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Wednesday / 19 June 2024
HomeFeaturesSneak preview of the new Mercedes-AMG C63 in South Africa

Sneak preview of the new Mercedes-AMG C63 in South Africa

Mercedes-Benz South Africa has given local media a sneak preview of the new, locally-built Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance one year before the vehicle is scheduled to launch in our market.

As such, these were pre-production units ripped away from their testing sessions to be presented on stage – marking one of the first times anyone outside of Mercedes has seen the cars in the metal.

The South African factory was chosen for this special occasion as this is where the C-Class sedan will be built and exported to 80 markets around the globe, including China.

To sweeten the event even more, the automaker organised hotlaps with development drivers around the East London Gran Prix circuit in the new C43 to give us a taste of what its electrified powertrains are capable of.

With nausea-inducing performance levels the “baby AMG” is already a sedan to be wary of if you’re in the M or RS corners, and after getting a feel for what it can do, we eagerly await the day when its bigger brother is released into the wild.

AMG steps up its game

The new C-Class AMG models are in a different league compared to their predecessors in abilities, features, design, and most importantly, performance.

What makes the four-doors so potent is the clever use of electricity under the bonnet in the form of an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger powered by a 48-volt system in the C43 as opposed to a 400-volt system in the C63.

These are the first series-production cars in the world to feature this system, said Mercedes, and it has quite a few benefits.

Chief among these is responsiveness, as turbo-lag has been reduced to effectively be null as electricity spools the turbocharger shaft so that it’s running at an optimal pace when the exhaust gas does start flowing through.

In partnership with a 2.0-litre, turbocharged motor the C43 generates 300kW and 500Nm, while the new flagship puts out a monstrous 500kW and 1,020Nm.

With each power unit paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive system, the AMG siblings flash to 100km/h in 4.6 seconds and 3.4 seconds, respectively, while topping out at 250km/h, which can be lifted by a few more kilometres per hour should the buyer want it.

Whether you’re getting a 43 or 63 you’ll also be glad to know that the motors are still built by hand by skilled craftsmen in Germany, too, staying true to the “One man. One engine.” ethos that AMG has been known for since the start.

Though while the new four-cylinder sedans still have a great soundtrack when the throttle is compressed, they, unfortunately, can’t compete with the beautiful V6 and V8 bellows of what is quickly becoming a bygone era.

The grip of the new models has also been sharpened to scalpel-like precision compared to the “German muscle cars” that AMGs always tended to behave like. This is thanks, in part, to standard fit rear-wheel steering (RWS) and active suspension.

The C43 in the hands of a professional was truly an exciting, and somewhat frightening experience. It wasn’t the straight-line performance that did the trick, but rather the ability to keep this speed while throwing the car into corners.

The RWS brings additional maneuverability at under 100km/h which meant the C43 was able to squeeze through tighter spaces than expected, while the additional stability at high speeds meant the driver did not have to slow down as much before attacking longer bends, though the tail turning with the nose always remains a strange sensation and adds another element your body has to get used to.

At one point around the circuit, Mercedes also created an emergency braking scenario to show off its vehicles’ safety features. As the C43 sensed an obstruction in the road and the driver starting to brake and swerve it played a loud noise akin to TV static, which the spokesperson explained to the confused passengers was to prepare our ears for an imminent impact.

Inside, it’s as tastefully appointed and well-built as can be expected from the luxury carmaker.

The AMG seats keep your body pinned down and enveloped in swathes of soft leather, and generous use of carbon fibre weaves provides a sporty atmosphere.

The MBUX system also brings a host of AMG-specific content aimed at enhancing the dynamic driving experience, including entertaining graphics that show how much the rear wheels are turning, how much power you’re using, acceleration and lap timers, and Race Start – which primes the vehicles to achieve optimal sprints through using additional electric boost at launch.

As far as styling goes, the athletic sedans boast more aggressive bumpers, sills, grilles, and wheels than the standard C-Class while the C63 also occupies a bigger footprint thanks to a lengthening of the body and a wider wheelbase, though to the untrained eye we suspect they will be tougher to identify than the flashy AMGs of previous generations.

As a final touch for ushering in the next generation of AMG performance, the C63 is also the first model to feature the AMG Affalterbach badge instead of the traditional three-pointed star like you’d find on the C43.


Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic


Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance

@topautosa The new Mercedes-AMG C63 doing what it’s built to do 😍 #donut #southafrica #fyp #foryoupage #mercdedes #amg #topauto #carsoftiktok ♬ original sound – TopAuto


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