The New Mercedes-AMG C 63 Cabriolet
The new C 63 Cabriolet combines an intensive open-air ambience with the AMG V8 engine to create an exhilarating performance experience
by Jim Davis | 24 March 2016
The new C 63 Cabriolet combines an intensive open-air ambience with the AMG V8 engine to create an exhilarating performance experience. The biturbo engine developed in Affalterbach is available in two output ratings with 350 kW (476 hp) or 375 kW (510 hp) and provides performance on a par with a sports car. Flared wheel arches at the front and rear, the wide track and the large wheels underscore the powerful looks. The agile longitudinal and lateral dynamics come courtesy of the sophisticated AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with adaptive damping adjustment, the rear-axle limited-slip differential and the dynamic engine mounts.
Performance-oriented automotive enthusiasts can enjoy the largest selection in the market segment with the Mercedes-AMG C-Class: it is now available in a total of twelve versions as Saloon, Estate, Coupé and Cabriolet; with a choice of V6 biturbo engine and all-wheel drive or V8 biturbo engine in two output ratings, rear-wheel drive and rear-axle limited-slip differential. “The C-Class is a decisive factor in our company’s success. The new combination of intensive open-air ambience and powerful V8 engine is unique in the segment and perfectly supplements our large C-Class range”, says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. Extensive know-how from motorsport and the passion of the AMG engineers, designers and product managers form the basis for the emotive driving experience with the new Performance Cabriolet. It will be celebrating its world premiere on 23 March 2016 at the New York International Auto Show. The market launch will begin in August 2016.
Unique offering in the segment with V8 biturbo engine
In its competitive field the new C 63 Cabriolet is exceptional in every respect, being the only vehicle in the segment to boast an 8-cylinder biturbo engine. Mercedes‑AMG thus meets the wishes of those customers who desire a combination of a highly emotive, unmistakable engine sound and torquey power delivery.
The driver also benefits from the unrivalled performance: the C 63 S Cabriolet accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds, the C 63 Cabriolet in 4.2 seconds. The top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited; 280 km/h with AMG Driver’s Package).
New V8 biturbo closely related to the engine in the Mercedes-AMG GT
The 4.0-litre eight-cylinder biturbo engine is already used in the C 63 Saloon, Estate and Coupé. It is also installed in the GT sports car with dry sump lubrication. A characteristic feature is that the two turbochargers are positioned not on the outside of the cylinder banks, but between them in the “V” – experts call this the “hot inside V”.
The main advantages of this design are the compact engine construction, optimal response and low exhaust gas emissions. A fitter assembles the engine by hand in the engine shop in Affalterbach according to the “one man ‑ one engine” principle.
Exhaust system with flap technology for variable engine sound
The typical V8 engine sound was likewise a key development goal. The Coupé adopted the composition with its sonorous bass tones, powerful mid tones and increasing trebles as the engine speed increases. A model-specific exhaust system with flap technology is used as standard. It is automatically map-controlled depending on the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode, the power demanded by the driver and the engine speed. Optionally available is the Performance exhaust system, which allows the sound to be modulated at the press of a button. In any case, the exhaust systems are so designed that all noise limits are complied with irrespective of the flap position.
Faster gearshifts: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission
The transmission plays a major part in the direct and sporty character of the new Mercedes-AMG C 63 Cabriolet. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission impresses with its tailor-made dynamics and high variability. Whether automatic or initiated by the driver using the steering wheel shift paddles, upshifts and downshifts are executed quickly and immediately. This is achieved by specifically adjusting the engine and transmission parameters.
Specific suspension for maximum lateral and longitudinal dynamics
The fascinating agility and high cornering speed of the C 63 Cabriolet are also thanks to the standard-fit AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with adaptive damping adjustment. This combines a sporty with a comfortable set-up. The driver can select the three suspension settings “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport Plus” via a button in the centre console. Whatever the setting, each wheel is individually electronically controlled automatically.
A four-link front suspension with radial, racing-style brake connections is used. Model-specific steering knuckles and a wider track allow greater lateral acceleration.
