The two-door has a broader stance on the road and tweaked suspension, translating into an even more involving driving experience. It also has an angrier exhaust note, which signals its position as the pinnacle of the vast Mercedes-Benz C-Class line-up.
- Performance. Mountains of it. AMG’s rumbling twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 has never been wanting in the grunt department, and has no problem dealing with the C63 S Coupe’s 70kg weight gain over its sedan relative. Due to the Coupe’s broader footprint and improved grip, it’s marginally quicker from zero to 100km/h than the sedan, and some exhaust-system tuning means it sounds angrier too. Like hitting the ‘Loud’ button on a stereo, you gain extra bass.
- Handling and ride. Not only does the C63 S two-door handle more sweetly than its four-door relatives, it’s more confidence-inspiring too. Broader tyres, extra width and subtle suspension enhancements endow the Coupe with greater poise, as well as a more polished ride, particularly in its sportier suspension settings.
- Less doors means more style. Well, that’s how most people feel, anyway. Where the regular C-Class coupe is all about its svelte lines and classy elegance, the AMG version introduces some tough-looking streetwear and two mean pairs of boots, to dramatic effect. There’s definitely something theatrical about the impact of the Coupe’s vast tyre width and bulging wheelarches.
- Styling’s gain is practicality’s loss – as you’d expect in a coupe – even though the deficit isn’t great. The C63 S Coupe feels virtually identical up front, besides the exclusivity of frameless doors, and its boot continues to offer plenty of luggage space. It’s the rear seat that suffers, though two adults could ride comfortably for short periods of time. Kids won’t have an issue, however there are only seatbelts for two, not three.
- Driving ease. If you don’t expect a car to challenge you, the regular C300 Coupe offers a superb mix of serenity and sports. But not the C63 S. At times, it requires subtle applications of the accelerator pedal to drive smoothly, and on bad roads, its ride can be quite brutal. You’ll also rarely get to deploy its full performance arsenal around town. If you do, on cold tyres, expect the electronics to be working double-time to maintain some semblance of traction.
- The twin-turbo V8’s urban thirst. While cruise-controlled journeys on country roads and freeways deliver unexpectedly good fuel economy, the same can’t be said of inner-city gridlock, regardless of what the fuel sticker says. Consumption isn’t terrible, but it ain’t great either.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?
The C63 S’s most obvious rival is the BMW M4 Competition, an uprated version of the regular M4 intended to sharpen the focus and finesse of BMW’s once-iconic coupe. And let’s not forget the Porsche Cayman S. It’s on the cusp of having its legendary flat-six engines replaced with turbocharged flat-fours, so if that makes you recoil, hurry. It also only seats two. Beyond those two, there’s the ageing Audi RS5 Coupe, which still has its good points, and the nice-sounding but less hardcore Lexus RC-F.