You'll Like The 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class If...
You'll like the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG if you want an eminently capable sports sedan but also appreciate the luxury and refinement associated with the Mercedes brand. Fans of performance cars who can't justify an impractical coupe will find a more civilized, livable driving experience with the C63 AMG.
You May Not Like The 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class If...
You may not like the C63 AMG if driving comfort tops your list of priorities. The performance-focused suspension of C63 AMG takes a toll, albeit not a huge one, on ride quality.
The biggest improvement over the previous AMG-tuned C-class is in the engine bay. A new 6.3-liter V8 replaces the previous 5.5-liter engine, bringing with it a sizable increase in horsepower. In addition to more power, the new C63 AMG features bolder styling than previous models.
The cabin of the C63 AMG features a racy, yet luxurious motif, in perfect harmony with the vehicle's performance focus. The front seats offer enough support to keep passengers in place, even at racetrack forces. The race-car inspired flat-bottomed steering wheel is covered in perforated leather and features paddle shifters for manual control of the seven-speed automatic transmission. The interior of the C63 is cozy but comfortable and remains pleasingly quiet at freeway speeds; at least until the gas pedal is floored, at which time the cabin fills with the exciting noises created by the V8 engine.
In terms of exterior styling, the C63 AMG looks far more aggressive than the C55 AMG it replaces, let alone the standard Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The C63 features a number of exterior details not shared with any other C-Class model including striking front wheel arches and a host of intakes and vents that give it a look similar to the cars of the DTM German Touring Car race series. The hood features a pair of raised "blisters" that hint at the powerful V8 lurking underneath. In the rear are a functional spoiler, twin chrome tailpipes and a black diffuser-like bumper insert.
When driving the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, it is easy to focus solely on acceleration – it's hard to ignore the 451 horsepower waiting to be unleashed beneath your right foot. In fact, the C63 can accelerate from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds, on its way to an electronically limited top-speed of 155 miles per hour. The suspension has also been heavily altered compared to the standard C-Class giving the C63 AMG improved road-holding abilities and a sense of agility not always associated with Mercedes-Benz. The ride quality is firm – too firm for some, perhaps – but not brutal considering the handling capabilities of the C63. Keeping the speeds generated by the powerful engine in check are monstrous 14.2-inch front brake rotors and beefy calipers that deliver powerful and fade-free braking performance.
Pricing for the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG starts at about $54,500. When equipped with the Premium, Multimedia and Seating Packages the price can swell to nearly $63,000. Among its competitors, the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG is actually a bit of a value with a base price around $2,000 less than the BMW M3 Sedan and Lexus IS-F and a full $15,000 less than the Audi RS 4. To compare the actual transaction prices for the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG in your area, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price. The Mercedes-Benz C63 is expected to hold its value reasonably well over time, although its residual values slightly trail those of the BMW M3, Audi RS4 and Lexus IS-F.
Among the standard features offered for the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG are heated front seats, Bluetooth phone connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control, steering wheel audio controls, cruise control, auto-dimming mirrors, and a power sunroof. In terms of safety the C63 AMG features standard front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, three-stage stability control, traction control and active front headrests.
There are several option packages offered for the C63 AMG. The Premium Package adds a power rear-window shade, heated headlamp washers and bi-xenon headlamps. The Multimedia Package features a CD Changer, navigation system with seven-inch power retractable display and a harmon/kardon surround-sound audio system, while the Seating Package includes Nappa Leather upholstery and memory for the front seats. Stand-alone options include metallic paint, a six-disc CD changer and TeleAid, which features automatic theft and crash notification.
harman/kardon LOGIC 7 Sound System
It's hard to compete with the alluring sound of the C63's V8 but the optional harman/kardon LOGIC 7 audio system does a good job. Delivering crisp highs and rich, powerful bass the system transforms the C63 into a mobile discotheque with the turn of the volume knob.
AMG Sport Seats
The front seats of the C63 AMG are covered in Nappa leather and feature racy-looking integrated headrests. On the racetrack the seats offer excellent lateral support while remaining comfortable during extended journeys on the freeway.
Under the Hood
In building their vehicles, AMG adheres to the concept of "one man, one engine". That means the entire engine is hand-assembled by one technician who, upon completion, signs his name on the engine itself. In the case of the C63, the end result of the technician's work is a naturally-aspirated V8 producing a robust 451-horsepower. The only transmission offered is a seven-speed automatic with Sport, Comfort and Manual modes. Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow the driver to manually control shifts without moving his hands from the wheel.
451 horsepower at 6800 rpm
443 lb.-ft. of torque at 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/19
The letters A, M and G don't hold special meaning for most people. Say them to a Mercedes-Benz fan, though, and you're sure to elicit a smile – or an evil grin. AMG began in 1967 as a racing and tuning firm specializing in high-performance versions of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Forty years later, AMG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz and the in-house tuner for the automaker's highest-performing vehicles. Based on Mercedes-Benz' least expensive model, the C-Class, the C63 AMG represents the most accessibly priced AMG-tuned vehicle available. Despite its "affordability," the C63 AMG offers all the performance one would expect of a vehicle bearing the AMG name.