabriolet accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and on to a top speed of 174 mph (electronically limited). The C63 Cabriolet accelerates to 60 in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).

New V8 Biturbo closely related to the engine in the Mercedes-AMG GT

The 4.0-liter V8 Biturbo engine is already used in the C63 Sedan and Coupe. It is also installed in the AMG GT sports car with dry sump lubrication. A characteristic feature is that the two turbochargers are positioned not on the outside of the cylinder banks, but between them in the "V" – experts call this the "hot inside V."

The main advantages of this design are the compact engine construction, optimal response and low exhaust gas emissions. Each engine is assembled by hand in the engine shop in Affalterbach according to the "One Man - One Engine" principle.

Exhaust system with flap technology for variable engine sound

The V8 engine sound was a key development goal for all C-Class AMG models. A model-specific exhaust system with flap technology is equipped as standard on each model and is automatically controlled depending on the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode, the power demanded by the driver and the engine speed. Optionally available is the Performance exhaust system, which allows the sound to be modulated at the press of a button.

Faster gearshifts: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission

The transmission plays a major part in the direct and sporty character of the new Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission impresses with its tailor-made dynamics and high variability. Whether automatic or initiated by the driver using the steering wheel shift paddles, upshifts and downshifts are executed quickly; this is achieved by specifically adjusting the engine and transmission parameters.

Specific suspension for maximum lateral and longitudinal dynamics

The fascinating agility and high cornering speed of the C63 Cabriolet are also thanks to the standard-fit AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with adaptive damping adjustment. The driver can select the three suspension settings "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport +" via a button in the center console. Whatever the setting, each wheel is automatically and electronically controlled.

A four-link front suspension with radial, racing-style brake connections is used. Model-specific steering knuckles and a wider track allow greater lateral acceleration.

The rear axle was newly developed for the Coupe and Cabriolet. The multi-link concept ensures highly precise wheel control and increased stiffness. The AMG- specific rear axle carrier makes the wider track possible, with the contact surfaces of the wheel bearings moved outward by another inch compared with the Sedan. Other innovations include AMG-specific wheel carriers, stiffer elastokinematic tuning and higher negative camber.

As standard the C63 Cabriolet is shod with 10-spoke light-alloy wheels 9.0" x 18" (front) and 10.5" x 18" (rear) with rims painted titanium grey with a high-sheen finish and tires in size 255/40 R 18 (front) and 285/35 R 18 (rear). The C63 S Cabriolet runs on tires of sizes 255/35 R 19 (front) and 285/30 R 19 (rear) mounted on 9.0" x 19" (front) and 10.5" x 19" (rear) 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, also painted titanium grey with a high-sheen finish.

Other tire/wheel combinations are optionally available. These include forged cross- spoke wheels painted matte black with a high-sheen rim flange and staggered- fitment tires. The front axle features 255/35 R 19 tires on 9.0" x 19" wheels, while the rear axle is fitted with 285/30 R 20 tires on 10.5" x 20" wheels (AMG C63 Cabrio only).

Rear-axle limited-slip differential: optimal traction on and off the race track

For improved traction and vehicle dynamics, the C63 Cabriolet is equipped with a mechanical rear-axle limited-slip differential, while the C63 S Cabriolet comes with an electronic version. Both differentials reduce the slip on the inside wheel when cornering without control interventions from the braking system allowing the driver to accelerate out of corners earlier thanks to improved traction. The car remains more stable when braking from high speeds, and the limited-slip differential also improves traction when accelerating. The model-specific, completely redesigned rear axle was specially adapted to the higher vehicle dynamics of the Cabriolet.

The greatest benefit from the electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential – which is installed as standard exclusively on the C63 S – is the even more sensitive and faster control, which pushes the thresholds higher and makes it even easier to drive at the vehicle’s limits. The 3-stage ESP® with "ESP ON," "ESP SPORT Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF" settings work in perfect unison with the rear-axle limited-slip differential and is optimally tuned for outstanding driving dynamics.

AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes

The driver is able to influence the characteristics of the C63 with four different AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes. The driver decides on the desired driving experience, from comfortable and economical to super-sporty, using a controller to the left of the touchpad.

"Comfort" is the well-balanced transmission mode with a comfort-oriented suspension and steering set-up, as well as a fuel-efficient powertrain configuration - including smooth gearshifts and a discreet engine note. The "sailing function" for a further reduction in fuel consumption is new: when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch of the MCT transmission is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level and driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.

The transmission modes "Sport" and "Sport +" enhance the C63 Cabriolet’s sporty intensity. The C63 S also comes with the "RACE" mode, which provides the optimum setting for challenging laps on racing circuits.

C63 S with dynamic engine mounts as standard

Unique in its segment, the C63 S Cabriolet – like the Sedan and Coupe – is equipped with dynamic engine mounts. These dynamic mounts are very quickly and variably able to adapt their stiffness to various driving conditions. Soft engine mounts improve comfort, as they provide more effective decoupling of noise and vibration, however handling and agility benefit from a generally stiffer mount set-up. These measures enhance the vehicle’s precision when driven dynamically and make both steering response and feedback even more direct.

Precise, agile handling

The electromechanical, speed-sensitive sports steering ensures agile handling assistance with the three steering characteristics: "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport +." The power steering is not only speed-sensitive but also factors in the current lateral acceleration, the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or the setting of the AMG RIDE CONTROL adaptive damping.

The high-performance braking system of the C63 Cabriolet ensures short stopping distances and excellent control with large cross-drilled and vented brake discs measuring 14.2" in diameter at the front and rear. The C63 S Cabriolet is fitted with compound brake discs at the front with a diameter of 15.4" to account for increased performance. A high-performance compound braking system with ceramic discs measuring 15.8" in diameter on the front axle is optionally available for the C63 S Cabriolet. They weigh just half of comparable conventional brake discs and as a result reduce unsprung masses. This in turn substantially improves the steering response.

Design visualizes performance

The impressive proportions of the Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet instantly catch the eye. The 8-cylinder engine, together with the increased track width on the front and rear axles, called for a redesigned front end and a model-specific rear assembly as well as new quarter panels. The flared wheel arches make the AMG Cabriolet 2.5" wider at the front and 2.6" wider at the rear compared with the standard Cabriolet, enabling the vehicle to hug the road better.

Two striking powerdomes adorn the 2.4" longer aluminum hood, underscoring powerful looks. The typical AMG "A-wing" front spoiler serves as an air deflector for the three cooling air intakes. Additional flics ensure an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules in the wheel arches. A front splitter at the bottom of the front bumper helps to reduce front-axle lift. The low, arrow-shaped "twin blade" radiator grille with AMG lettering also visually lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity.

The side line, too, presents an entirely unique face thanks to the large wheels, which finish flush with the body, and special side skirts. The lateral inward step from door to sill lends additional emphasis to the wide base.

The multi-layered fabric soft top with glass window follows the Coupe’s roof line with the top closed, thus reinforcing the impression of a meticulously modelled sculpture. Frameless doors, fully retractable side windows and the absence of a visible B-pillar further enhance the side view. Refined detail: in typical sports car fashion, the exterior rear-view mirrors are mounted on the door rather than in the mirror triangle.

With the roof open, the meticulous coordination between exterior and interior design becomes apparent. High-grade details include the matte chrome trim on the A-pillar and windscreen as well as a beltline molding, which extends as far as the soft-top compartment and borders this with a broad matte chrome trim.

The rear, with its all-new styling, comes across as very sporty thanks to the broad shoulders and a diffuser insert. The special design of the laterally positioned optical air outlet openings improves the rear air flow. Features such as the narrow rear reflectors reinforce the impression of width. The two chrome-plated twin tailpipes of the AMG exhaust system are harmoniously integrated into the diffuser. A narrow, body-color lip spoiler is located on the trunk lid.

Interior with high-class appeal

The interior of the C63 Cabriolet offers a wealth of fine details, carefully selected high-grade materials and precise workmanship.

