There seems to be an AMG version of just about everything north of a B-Class in the Mercedes-Benz lineup these days, but among them the C63 is the hottest seller. Credit the relatively low price, the style or simply the sheer awesomeness of its V-8 engine. When the C-Class Coupe was unveiled earlier this year, it was pretty much a no-brainer that it would get the full AMG treatment.
So here is the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C634 AMG Coupe, which surprised nobody when it was unveiled this weekend. Mechanically it was a slam-dunk: Take the sedan's AMG hardware and plop it into the coupe body. That means the coupe gets the same 6.3-liter, 451-hp V-8 engine, the same seven-speed Speedshift automatic transmission, and the same brake, suspension and chassis enhancements as its four-door sibling.
It also means you can get your power-hungry mitts on the Development Package in coupe form. This upgrade to the basic AMG package adds forged pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft, lightening the internal works by 6.6 pounds. The result bumps horsepower up to 481, drops the 0-60 time one tenth to 4.3-seconds, and increases the top speed from an electronically limited 155 mph to a still-limited 174 mph. You also get two-piece front rotors, a carbon fiber trunk lid spoiler and an Alcantara-wrapped AMG steering wheel.
The transmission is the same seven-speed wet-clutch design that appeared in the 2012 C63 AMG sedan earlier this year. Four modes are available: C, S, S+ and M. In S+ and M, gear changes take 100 milliseconds (why not say 1/10 second?), and a Race Start function manipulates traction control to let the driver humiliate whomever he or she wants to at stoplight drag races. Not that anybody here at High Gear Media encourages that kind of behavior. We just accept its inevitability.
When the road -- or preferably, the track -- turns twisty, the C63 AMG's enhanced suspension is sure to make short work of things thanks to stiffer springs and shocks, thicker anti-roll bars, firmer bushings and an electronic stability control program that you can turn off if you want. The steering is a very quick 13.5:1 ratio, and the brakes are huge. If you run out of talent, the C63 AMG Coupe's safety systems are as effective here as they are in the run-of-the-mill versions, ready to sacrifice themselves for your survival.
So, how much? Mercedes-Benz isn't saying yet. The car goes on sale this September, and you can expect the price to be about the same as the sedan, which currently retails for $58,200.