2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series Track Test

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series Track Test

Testing Mercedes' $130,000 C-Class

Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

Walk into your local Mercedes-Benz dealer and you can walk out with a perfectly nice, immensely powerful C63 AMG Coupe for about $64,000. You'll get a 6.2-liter V8 cranking out 451 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque and a seven-speed automatic transmission. It will be fun and it will sound fantastic.

But then there will be a guy, the salesman most likely, who will point you at a faster C63 AMG Coupe — the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series. He'll mention the 59-hp bump (to 510) and the 14 lb-ft increase in torque. He'll mention the increased top speed (186), the wider front and rear track (+1.5 and 3.1 inches respectively), the larger brakes, unique exterior styling, wider composite fenders, adjustable coil-over suspension, aluminum hood, rear diffuser, AMG steering wheel and, of course, the red seatbelts. He may or may not mention that this, the Black Series package, adds $43,570 to the base price of a C63 AMG Coupe.

Our test car takes that even further with the Black Series AMG Track package (because why include what you could charge extra for) that includes an active rear diff cooler and special compound sport tires; the Aerodynamics package, which adds a carbon-fiber front splitter, carbon-fiber canards and an adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing; and the Carbon Fiber Exterior package.

All told, this C-Class rings in at $129,725.

It's an impressive price and an impressive list of features. Does it live up to the hype when pushed on our track?

Vehicle: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series
Odometer: 3,873
Date: 7/24/2012
Driver: Mike Monticello
Price: $129,725 (est.)

Drive Type: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Seven-speed automatic
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated, port-injected V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 6,208/379
Redline (rpm): 7,250
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 510 @ 6,800
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 457 @ 5,200
Brake Type (front): 15.4-inch two-piece ventilated cross-drilled and slotted cast-iron discs with six-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 14.2-inch one-piece ventilated cross-drilled and slotted cast-iron discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type(front): Independent MacPherson struts with dual lower ball joints, height-adjustable coil springs, monotube dampers with separate rebound and compression manual adjustments, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, height-adjustable coil springs, monotube dampers with separate rebound and compression manual adjustments, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 255/35ZR19 (96Y)
Tire Size (rear): 285/30ZR19 (98Y)
Tire Brand: Dunlop
Tire Model: Sport Maxx Race MO
Tire Type: Asymmetrical summer performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,044

Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 1.8 (2.0w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 2.8 (3.0w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 4.0 (4.2w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft rollout (sec): 3.8 (3.9w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 5.8 (6.0w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.2 @ 115 (12.3 @ 114.1 w/ TC on)

30-0 (ft): 27
60-0 (ft): 101

Slalom (mph): 69.5 (69.2 w/TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.96 (0.95 w/TC on)
Db @ Idle: 48.2
Db @ Full Throttle: 80.6
Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 65.2
RPM @ 70: 1,900


Acceleration: Lots of power here, but difficult to find the exact right launch — there's either no wheelspin or way too much. Race Start was 0.15 slower than with ESC off, using some power braking, Sport Plus mode and modulating throttle. V8 SOUNDS AWESOME. Manual shifting via paddles or console lever (slap left for downshifts). Holds gears to 7,200 rpm. Gives intoxicating throttle blips on downshifts.

Braking: Absolutely impressive braking abilities. Utterly firm pedal, zero ABS commotion, nearly zero nosedive, dead-straight stops. First stop was 102 feet. Longest stop was the second stop at 106 feet. Shortest was the fifth stop (out of six) at 101 feet.

Skid pad: Steady-state grip is excellent, much better than standard C63 AMG. And the Black Series' responsive chassis makes it easy to quickly alter the car's line. Even minute throttle changes have large effects.

Slalom: Very well-balanced, with quick steering and good weighting. Has high limits and turns in intuitively, but first the front and then the rear give up grip sooner than expected. Which means it's better to enter slow and exit fast, because you can get behind the front grip level fairly easily if you're too aggressive early on. Sport Handling ESC mode was hardly intrusive at all, allowing very aggressive turn-in. Car does feel heavy around the cones.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

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