The rear axle was completely newly developed for the Coupé and Cabriolet. The multi-link concept ensures highly precise wheel control and increased stiffness. The AMG-specific rear axle carrier makes the wider track possible, with the contact surfaces of the wheel bearings moved out by another 25 millimetres compared with the Saloon and Estate. Other innovations include AMG-specific wheel carriers, stiffer elastokinematic tuning and higher negative camber.
As standard the C 63 Cabriolet is shod with 10-spoke light-alloy wheels 9.0 J x 18 (front) and 10.5 J x 18 (rear) with rims painted titanium grey with a high-sheen finish and tyres in size 255/40 R 18 (front) and 285/35 R 18 (rear). The C 63 S Cabriolet runs on tyres of sizes 255/35 R 19 (front) and 285/30 R 19 (rear) mounted on 9.0 J x 19 (front) and 10.5 J x 19 (rear) 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, also painted titanium grey with a high-sheen finish.
Other tyre/wheel combinations are optionally available. These include mixed-size tyres with forged cross-spoke wheels, painted matt black with high-sheen rim flange. The front axle features tyres of size 255/35 R 19 on 9.0 J x 19 wheels. The rear axle is fitted with tyres of size 285/30 R 20 on 10.5 J x 20 wheels.
Rear-axle limited-slip differential: optimal traction, including on the race track
For improved traction and vehicle dynamics, the C 63 Cabriolet is provided with a mechanical rear-axle limited-slip differential, while the C 63 S Cabriolet comes with an electronic version. Both differentials reduce the slip on the inside wheel when cornering, without control interventions in the braking system. The advantage: it allows the driver to accelerate out of corners earlier thanks to the improved traction. The car remains more stable when braking from high speeds, and the limited-slip differential also improves traction when moving off. The model-specific, completely redesigned rear axle was specially adapted to the higher vehicle dynamics of the Cabriolet.
The greatest benefit from the electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential – which is installed as standard exclusively on the C 63 S – is the even more sensitive and faster control, which pushes the thresholds higher and makes it even easier to drive at the vehicle’s limits. The 3-stage ESP® with “ESP ON”, “ESP SPORT Handling Mode” and “ESP OFF” settings works in perfect unison with the rear-axle limited-slip differential and is optimally tuned to the outstanding dynamics.
AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes
The driver is able to influence the characteristics of the C 63 with four different AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes. The driver decides on the desired driving experience, from comfortable-economical to super-sporty, using a controller to the left of the touchpad.
“Comfort” is the well-balanced transmission mode with a comfort-oriented suspension and steering set-up, as well as a fuel-efficient powertrain configuration – including smooth gearshifts and a discreet engine note. The “sailing function” for a further reduction in fuel consumption is new: when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 60 and 160 km/h, the clutch of the MCT transmission is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level, and the driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.
The transmission modes “Sport” and “Sport Plus” enhance the sporty intensity. The C 63 S also comes with the “RACE” mode, which provides the optimum setting for challenging laps on private racing circuits.
C 63 S with dynamic engine mounts as standard
Unique in its segment, the C 63 S Cabriolet – like the Saloon, Estate and Coupé – is equipped with dynamic engine mounts. These help to further resolve the conflicting aims of comfort and dynamic performance. These dynamic mounts are very quickly and variably able to adapt their stiffness to the driving conditions and requirements. Soft engine mounts improve comfort, as they provide more effective decoupling of noise and vibration. However, handling and agility benefit from a generally stiffer mount set-up. These measures enhance the vehicle’s precision when driven dynamically. For example, the steering response and feedback are even more direct.
Precise, agile handling
The electromechanical, speed-sensitive sports steering ensures precise, agile handling. The driver benefits from the direct, linear steering ratio of 14.1:1 and an optimised response.
It also features variable power assistance with the three characteristics “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport Plus”. The power steering is not only speed-sensitive but also factors in the current lateral acceleration, the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or the setting of the AMG RIDE CONTROL adaptive damping.
