|6th October 2008, 13:07||#91|
Join Date: May 2008
Thanked: 42 Times
ecksreturns if these guys are not willing to import it for you, why don't you fly to London and order one here.
I have seen these car companies having a tax free option. Although I am not sure whether you can get tax free or not. I am sure you can further spec it up with the money saved!
Just my 2 cents(pence I mean!)
|8th October 2008, 01:29||#95|
Join Date: Sep 2008
Thanked: 4 Times
|8th October 2008, 01:33||#96|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Nov 2005
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|8th October 2008, 22:47||#101|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked: 74 Times
|3rd November 2008, 03:28||#104|
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Keep Travelling
Thanked: 3 Times
Mercedes Benz C63 AMG examined
Spinnin’ around my brain, driving you insane,
Rolling ‘round my head, going through the red,
Flyin’ down the road, ready to explode,
Burnin’ up the road, hitting overload...”
(Wheels by AC/DC, 2008)
After purchasing the latest album from the band, I realised that this day is so correct. I have the most expected album in my left palm and a key to the most unexpected automotive on my right palm. This key unlocks the doors to something that has a sex appeal and is completely mental. The only thing that was missing was angel dust. As I was driving along, I kept thinking I am strictly on the “Highway to hell”.
See, see, see I am driving a C63 worth seeing. This Mercedes screams value, screams style and screams performance. Once BMW released their V8 M3 coupe, Mercedes could not resist themselves. So, the AMG division released a V8 model called C63. In a nutshell, it is complete rock ’n‘roll.
This is a mid-sized sedan, which shifts from the regular segment of cars because it has been fed with an over-dose of power and torque. Wait a minute. That is a wrong statement. It wasn’t fed, but it was deliberately coerced to swallow so much power and torque. There is barely enough room under the bonnet as the engine has completely taken over. It clearly is Mercedes’s shift of target audience to young, sporty drivers. Whenever I scored a 98.2% in Mathematics, my tutors would “round it up” to 98%. I wish I were in Germany because over there, the 6208 cc engine is rounded up as 6.3 and not 6.2 litre; hence, it is called C63.
In this vehicle, the numerical figures bowl your mind over. You see, till now, if you bought a Mercedes model that began with the third English alphabet, you would get mixed reactions (depending on your area of residence). People would respect and say, “Ah, he has got a Merc”. On the other hand, people would disregard by saying, “He has got a C Class, duh”. There was a mixed reaction always. You never knew how your friends circle would react to your purchase. Well, if they do so when you have told them about your new C Class purchase now, smack them with the following numerical figures, okay?
The first figure: 4.5 – The C63 scarpers to 100kph in 4.5 seconds. Just for the record, it is slightly faster than the M3. That is remarkable as this car is heavy and is still as fast as a Porsche 911. This car is not only making the wannabe M3 owners to re-think but is also giving an alternative of a four-door fast car for potential 911 buyers.
The second figure: 450 – The C63 carries a hand-built 6.2 litre V8 engine that produces 450hp at 6800rpm. The C63 carries a detuned engine from the E63. While the E63 delivers slightly over 500hp and 630nm, the detuned C63 delivers 450hp and 600nm. But, their 0-100kph figures are identical as the E63 weighs 1840kilos, which is 110kilos more than the C63. I learnt that the difference in figures is also dependant on the amount of air fed to the engine. Since, the highly restricted space under the bonnet of the C63 permits very less air for the engine to suck, it makes it faster than the E63.
The third figure: 600 – The C63’s engine produces 600nm of torque that enhances mid-range acceleration. ¾ of that amount of torque (specifically 83%) is available from 2000 revs. As the number post the letter V increase, the revving of the engine is excused. For instance, a V12 needn’t rev up to what a V8 revs to reach an identical speed. The V8 in this Merc revs up to 7200rpm.
The fourth figure: 7 – It also carries the first all-new 7G-tronic automatic transmission. It has a new shift program that blips the engine during downshift and it makes the car sound cruel.
The fifth figure: 139,500 – That, readers, is the cost of the car that is AUD 20,000 cheaper than the less equipped, less advanced and less powerful C55. And, it is AUD 15,000 cheaper than the M3. It is AUD 60,000 cheaper than a 911.
This cars’ sound is enough to get your adrenalin pumped. Seriously, it sounds like a V8 supercar. You get so carried away, like I did, that I forgot to notice the needle pointing south-west in the gauge... the fuel gauge. I had ran out. You needn’t take it to its top speed to actually understand its performance potential. The 0-1ookph time stretches are alone enough to do that. Unlike other cars when you take it to its top speed range, there is no hesitancy at all. It just keeps going on and on as if there is no limit. But, sadly there is. Benz has limited it to 250kph (minus the performance pack that allows it to reach 300kph).
The other remarkable thing is that unlike previous AMG models, which only admitted bluntness as you turned off the stability control, in this car it actually turns off. And, unlike the Jumbo Jet that takes off at 250kph, this car remains rooted at similar speeds. Black lines are the trademarks left by this car announcing, “The C63 was here”.
There are three driving modes offered in the car: Sport (S), Comfort (C) and Manual (M). The shift characteristics and speed vary differently in these modes. Gearshifts in S is almost 30% faster than C and 50% faster than in M. Merely, press a button and activate your choice of driving style. There are three different electronic stability control programs offered as well. While it is turned on (ESP ON), there is involuntary intervention by the brakes to stabilise the car. And, there is a reduction in torque output. While you turn the ESP to Sport mode, there is comparatively more driving pleasure. There is more liberty - higher dynamic threshold and acute drift angles are permitted. Once the brake is applied, the ESP turns to its normal function of saving you. When the ESP is turned off, there is no interference in dynamics control and no reduction in engine torque. Mercedes strictly suggests only trained drivers to switch off the ESP. But, even in this program, once the brake pedals are touched, the ESP turns back to normal functionality.
This is a race-oriented car. Even on the speedo, there are terms like “Warm up”, “Set up” and “Race”. The multi-function enabled steering wheel activates these modes. Warm up shows the oil and coolant temperature, Set up helps set the ESP and Race turns on the timer to record your lap timings round a racetrack. The diffuser fins, the 18/19 inch light-alloys and its overall hunkered stance makes it look very sporty. The inside with sport seats makes it almost impossible for anyone to feel comfortable. While inside this car, I doubt any deep fried cheese stick-eating bloke who has large mugs of beer would call it comfy.
As the tach needle (apparently in red) reaches the red band, the LCD occupying the centre of the speedo commands, “UP! 3”. It is like saying, “Pull the damn lever you moron” and you pull the paddle to engage the gear. The gear, trust me, is gone before it even comes. It is that fast. And within 4.5 seconds it is time for you to brake as you are so scared. Within 10 seconds, you are in 3 digit figures. However, a few issues need practice to perfect on. Since torque is available in low levels, exiting a turn in say the third or fourth gear is hard. The wheels struggle to cope up. You need to go on and on to find the right speed to slide smoothly across a turn. The struggling wheels make me think that the car is choking on so much power. Taking the turn in haphazard speeds will definitely have a hazardous conclusion.
Speaking of the wheels trying to cope up - there may be people who may dislike this car for the same reason. This car feels like a tuned up car; a car that is over-filled with power having the chassis unable to withstand it. You could call it a C-Class fitted with more power and a body kit. Mind you, this car can be given even more power and torque when needed. According to Volker Mornhinweg, the executive director of AMG, the power and torque can be mechanically adjusted whenever necessary in this car. He continues to say that they knew beforehand of the power and torque figures the M3 and RS4 were coming up with. They decided to stick to the released engine figures as they thought it would be enough to compete. For the record, the Merc already delivers 50% torque more than the M3.
The best thing about this car is when you drive it around the city and residential areas, you will never get a feel of the killer on the other side of the firewall. It is like the tarot card killer. When it’s among everyone, it behaves normal, genteel and civilised. Once you take it away, it turns to a maniac macho. Once you grind the accelerator pedal to the carpet, you will feel like been parachuted by some rocket launcher. You can let alone hear, but feel the pissed off engine yelling at you from the inside, cursing at you for having driven it slowly so far.
This car is very impressive, but not perfect. Yes, it has loads of power and grip as well. But, that, at least in my opinion, doesn’t alone make a car perfect. The gearbox works wonders when you are thrashing it round the track. But, once you take it to the road and choose to comfortably cruise along, the gear box confuses itself. It evidently debates about the gear it is supposed to be in which in turn affects the drive. For example, it twitches as it struggles to decide whether to be in third or not. I must say that over sometime, you will get used to it. But, it takes quite some time. Most worryingly, it takes quite some time in a Mercedes, which shouldn’t be so. If you have completely given up, you can choose to shifting gears manually via the levers behind the steering wheel. But, that sounds like you are choosing to use it as the functionality of the automatic gear box isn’t clever enough or not user friendly.
Then, there is the suspension. Being aware of the criticism faced earlier of AMGs being quick on straight lines but awfully bad while cornering, they stiffened the suspension. The effect is quite impressive as you go through winding roads like a racer right until your bottom begins to ache. The stiffened suspension makes the ride quite uncomfortable. But, I hear mixed comments about this. I gather that the ride is softer in the US and stiff in the Euro market.
Considering the Mercedes pedigree of making cars that are firstly luxurious and comfortable and secondly fast, this car will let you down... it will slightly let you down. Now, I mention the word slightly because if you are planning to buy this car, you must have prepared yourself for something sporty. And, comfort must have fallen second in the list. Trust me, this car will not disappoint.
So, probably this could be called the best affordable driving machine as supposed to the ultimate driving machine, the M3. Both the C63 and M3 are worth appreciating. One of the stand out features of the M3 is that it is neater and balanced through turns. While on a straight line, the Merc has more grunt. And, when it comes to judging the interior, I reckon the BMW looks more worthy of its price tag. The other question that hesitates me to conclude that the C63 is the clear winner is that, is this really a car enthusiast’s car? Most car enthusiasts would prefer a manual slick gearbox with three and not two pedals to operate on. Mentally, one might find it hard to accept a performance sedan from Mercedes to be better than a BMW because the latter has always been determined to provide driving pleasure above anything else. Yes, inexperience is felt as you drive the C63 as compared to the very confident drive in the M3. But, I do not think that the C63 is less fun or even less enthusiastic.
So, I think, it is down to the budget when you choose between the two. If you can live with a single-digit mileage figure, handle the depreciation on AMG products and don’t care what Prius owners will think about you, buy the C63 AMG. Anytime, if you “reconsider” buying the Merc, just hit the accelerator. You will undoubtedly buy it off right away without informing your wife.
(World premier photos clicked @ Frankfurt auto show)