MERCEDES-BENZ

MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS AMG CABRIOLET C43 4Matic Premium 2dr 9G-Tronic

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph4.8s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2226 g/km

Mercedes' C-Class Cabriolet model line-up is topped off by this improved and now even more desirable C 63 high performance V8 variant. Toupees will need to be very well tied-down indeed.

THE GERMAN OPEN

If you're looking at paying over six figures for a high performance luxury Mercedes-convertible model, then don't. Not at least until you've looked at this car, the improved C 63 Cabriolet. Jonathan Crouch checks it out.

Ten Second Review

Mercedes' C-Class Cabriolet model line-up is topped off by this improved and now even more desirable C 63 high performance V8 variant. Toupees will need to be very well tied-down indeed.

Background

Mercedes' C 63 Cabriolet is the only model in its sector with an 8-cylinder biturbo engine - yes, the one used in the brand's AMG GT supercar. Here, that unit powers the very top version of the C-Class Cabriolet, which goes head to head with rivals like BMW's M4 Convertible. If your recollection of AMG open-topped models is that they go very fast but don't particularly like going round corners, this one will surprise you too. And it's been usefully refettled in this improved guise.

Driving Experience

On the move, this car is everything you'd want it to be, with aural fireworks and spine-tingling acceleration that flings you up the road with urgent, angry aggression. The SPEEDSHIFT MCT auto gearbox now gets 9 speeds and its 'RACE START' function makes it easy to replicate Grand Prix-style starts that'll take 4.2s in the standard 476hp model. Or 4.1s if you go for the uprated C 63 S Cabriolet variant that offers 510hp and 700Nm of torque, enough to pummel a rival BMW M4 Convertible into submission. Both versions use much the same V8, a twin turbo 4.0-litre engine that's impressively efficient for its size. Top speed is 174mph if you opt for the AMG Driver's Package. A rear limited slip differential is standard and you'll need it to properly get the power down through the bends. As before, buyers aren't offered the 4MATIC 4WD sytem you get in the lesser V6 C 43 Cabriolet model, so it's rear wheel drive only; which can lead to a few tense moments when cornering in the wet. C 63 buyers do get adaptive suspension though, one of the elements that can be tweaked via an 'AMG DYNAMIC SELECT' driving modes system that can alter steering feel, throttle response, gearshift timings, stability control thresholds and even the exhaust note via 'Comfort', 'Sport' and 'Sport+' settings. No matter how you fiddle with these, the ride remains coarse, but the steering's good, the brakes are excellent and the gearshift response is rifleshot-quick. It's an experience to savour.

Design and Build

With its top up, the profile of this two-door cabriolet resembles that of the C 63 Coupe, with virtually identical basic dimensions. That means you get the same striking front end featuring increased track width on the front and rear axles and flared wheel arches. These make the AMG Cabriolet 64mm wider at the front and 66mm wider at the rear compared with the standard Cabriolet, enabling the vehicle to hug the road better. Two striking powerdomes adorn the 60mm longer aluminium bonnet, underscoring the powerful looks. Subtle aesthetic changes underscore this revised MK2 model C 63's visual identity. The AMG-specific radiator trim sports vertical louvres in high-gloss chrome and a re-styled front apron features a sleeker 'A-wing' design. In profile, there are sporty side skirts plus aerodynamically optimised AMG light-alloy wheels, while at the rear, the twin tailpipes sit in a more expressive diffuser. The fully automatic fabric soft top can be opened and closed using a matt chrome curved switch on the centre console. The process takes less than 20 seconds up to a speed of up to 31mph. After opening, it folds down quietly and is stored in the soft-top compartment in the boot. Inside, the high-grade materials and build quality are everything you would expect from a Mercedes cabriolet. Inside, the main change is the addition of a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster in front of the driver which brings the vehicle functions directly to life with the three AMG-specific display styles - 'Classic', 'Sport' or 'Supersport'. Most owners will want to specify the optional AMG Performance seats, which provide optimum lateral support when adopting a dynamic driving style thanks to the special design of the seat side bolsters of the seat cushion and backrest. The rear pews are in the form of individual seats. Their backrests offer a through-loading feature, can be split 50:50 for high everyday practicality and can be completely folded down. This extends boot capacity which is 355-litres - or 260-litres with the roof open.