The high-performance braking system of the C 63 Cabriolet ensures short stopping distances and excellent control with large cross-drilled and vented brake discs measuring 360 millimetres in diameter at the front and rear. The C 63 S Cabriolet is fitted with compound brake discs at the front with a diameter of 390 millimetres to account for the increased performance. A high-performance compound braking system with ceramic discs measuring 402 millimetres in diameter on the front axle is optionally available for the C 63 S Cabriolet. They weigh just half of comparable conventional brake discs and as a result reduce unsprung masses. This in turn substantially improves the steering response.
Design visualizes performance
The impressive proportions of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Cabriolet instantly catch the eye. The 8-cylinder engine, together with the increased track width on the front and rear axles, called for a redesigned front end and a model-specific rear assembly as well as new side walls. The flared wheel arches make the AMG Cabriolet 64 millimetres wider at the front and 66 millimetres wider at the rear compared with the standard Cabriolet, enabling the vehicle to hug the road better.
Two striking powerdomes adorn the 60 millimetre longer aluminium bonnet, underscoring the powerful looks. The typical AMG “A-wing” front spoiler also serves as an air deflector for the three cooling air intakes. Additional flics ensure an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules in the wheel arches. A front splitter at the bottom of the front apron helps to reduce front-axle lift. The low, arrow-shaped “twin blade” radiator grille with AMG lettering also visually lowers the vehicle’s centre of gravity.
The side line, too, presents an entirely unique face thanks to the large wheels, which finish flush with the body on the far outside, and the special side skirts. The lateral inward step from door to sill lends additional emphasis to the wide base.
The multi-layered fabric soft top with glass window follows the Coupé’s roof line with the top closed, thus reinforcing the impression of a meticulously modelled sculpture. Frameless doors, fully retractable side windows and the absence of a visible B-pillar further enhance the side view. Refined detail: in typical sports car fashion, the exterior rear-view mirrors are mounted on the door rather than in the mirror triangle.
With the roof open, the meticulous coordination between exterior and interior design becomes apparent. High-grade details include the matt chrome trim on the A-pillar and windscreen as well as a beltline moulding, which extends as far as the soft-top compartment, and borders this with a broad matt chrome trim.
The rear with its all-new styling comes across as very sporty thanks to the broad shoulders and echoes a typical motorsport feature with the diffuser insert. The special design of the laterally positioned, optical air outlet openings improves the rear air flow, allowing it to break away with aerodynamically advantageous precision. Features such as the narrow rear reflectors reinforce the impression of width. The two chrome-plated twin tailpipes of the AMG exhaust system are harmoniously integrated into the diffuser. A narrow spoiler lip is placed on the boot lid. Painted in the body colour, its elegant shape is reminiscent of a sharp blade.
Interior with high-class appeal
The interior of the C 63 Cabriolet offers a wealth of fine details: carefully selected, high-grade materials whose feel and precise workmanship produce a level of perceived quality that is rare even in the higher vehicle classes.
The instrument panel is trimmed with black ARTICO man-made leather with contrasting topstitching. The wing-like aluminium trim and the analogue clock in IWC design (depending on specification) underscore the high-quality impression. The touchpad is flanked by the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch and numerous AMG-specific controls such as the button for the 3-stage AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension, 3-stage ESP® or optionally the button for the AMG Performance exhaust system with flap control.
A sporty and dynamic ambience is also ensured by the 3-spoke Performance steering wheel with a 12 o’clock marking and the instrument cluster. Equipped with specific dials in carbon-fibre look, the speedometer reads up to 320 km/h. Performance seats are also available as an alternative to the standard-fit sports seats: these allow the occupants a lower seating position and are more strongly contoured for increased lateral support.
Intelligent cabriolet concept
Intelligent functions such as operation of the fabric soft top while driving (up to 50 km/h, initiated below 5 km/h), the optional AIRSCARF neck-level heating or the automatic AIRCAP draught-stop provide extraordinary comfort with open-top motoring, 365 days a year. With a capacity of 355 litres (260 litres with the roof open), the luggage compartment is capable of holding an exceptional amount of luggage for a cabriolet, thus offering high everyday practicality.
Exclusive options include the fully automatic fabric acoustic soft top, which is available in the colours black, dark brown, dark blue or dark red. The multi-layered structure incorporating various insulation materials effectively reduces ambient noise and thus reduces the interior noise level.
Exclusive optional extras from the Performance Studio
The AMG Performance Studio offers technical and design highlights that make the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Cabriolet even sportier, more exclusive and more individual.
Key extras include:
- AMG Performance exhaust system with flap control at the push of a button
- Greater differentiation of the tonal characteristics through two additional exhaust flaps
- Tonal characteristics dependent on selected transmission mode ‑ clear differentiation between full in the C and S modes and distinctly sporty in the S+ and RACE modes
- Additional control of the tonal characteristics via button on the centre control panel in the centre console
- AMG ceramic high-performance compound braking system with compound brake discs in diameter 402 x 39 mm (front) and integral 360 x 26 mm brake discs (rear), specially painted brake callipers and “AMG Carbon Ceramic” lettering
- AMG Night package:
- Silver chrome louvre in the radiator grille
- High-gloss black A-wing of the front bumper and A-wing trim strip
- Side sill panel inserts in high-gloss black
- Rear bumper trim strip in high-gloss black
- Exterior mirror housings in high-gloss black
- Sports exhaust system with two chrome-plated twin tailpipe tips
AMG Exterior Carbon-Fibre package I:
- Silver chrome louvre in the radiator grille
- A-wing of the front bumper in carbon
- Side sill panel inserts in carbon
- Upper trim panel of rear bumper in carbon
AMG Exterior Carbon-Fibre package II:
- Exterior mirror housings in carbon
- Spoiler lip in carbon
- AMG Performance Studio interior:
- Performance seats for driver and front passenger with more heavily contoured seat for enhanced lateral support, integrated head restraints and “AMG” badge in the backrests
- Two-tone nappa leather red pepper/black or platinum white/black, perforated
- Carbon-fibre/light aluminium trim with longitudinal grain
- Matt silver glass fibre/aluminium with bright longitudinal grain trim
Safety of the highest calibre
The Cabriolet also offers a supreme level of safety. It comes as standard with the ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, which helps to prevent rear-end collisions. Many other optional assistance systems are available to increase both comfort and safety.
Exclusive “Edition 1” special model for the market launch
C 63 Cabriolet and C 63 S Cabriolet will also be available as “Edition 1” models for the market launch: the exclusive combination of extraordinary items of equipment turn the special model into the flagship of the range. The “Edition 1” is only available in the paint colour white. The gradation runs from polar white, diamond white bright to the new AMG exclusive colour designo cashmere white magno. The Night package offers a delightful contrast and adds additional highlights with chrome-plated tailpipe trims and the spoiler lip in high-gloss black.
Two AMG Carbon-Fibre packages are also available as an option. The carbon-fibre items included in the Exterior package I include the A-wing in the AMG front apron, the inserts in the AMG side sill panels and the upper trim of the AMG rear apron. The radiator trim louvre is finished in silver chrome. As part of the Exterior II package the exterior mirror housings and the AMG spoiler lip are made of carbon fibre.
The ultralight AMG forged wheels painted matt black with cross-spoke design add additional highlights with their high-sheen rim flanges. Mixed-size tyres in 255/35 R 19 on 9.0 J x 19 wheels (front) and 285/30 R 20 on 10.5 J x 20 wheels (rear) enhance racetrack performance and underline the powerful visual looks.
AMG Performance 5-twin-spoke forged wheels are available for the S-Model as an option. They are painted matt black and also feature high-sheen rim flanges. Size 255/35 R 19 tyres on 9.0 J x 19 wheels are fitted at the front, while the rear axle comes with 285/30 R 20 tyres on 10.5 J x 20 wheels.
The genuine racing feel continues in the interior. The Performance seats are trimmed in heat-reflecting AMG nappa leather in saddle brown/black in a diamond design. The mid grey contrasting topstitching, the AMG badges and the black middle section in the rear accentuate the sporty looks. Mid grey contrasting topstitching is also found on the black door centre panels in a diamond design, the armrests, the steering wheel rim and the beltlines. With the black nappa leather Performance steering wheel with flat bottom and the silver control buttons, the driver always has the C 63 Cabriolet safely under control.