The instrument panel is trimmed with black MB-Tex with contrasting topstitching. The wing-like aluminum trim and the analog clock in IWC design (depending on specification) underscores the high-quality impression. The touchpad is flanked by the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch and several AMG-specific controls such as the button for the 3-stage AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension, 3-stage ESP® or optionally the button for the AMG Performance exhaust system.

A sporty and dynamic ambience is also ensured by the 3-spoke Performance steering wheel with a 12 o’clock marking and the instrument cluster. Equipped with specific gauges in carbon-fiber look, the speedometer reads up to 200 mph. Performance seats are also available as an alternative to the standard-fit sports seats: these provide occupants with a lower seating position and are more strongly contoured for increased lateral support.

Intelligent cabriolet concept

Intelligent functions such as operation of the fabric soft top while driving (up to 31 mph, initiated below 3 mph), the standard AIRSCARF neck-level heating and the optional, automatic AIRCAP deflector provide extraordinary comfort with open-top motoring 365 days a year.

Exclusive options include the fully automatic fabric acoustic soft top, which is available in black, dark brown, dark blue or dark red. The multi-layered structure incorporates various insulation materials and reduces interior noise levels.

Exclusive optional extras

The AMG Performance Studio offers technical and design highlights that make the Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet even sportier, more exclusive and more individual.

Key extras include:

AMG Performance exhaust system with flap control at the push of a button
Greater differentiation of the exhaust note through two additional exhaust flaps
Exhaust note dependent on selected transmission mode - clear differentiation between full in the C and S modes and distinctly sporty in the S+ and RACE modes
Additional control of the exhaust note via button on the center control panel in the center console
AMG ceramic high-performance front brakes with compound brake discs in diameter 15.8" x 1.5" (front) and integral 14.2" x 1.0" brake discs (rear), specially painted brake calipers and "AMG Carbon Ceramic" lettering
AMG Night package:
Silver chrome louver in the radiator grille
High-gloss black A-wing of the front bumper and A-wing trim strip
Side sill panel inserts in high-gloss black
Rear bumper trim strip in high-gloss black
Exterior mirror housings in high-gloss black
Sports exhaust system with two chrome-plated twin tailpipe tips
AMG Exterior Carbon-Fiber package I:
Silver chrome louver in the radiator grille
A-wing of the front bumper in carbon
Side sill panel inserts in carbon
Upper trim panel of rear bumper in carbon
AMG Exterior Carbon-Fiber package II:
Exterior mirror housings in carbon-fiber
Lip spoiler in carbon
Other unique interior options:
Performance seats for driver and front passenger with more heavily contoured seat for enhanced lateral support, integrated head restraints and "AMG" badge in the backrests
Two-tone nappa leather red pepper/black or platinum white/black, perforated
Carbon-fiber/light aluminum trim with longitudinal grain
Matte silver glass fiber/aluminum with bright longitudinal grain trim

Safety of the highest caliber

The Cabriolet also offers a supreme level of safety. It comes as standard with ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, which helps to prevent rear-end collisions. Many other optional assistance systems are available to increase both comfort and safety.

Exclusive "Edition 1" special model for the market launch

The C63 S Cabriolet will also be available as "Edition 1" model for the market launch: the exclusive combination of extraordinary items of equipment turn the special model into the flagship of the range. The "Edition 1" is only available in designo cashmere white magno. The Night package adds additional highlights with chrome-plated tailpipe trims and the lip spoiler in high-gloss black.

The genuine racing feel continues in the interior. The Performance seats are trimmed in heat-reflecting AMG nappa leather in saddle brown/black in a diamond design. The mid grey contrasting topstitching, AMG badges and black middle section in the rear accentuate sporty looks. Mid grey contrasting topstitching is also found on the black door center panels in a diamond design, armrests, steering wheel rim and beltlines. With the black nappa leather Performance steering wheel with flat bottom and the silver control buttons, the driver always has the C63 S Cabriolet safely under control.

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