Take the ‘regular’ car and give it a massive testosterone shot. Pretty much what the guys at AMG do to the Mercedes-Benz range of stock cars. Mercedes-AMG did not waste any time at all to give the new C-Class Cabriolet exactly that. So while we were in Italy to drive the new C-Cabrio, we also got our hands on the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet. The AMG alter ego comes in 3 variants – the C63 S, C63 and the C43 Cabriolet. We drove the most potent as that’s what we reckon will show up in India some months down the line.
Our test car was dressed in sumptuous Selenite Grey paint with a Cranberry Red fabric roof. We assure you, no matter where you take this car, you are bound to drop jaws and turn heads. The C63 S Cabrio has a muscular stance, an elegant face and lots of carbon fibre to justify that AMG tag! But the real reason for that tag comes from under the hood: 4.0 litre, twin-turbo V8 that unleashes 503 horses at full gallop from 5,500 rpm through to 6,250 rpm. It also churns out a mad 700 Nm of torque from as low as 1,750rpm all the way through to 4,500rpm.
All that power is transferred to the rear wheels via a 7-speed AMG MCT Speedshift transmission. It feels sinfully delightful. Mash the pedal and you are thrust back in your seat with a real ferocity. The soundtrack of the mighty V8 Biturbo engine has a thunderous exhaust note – likely loud enough to put the fear of God into atheists as well! The boom is accompanied by the mandatory pops and crackles as the C63 S Cabriolet is being put through its paces on the tarmac. It does 0-100 kmph in a mere 4.1 seconds from standstill, while the top speed is an electronically limited 250 kmph (that can be specced to reach 280kmph as well).
The C63 S Cabriolet tips the scale at 1,925 kgs which is kind of heavy – especially when compared to the BMW M4 Cabrio or even the much tamer Audi S5. This is primarily because the rear axles and the chassis have been stiffened to cope with the loss of structural integrity due to the fabric roof. But the suspension has been setup in a manner that extracts the best out of the car. Its nice and stiff, and even the minutest of irritants on the road will be felt on the steering and filter through to your spine as well. But the plus side to that is the car handles sharply and eagerly holds the line through corners and twists. Of course, you can choose from three different suspension setups according to your mood or needs: Comfort, Sport and Sport+.
The car we had had a bit of a dull interior – with a grey and black colour scheme with bits of silver – especially dull for such a potent and powerful machine. The central console gets a dash of carbon fibre and is fitted with an IWC Schaffhausen time piece that looks very high-end. The flat bottomed steering wheel adds to the sporty appeal of the car. Just like other C-Class Cabriolet models, the C63 S also gets the AIRCAP (which basically prevent the airflow from intruding the cabin) and the AIRSCARF (for blowing hot air on to occupants’ neck to keep them from freezing in chilly conditions) systems, as standard.
The official line is that Mercedes-Benz India will not be importing the C63 S Cabriolet. But while that may be disheartening for the AMG fans, we have it on good authority that it is simply not in the immediate pipeline. India will first get the C300 Cabriolet by early 2017 and the AMG avatar is only likely to follow that in about 6 months thereafter. Expect it to be priced rather steeply, but then it’s an AMG, and it does have that monster 4.0-litre V8 and the open-top!