Driven: 2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507
By Bradley Iger
May 05, 2014
As the launch of the next generation C-Class
fast approaches, AMG decided to release one more third generation C63 with a little extra chutzpah
. Slotted between the standard C63 AMG and the more track focused C63 AMG Black Series, the Edition 507 borrows some hardware from the Black Series parts bin while retaining much of the comfort and convenience from the standard C63. We set out to determine whether it's the best of both worlds or merely curious combination of the two.
What's the idea behind the C63 AMG Edition 507?
In the simplest terms, the Edition 507 is a more potent C63 in a package that's designed to be serviceable for everyday use. The "507" in name denotes the horsepower of the C63's 6.2-liter V8, up 56 ponies and a handful of foot-pounds compared to the standard C63. The newfound power is provided by way of forged pistons, connecting rods and lightweight crankshaft, all derived from the motor used in SLS AMG. The C63's top speed gets a bump to 174mph.
Both the brakes and the aluminum hood with its functional vents from the C63 Black Series make their way onto the Edition 507, along with unique 19" forged alloys, gloss black accents, and side stripes which help to differentiate the 507 from other C63 variants.
How does it drive on the street?
While the engine and brakes get a noticeable upgrade, there's a number of elements from the standard C63 that the AMG engineers haven't chosen to fiddle around with. Notably, the suspension remains unchanged from the standard car, which we appreciated while driving around town, since the C63's suspension is already pretty firm as it is. The setup is thoroughly sport-tuned, and stays flat and predictable when pushed. However, the trade off for the engaging driving dynamics is a fairly harsh ride quality on city streets, with road surface imperfections and uneven surfaces making their presence well known at all times. It certainly isn't unbearable by any means, but those expecting an adaptive damping system or the compliant ride quality found in Mercedes-Benz's standard products may be in for a bit of a surprise. The steering has also carried over from the standard C63, and we're quite happy with that, as the C63's steering is an ideal balance between weighted precision and ease of use at parking lot speeds.
The C63's 6.2-liter V8 (and yes, it is
a 6.2, despite the badges) is the stuff dreams are made of. We sincerely hope that someday well into the future, some enterprising hot rodder will find a way to put these engines into project vehicles, because the thought of this motor fading into history alongside with the W204 C-Class is just too unsettling to fully accept. Power is on tap across in the rev range, right when you ask for it, and the muscular V8 soundtrack that accompanies that power is flat out fantastic.
However, what's slightly less than fantastic is the gearbox. In a world where dual clutch transmissions like those found on the Audi RS5 exist - a world in which shifts are completed even before your finger has had time to release the paddle - the slightly lackadaisical shifts of the AMG seven-speed "multi clutch" unit feel a bit dated. It also lacks some of the near-clairvoyance of better sorted DCTs when left in automatic mode.
Those brakes that have been plucked from the C63 Black Series, with six-pistons calipers up front and four-piston calipers out back, are a welcome addition to the 507's newfound acceleration and top speed. This setup continually provided totally consistent pedal feel and top shelf stopping power regardless of much abuse we put them through, and fade was a non-issue. Our willingness to carry speed while carving down twisty bits of tarmac continued to increase as we discovered just how capable these brakes are when it comes time to slow things down.
Would it work well for track days?
As it comes from the showroom, taller drivers might run into some trouble taking a C63 Edition 507 to the track. Your author's 6'3 frame glances the headliner even with the seat set to its lowest position, so we can only imagine that wearing a helmet would present some difficultly in that regard. Those seats, while immensely comfortable, feel as though you're sitting on top of them, rather than in them. While that's good for grand touring comfort, it's less than ideal for going 10/10ths at the track. However, in terms of mechanical componentry, the engine, brakes, suspension, steering, and tires are certainly up to the task, and the C63 507's immense torque coupled with its willingness to rotate would definitely make for an entertaining day on the road course. You might consider bringing an extra set of rear tires, though.
How is the design?
While it lacks some of the aggression of the Black Series, the Edition 507's aesthetic is suitably beefed up in comparison to the standard C63. Without resorting to gimmickry, the Edition 507's bolstered capability is explained via the sharp looking forged wheels, functional hood vents, and subtle stripping just above the rocker panels.
Inside, things are essentially standard AMG fare, with the great feeling, alcantara wrapped steering wheel taking center stage. Our tester came equipped with the two-tone Nappa leather upholstery which added a bit of flair to an otherwise rather muted color palette.
Our test car also came loaded with the optional Multimedia Package, which adds a 7.0 inch color display, hard drive based navigation, and various other technological sundries. Mercedes-Benz is another company resistant to make the switch to a touchscreen based system, and similar to Audi and BMW, these systems are controlled via a rotary knob and a smattering of buttons around it. It works reasonably well, assuming you're familiar with this type of interface, but for those of us accustomed to touchscreens (which is essentially anyone with a cell phone made after 2009), it can be frustrating to see what you want to press on the screen and then have to determine which sequence of knob twists and button presses will get you there. But we digress.
After seven years on the market, the new C-Class looks to be landing right on schedule, not allowing this current generation to overstay its welcome. However, there's a lot to like about this outgoing model, and at least one thing we'll miss - we hear that the wonderful V8 found in the current model will be replaced by a small displacement mill which adds a pair of turbochargers to compensate. We'll withhold judgment until we've seen what Affalterbach has cooked up, though.
Ultimately, while it may be time for a changing of the guard, the one that's on duty now is most certainly a keeper.
2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507
Price: $62,760 (base), $87,885 as tested
Engine: 6.2-liter V8
Output: 507 horsepower, 450 lb-ft of torque
0-60 mph: 4.1 seconds (est)
Fuel economy: 13 city / 19 highway / 15 combined
On sale: Now