Exploring the Mystery of the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series

The C63 AMG Coupe Black Series provides an exclusive driving thrill.

Justin Kaehlerby Justin Kaehler

Exclusivity is one of the core pillars of the AMG product line, and few vehicles are as exclusive as the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series. Total production run is limited, and every one has already been sold. Fortunately for us industry journalists, Mercedes-Benz held onto a couple units and gave us the opportunity to drive one at California’s Streets of Willow race track.

The C63 AMG Coupe Black Series transforms the already formidable C63 into a dominating force of nature. Power in the hand-built, 6.3-liter V8 has been increased to 510 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque. An adjustable coil-over suspension is standard, as is an uprated braking system. 0-60 times are said to come in at just 4.2 seconds, which isn’t shabby by any means, and as a whole, this car has more performance capability than just about anything on the street. But, for those seeking to optimize on-track performance, packages that improve aerodynamics, brake cooling and drivetrain cooling are also available.

I took a break from taking laps in AMG’s halo car, the SLS GT, to get some seat time in the C63 AMG Black Series. The first thing I noticed was that this U.S.-spec car had the standard C63 AMG buckets rather than the fixed-back racing seats I’ve seen in numerous press photos. Seat adjustability is nice for the street, but when trying to cram a helmeted six-foot frame into a car, the extra inches of headroom the racing seat could have provided would have been welcome. No matter, I adjusted the seat and controls as best I could and took off down the main straight of the Streets of Willow.

With less power than its aforementioned SLS sibling, the C63 Black Series feels a hair slower as it accelerates onto the racetrack. AMG’s numbers report that this modified C coupe takes a full half second longer to hit 60 mph from a standstill, confirming our impressions. Also missing from the C63 is the bowel-rumbling growl I had grown to love from the SLS AMG GT. I understand that these are two different cars targeted to two different markets, but when driving both back-to-back at their limits, it’s hard not to compare the two.

But it’s also this difference that makes us appreciate the C63 Black Series just a bit more than the SLS. Between the two machines, the coupe is the one better suited to our own personal driving style. It’s odd: the C63 is the larger, heavier car, yet it feels livelier and more responsive in the bends. This car is eager to dive into the corners; turn-in feels sharper and quicker than in the SLS, making the ‘roided-out C feel almost Miata-like in comparison.

The SLS may be the beauty of the AMG lineup, but the C63 Black Series is the AMG-built ride that speaks to us most. Freed from having to pull double duty as a fashion accessory, the C63 Black Series is able to focus on being nothing more than a hardcore track machine. That this C-based coupe also has a usable back seat and trunk, plus fairly docile mannerisms when cruising in Comfort mode, only enhances its appeal. Should I win the lottery, the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series is the first car I’d buy.

Be sure to also check out CraveOnline's review of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT