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NEVER before could the aural pleasure from the Mercedes-AMG C63 be enjoyed unadulterated. Until now. The C63 is the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and this is the first time the high-performance variant is available as a Cabriolet.
The brand with the three-pointed star launched its open-air model in Trieste, Italy, this week. Like the C-Class Coupe, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet is based on the C-Class Saloon platform.
Five petrol and two diesel engines are available to drive either the rear wheels or all four.
The top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet has a 4.0-litre V8 biturbo that drives the rear axle through an AMG Speedshift MCT seven-speed sports transmission. The long name refers to the Multi-Clutch Technology which replaces the usual torque converter with a wet start-up clutch that is more compact and shifts much faster.
The twin turbo V8 has two levels of tune. As the C63, it produces 476 hp and 650 Nm. As the C63 S, there are 510 hp and 700 Nm for a zero to 100 kmh sprint of 4.1 seconds, or 0.1 second less than the C63.
But its acceleration is not the only way the C63 stands out from the other Cabriolet variants.
The AMG version has a different composite structure with a wider and more muscular body and a redesigned AMG-specific rear axle that widens the tail by 66 mm.
Flared front and rear fenders and a bonnet with two power domes mean the C63 has distinctive proportions. There is also an A-wing front spoiler with huge air intakes and a slender boot lip spoiler. Only the doors, fabric roof and boot lid are shared with the other C-Class convertibles. In the C63 S, the centre console is clad in carbon fibre and the steering wheel paddles are aluminium. An indication of its racing pedigree is the steering wheel's top marker.
Fold the fabric roof (done in 20 seconds when the car is moving at up to 50 kmh) and the full glory of the AMG V8 is delivered unfiltered.
The exhaust growls and pops, and a performance option opens three exhaust valves to make the C63 S sound angrier than a bad-tempered Rottweiler with a tummy ache.
There are four driving modes - Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race - and they modify the engine, transmission, variable dampers and ESP, among others.
The C63 rides on coil springs and the steering is pincer sharp.
An electronically controlled rear limited slip differential gives the C63 S a nimbleness in tight corners you wouldn't expect a 1,925 kg car to have (the C63 has a mechanical LSD).
In Sport+, engine response is instantaneous and the power delivery is brutal. The exhaust grumbles - mellifluously - as the transmission downshifts and the throttle blips automatically.
Each sound is amplified, and each driver input magnified with the rushing wind and summer aromas. Everything about the C63 S Cabriolet reminds you that it is not an ordinary convertible, that it feels and sounds extra special.
The Cabriolet has a clever Aircap system which electrically deploys wind deflectors above the windscreen and behind the rear headrests to minimise turbulence.
Even without Aircap, the electrifying performance and glorious soundtrack of the C63 S guarantee there won't be any complaints about messy hair.
Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet
Engine: 3,982 cc V8 turbocharged
Gearbox: 7-speed Speedshift MCT transmission
Max power: 510 hp @ 5,500-6,250 rpm
Max torque: 700 Nm @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
0-100 kmh: 4.1 secs
Top speed: 250 kmh
CO2 emissions: 208 g/km
Distributor: Cycle & Carriage