Market and Model

Think in terms of needing around getting on for £73,000 for your C 63 Cabriolet, once you've allowed for a few well-chosen extras. And there'll be a premium of around £9,000 if you want the uprated 510hp 'S' version. This gets an electronic (rather than a mechanical) limited-slip differential, dynamic engine mounts that offer extra cornering feedback, an extra 'Race' mode for the auto gearbox and bigger 19-inch wheels featuring larger brake discs and red callipers. Inside a C 63 S, you'd get grippier AMG Performance seats and an even classier AMG steering wheel that blends DINAMICA microfibre with the standard Nappa leather for a DTM-style feel. Should you want to go further, you could also specify a powerful Burmester surround sound system or, for those wanting a soundtrack straight from Affalterbach, the option of a variable AMG exhaust. There's also the incredible LED Intelligent Light System to consider. We particularly like the sensitive climate control system that adapts itself whether the car is being driven with the roof up or the roof down. A key option you really have to have on this car is the 'Cabriolet Comfort package'. This gives you two key features; the electric AIRCAP draught stop system that reduces the interior turbulence for rear passengers at the press of a button. And the AIRSCARF neck-level heating set-up for the driver and front passenger. Alternatively, there's also the option of a retrofitted manual folding draught stop behind the front seats. This noticeably stops draughts in the front seats.

Cost of Ownership

Even this V8 engine is Euro6-compatible and gets an ECO start/stop function. As a result, it's supposed to be able to achieve as much as 31.7mpg on the combined cycle and up to 236g/km, pretty impressive for a car of this performance. So how have the engineers from Affalterbach done it? Well by clever design of the 'M177'-series 4.0-litre V8 biturbo powerplant, developed as part of Mercedes' BlueDIRECT' engine family. The neat element here lies in the fact that the two turbos have been moved from their usual position on the outside of the cylinder banks and placed instead within the cylinder 'V'. That means this Euro6 engine can be smaller, slighter, more responsive and cleaner. More efficient electro-mechanical steering and an engine stop/start system also help. Of course, as a driver, you'll need to do your part here. The quoted figures assume that the SPEEDSHIFT MCT transmission is operating in its most relaxed 'Controlled Efficiency' mode that gives you softer gearchanges and a more restrained engine note. At cruising speeds in this setting, a 'Gliding Function' will also be activated that temporarily de-couples the engine from the drivetrain when you lift off the throttle.

Summary

We're sure that there must be very good reasons why you would buy AMG versions of Mercedes convertible models like the SL and the E-Class cabriolet but right here, right now, in considering this C 63 Cabriolet, we can't readily think of them. Yes, the ride on this car is rather over-firm - but that's about it. If you can put up with that, then this model gives you everything you could want in a super-fast open-topped sporting Mercedes. And that makes it a very desirable thing indeed.

  • Green tinted glass
  • Rain sensor windscreen wipers
  • Side windows surround in polished aluminium
  • Electric windows with one touch opening/closing and obstruction sensors

  • Brake calipers with AMG lettering + perforated brake discs
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Adaptive brake system with hold function, hill start assist and brake drying function
  • Sports braking system with larger brake discs
  • Electronic Stability Programme (ESP)

  • Floor mats with black leather edging red piping and AMG logo

  • AMG Ride Control sports suspension

  • Bluetooth interface for hands free telephone
  • Wireless charging

  • Collision prevention assist plus
  • DYNAMIC SELECT with a choice of driving modes (ECO, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual)
  • 2 stage speed sensitive sport steering
  • Attention assist
  • Active park assist with parktronic system
  • Reversing camera

  • Remote boot release
  • ECO start/stop function

  • Mercedes me connect including emergency call system, accident recovery, breakdown management and maintenance
  • Status display for rear seat belts in instrument cluster
  • Pre-wiring for SD navigation system
  • 12.3" Active TFT crystal driver's instrument display
  • Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android auto
  • Comand Online HDD Nav with media interface,radio/CD/DVD/MP3, 10.25 screen, linguatronic voice control
  • Multi function trip computer
  • Outside temperature display
  • Service indicator (Active Service System)
  • AMG boot logo in central screen

  • Exterior mirrors heated and electronically adjustable

  • Artico man-made leather dashboard with red contrast stitching

  • 66l fuel tank with increased capacity
  • Petrol Particulate Filter

  • DAB digital radio tuner
  • Two USB ports and one SD Card slot in centre console
  • Mid-range sound system
  • SD card slot
  • Audio 20 with integrated media interface and bluetooth handsfree function

  • Radio aerial integrated into rear window
  • AMG bodystyling - front apron with distinctive air intakes and AMG rear apron with diffuser look
  • AMG design radiator grille with double louvre in matt iridium silver with AMG lettering
  • Semi-automatic boot separator
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Door sill panels with AMG lettering
  • Acoustic soft-top with enhanced climate and noise comfort
  • AMG performance exhaust system
  • V8 Bi-Turbo 4Matic badge on front wings
  • AIRCAP wind deflector and draught stop

  • LED third brake light
  • Multi beam LED headlights
  • LED Indicators
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Adaptive brake lights
  • Full LED tail lamps

  • Airscarf - neck level heating
  • THERMATIC 2 zone automatic climate control

  • 3 spoke flat bottom multi-function sports leather steering wheel in black with topstitching in red
  • Artico man-made leather upper dashboard and beltlines with contrast stitching
  • 2 cupholders in front centre console
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Sports pedals with stainless steel surfaces and rubber studs
  • Steering wheel gearshift paddles
  • Front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • Illuminated glove compartment stowage

  • Interior lighting - 64 colour Ambient lighting
  • Front LED reading lights

  • Seat comfort pack - C Class
  • Stowage pack - C Class
  • Interior lighting package - C Class
  • Mirror package - C Class

  • Automatic seatbelt pretensioner for driver and front passenger
  • Dual stage airbags - driver and front passenger, front sidebags, driver kneebag, pelvis bag and windowbags for driver, front and rear passengers
  • ISOFIX child seat attachment points with top tether in rear
  • Active bonnet
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • 2 rear seatbelts
  • Red seat belts
  • 3 point automatic seatbelts

  • Front head restraints
  • 2 rear head restraints
  • Heated front seats
  • Auto Mercedes-Benz child seat recognition sensor
  • 40:20:40 split folding rear seats

  • Immobiliser
  • Chrome surround electric key
  • Central locking with interior switch, automatic locking and crash sensor with emergency opening function
  • Anti-theft alarm system/interior protection with tow-away protection and interior monitoring systems

  • 9G Tronic plus 9 speed automatic
  • AMG performance 4MATIC with torque control distribution

  • Sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors

  • CO2 (g/km): 217
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • Noise Level dB(A): 73
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 226

  • Cylinders: 6
  • Cylinder Layout: V6
  • Number of Valves: 24
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TWIN TURBO
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 9 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 88
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 82.1
  • CC: 2996

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): 22.1
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 35.8
  • EC Combined (mpg): 29.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 19.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 27.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 32.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 31
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 28.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 14.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 10.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 8.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 9.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 10

  • Generation Mark: 4
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 46E
  • Service Interval Mileage: 15500
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 57
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 390
  • Badge Engine CC: 3.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Coin Series: AMG Line Premium
  • Coin Description: N
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 30
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 53
  • Engine Power - KW: 287
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6100
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 384
  • Engine Torque - NM: 520
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2500
  • Engine Power - BHP: 390
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 4.8
  • Top Speed: 155

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: 5 SPOKE
  • Tyre Size Rear: 245/40 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/45 R18

  • Width (including mirrors): 2016
  • Height: 1404
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4750
  • Width: 1877
  • Wheelbase: 2840

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1810
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2315
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 66
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 355
  • No. of Seats: 4
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1800
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 505
  • Max. Roof Load: N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): N
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.1

  • Cruise control with speedtronic variable speed limiter: Included

  • Head up Display: £825

  • Black mirror caps: Included

  • Black ash wood with brushed aluminium trim: Included
  • AMG carbon fibre/aluminium with analogue clock trim: £700

  • Designo special magno paint: £1,795
  • Metallic paint: £685
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Designo special metallic paint: £895
  • AMG boot lid spoiler in body colour: Included

  • Soft top - Dark brown: £0
  • Soft top - Dark red: £0
  • Soft top - Black: £0
  • Soft top - Dark blue: £0

  • Leather upholstery: £795
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column: Included
  • Artico man-made leather/Microfibre Dinamica upholstery with red contrast stitching: Included

  • Memory pack with Electric adjustable steering wheel - C Class: £600
  • AMG exterior carbon fibre pack 2 - C43/C63 AMG: £1,260
  • Driving Assistance Package - C Class: £1,695

  • Metallic - Cavansite blue: £685
  • Metallic - Iridium silver: £685
  • Metallic - Selenite Grey: £685
  • Metallic - Mojave silver: £685
  • Metallic - Brilliant blue: £685
  • Metallic - Obsidian black: £685

  • Solid - Polar white: £0

  • Designo special magno - Selenite grey: £1,795
  • Designo special metallic - Diamond white: £895

  • AMG sports seats: Included
  • AMG performance seats: £1,405

  • Towbar manually folding includes 13 pin socket: £750

  • Leather - Cranberry red: £795
  • Leather - Porcelain: £795
  • Leather - Saddle brown: £795
  • Leather - Black with red stitching: £795
  • Leather - Black: £795

  • Artico man-made leather/Microfibre Dinamica - Black with red stitching: £0

  • 19" AMG multi spoke alloy wheels painted in black with run flat tyres: £595
  • 18" 5 spoke aero alloy wheels in Tremolite grey: Included

  • TIREFIT with tyre inflation compressor: Included

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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