When the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG (2008-2014) went out of production, naturally-aspirated AMGs were no more. A pity. Like its arch-rival the E92 BMW M3, the C63 had a V8 engine – displacing 6.2 litres – endowing it with a typically-AMG, polished, hot rod persona.

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe

evo pulled the above duo together on six separate occasions to crown an overall victor in the BMW M3. However, the margins were slim: where the AMG fell down dynamically, the M3 was unflustered and totally composed. Away from comparisons, the C63 is a true thriller and wonderfully indulgent; receptive to large angles of slip, tyre-smoking action and of course boasting the archetypal AMG soundtrack.

Derived from the W204 C-class, the AMG C63 launched in the UK as a saloon and estate, its M156 6.2-litre V8 developed 335kW at 6800rpm and 600Nm of torque. Hooked up to AMG’s impressive, seven-speed torque converter (Speedshift Plus 7G-tronic) transmission the C63 dispatched 0-100km/h in 4.4sec and topped out at a (limited) 250km/h. This was raised to 280km/h through the optional Performance Pack, which also brought uprated suspension and brakes, a carbonfibre boot lid spoiler and the all-important limited-slip differential. The latter was struck from the Performance Plus Pack, introduced in 2010, along with the higher-grade suspension. Substituted in were lightweight pistons, conrods and crankshaft out of the SLS, boosting power to 357kW – the engine mods having been previewed in the 380kW ‘DR520’ model.

In 2011 came a facelift and the coupe version, which spawned the range-topping 380kW Black Series model. New front-end styling and a revised gearbox – delivering snappier shifts and an extra ‘S+’ mode – constituted the refresh and formed the basis for the runout model, the Edition 507, in 2013 with 370kW and a beefier brake setup.

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By and large values for used C63’s are levelling off after steep initial depreciation. However, values for the most collectible and cleanest cars are inflating so now’s the time to buy.

EngineV8, 6208cc
Max power336kW @ 6800rpm
Max torque600Nm @ 5000rpm
TransmissionSeven-speed automatic,
rear-wheel drive
Weight1655kg
Power-to-weight205kW/ton
0-62mph4.4sec (tested)
Top speed250km/h (limited)

Engine

The standard and Performance Pack Plus engines are ‘pretty much bulletproof’ according to Ollie Stoner of Mercedes Specialist Prestige Car Service. Reports of early cars suffering from valve-gear wear (camshaft lobes and tappets) are known but rare, and head bolts have snapped but these occasions are rarer still. Another infrequent fault, is sticky injectors, which stay open flooding the bore with fuel; the resultant hydraulic pressures created can break conrods.

Transmission

‘The automatic gearbox is extremely reliable,’ reckons Ollie. We’d recommend an LSD-equipped car – on track and in fast road driving it transforms the handling. Even so, you can retrofit an aftermarket LSD, Quaife’s ATB LSD is a popular choice, and often looked to as an upgrade on the standard issue LSD. On the subject of traction, it’s worth talking tyres. On budget boots the AMG’s handling is ruined and grip reduced, a worrying thought in a 370kW sports car.

Suspension, steering, brakes 

On occasion you’ll come across a leaky damper and high-milers will need new bushes, but the suspension is largely trouble free. Listen out for knocks when passing over bumps, it normally indicates there’s some slack in the steering rack – it’s a relatively easy fix.

Body, interior, electrics

Rear-drive and huge power is often the recipe for an accident, so take your time to check for crash damage. As expected the cabin is well screwed together, but the front seat bolsters can suffer from wear from ingress and egress. The electrics are sound, but the software governing the engine and gearbox may be out of date, so take it to a specialist to download the updates.

With great power comes great responsibility – for the brakes. They come in for a lot of punishment hauling the C63 down from speed, fortunately replacing them isn’t too expensive. You can eke 25,000 miles from a set of pads if you’re careful, however it’s likely you’ll need to swap out the discs at the same time due to their short lifespan – more powerful brakes are a popular upgrade.

Body, interior, electrics

Rear-drive and huge power is often the recipe for an accident, so take your time to check for crash damage. As expected the cabin is well screwed together, but the front seat bolsters can suffer from wear from ingress and egress. The electrics are sound, but the software governing the engine and gearbox may be out of date, so take it to a specialist to download the updates.