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The drivers’ edition

By Ghaith Madadha - Jan 21,2014 - Last updated at Jan 21,2014

With the new 2015 generation Mercedes C-Class just revealed and due to go on sale later this year and to then be followed by high performance AMG and coupe version, the current Mercedes AMG C63 Edition 507 Coupe, is in fact the swan song for both the outgoing C-Class and is the last car expected to retain its glorious 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 powerhouse. Launched last year, the Edition 507 version of this most inspired of Benz bruisers is the second most powerful version of the C63, considerably more powerful than the common, garden-variety C63 and falling just short of the Black Series version’s output and performance.

Designated to reflect its 507PS continental European horsepower rating, the 507 Edition’s burly large displacement V8’s output translates to 500BHP developed at a haughty 6,800rpm, while a gut-wrenching 450lb/ft of torque twist force is generated by 5,200rpm. Mercedes’ in-house tuner AMG’s first specially designed engine, the 6.2-litre V8 brute was first introduced in 2006 to combine copious power and torque output with a racier engine speed and more precise throttle control, but is now being phased out in favour of more efficient but lower-revving and smaller twin-turbo V8s, including an expected four-litre unit for the AMG version of the forthcoming C-Class.

Unrelenting surge

While there have been more powerful iterations of Mercedes AMG’s 6.2-litre powerhouse motor, the Edition 507’s 500BHP output is a healthy dose more powerful than the standard C63’s 451BHP and the performance package version’s 480BHP. Additionally the C63 Edition 507 benefits from a new engine control system and the use of engine internals borrowed from the AMG SLS-Class supercar. Fitted with the SLS’ forged pistons and lightweight crankshaft, the Edition 507’s benefits from a three kilogramme weight reduction and reduced mass inertia, which makes it even more eager to be revved hard, and would be expected to translate to slightly more precise and responsive engine speed control.

Brawny and brutal, the Edition 507’s vast and muscular V8 mill responds with whip-crack eagerness and lunge the smart executive-class super coupe from standstill to 100km/h is a scant 4.2-seconds. With deep-lunged and metallic bark developing into a bass-heavy growl and relentless howl, the Edition 507 pulls with a ferociously progressive consistency from idling to its high rev redline. Effortlessly versatile and with electrifying responsiveness, the C63 Edition 507 overtakes with finger-snap swiftness and ease when on the move, and indefatigably charging past the 200km/h mark, as tested at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Formula One circuit — with driver’s package, top speed is derestricted from 250km/h to 280km/h.

Connected and controlled

With such explosive power delivered to the rear wheel, it is all too satisfyingly easy to chirp the fat rear 255/30R19 tyres if launching aggressively, before a combination of electronic traction and safety controls and a mechanical limited-slip differential modulate power and traction. Best launched with a smooth and consistent throttle application, the Edition 507 is phenomenally quick off the line, while through hard and fast corners, its limited-slip differential distributes more power to the driven rear wheel with more traction, to avoid slippage and ensure power is effectively translated to forward momentum. Electronic stability control interventions were as effective as ever, but however seemed to be more subtle.

A personal favourite among AMG’s prodigiously powerful line-up, the C63 Edition 507’s high-revving engine allows for long-legged reach within each of its’ gearbox ratios, and with greater consistency and linearity than a surging turbocharged engine, allows one to more precisely dial in power through corners. The result is a more connected and intimate driving experience, where one better manages power and mechanical traction, to drive at the edge of the C63’s handling and grip, rather than rely on electronic stability interventions. The big high-revving naturally aspirated engine is also better suited to AMG’s seven-speed automatic gearbox’ manual paddle shift function and can drive so with greater fluidity, consistency and intuitiveness.

Lively and consistent

The consistent low-end delivery and tall redline mean one doesn’t unintentionally downshift into a turbocharged engine’s lag-prone low-rev engine speeds or run into the rev limiter easily, and help make the Edition 507 AMG’s most involving and engaging driver’s car, next to the SLS-Class flagship. Gearshift response levels including “comfort” and “sport” settings for road driving, but “Sport+” automatic mode is most aggressive, with early downshifts and late upshifts keeping the engine on boil and ever-ready in its high rev sweet spot. Large, powerful ventilated and perforated disc brakes well contain the enormous forces available, shaving speed with stark promptness, and during the demanding track-based driving session, seemed better fade-resistant than heavier AMG models.

Impeccably stable at high speeds as is to be expected, the C63 Edition 507 is however a livelier, more responsive and connected cornering driver’s car than it more powerful and four-wheel-drive AMG stable-mates, and relies more on intimate detail and finess than sheer grip. Eager and crisp into a corner, the Edition 507’s steering is quick, well-weighted and precise, while body control is superbly taut, and remains so even through the sudden oscillitating weight transfers of a tight slalom circuit. Agile yet reassuringly planted, the Edition 507 delivers faithfully high levels of grip when coming back on power mid-corner or through long sweepers. Ride quality is firm and smooth, with buttoned-down vertical control.

Muscular and classy

A handsome and high-class hell-raiser, the AMG C63 Coupe strikes an athletic and vigorous stance, with its bulging wheel arches, gaping bumper air intakes and fat low profile footwear sit well with and complement its smooth and rakish roof arc, long bulging bonnet and curt boot. Though not as aggressively decked out as the 2012 Black Series, the Edition 507 does incorporate the said model’s prominent dual bonnet vents designed to help extract engine heat to the atmosphere. The Edition 507 also receives special alloy wheel designs, side graphics and high gloss black grille surround, rear spoiler and mirror covers to distinguish itself from the regular C63 Coupe.

A 2+2 coupe with better than expected rear accommodation, the C63’s cabin features supportive front sports seats and good space, but the low roof line does limit headroom for taller drivers if a helmet is worn during track driving. Ergonomic and classy inside, the Edition 507 features large speedometer dial and a grippy suede-like flat bottom and top steering wheel, while seat and steering adjustability is extensive. Safety and mod con amenities are extensive, including an optional Bang & Olufsen sound system, while function and control layouts are user-friendly. Sporty and classy, the Editon 507 features quality interior fit and finish, with contrasting leather upholstery stitching, piano black panels and metallic accents.

SPECIFICATIONS

Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 Edition 507 Coupe

Engine: 6.2-litre, V8-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 102.2 x 94.6mm

Compression ratio: 11.3:1

Valve-train: 32-valve, DOHC, variable timing

Gearbox: 7-speed wet-clutch automatic, rear-wheel-drive, limited-slip differential

Gear ratios: 1st 4.38:1; 2nd 2.86:1; 3rd 1.92:1; 4th 1.37:1; 5th 1:1; 6th 0.82:1; 7th 0.73:1

0-100 km/h: 4.2-seconds

Maximum speed: 280km/h (electronically governed)

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 500 (507) [373] @ 6,800rpm

Specific power: 80.5BHP/litre

Power-to-weight: 289BHP/ton

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 450 (610) @ 5,200rpm

Specific torque: 98.2Nm/litre

Fuel consumption, combined: 12-litres/100km

CO2 emissions, combined: 280g/km

Fuel capacity: 66-litres

Length: 4,707mm

Width: 1,795mm

Height: 1,391mm

Wheelbase: 2,765mm

Track, F/R: 1,569 / 1,525mm

Headroom, F/R: 1,019 / 901mm

Boot capacity: 450-litres

Kerb weight: 1,730kg

Steering: Variable power assistance, rack and pinion

Turning circle: 11.1-metres

Suspension: Multi-link, coil springs, gas-charged dampers, anti-roll bar

Brakes: Ventilated & perforated discs

Tyres, F/R: 235/35R19 / 255/30R19

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