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The Mercedes C 63 coupé has a mechanical layout that makes it seem ripe for receiving the Black Series treatment: a stiff, two-door coupé shell, with a front-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive. The C 63 donor car is also one of the last in the AMG range to still use the big, naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine, whose revvy nature ought to suit the character of a Black Series.

Here the ‘63’ engine has been tuned (including the adoption of SLS pistons, conrods and crankshaft) to produce the most powerful C-Class in Mercedes’ history, at 510bhp and 457lb ft of torque. The change in internals has reduced the engine’s weight by 4kg, which doesn’t seem particularly significant until you remember that it’s all in rotating or reciprocating mass, and thus reduces the inertia greatly. Accordingly, the maximum engine speed is up from 6700rpm on the C 63 to 7200rpm here. The gearbox is a seven-speed auto.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
A space saver spare wheel? On a car like this? It adds weight, but is very, very much appreciated

One thing that you’re unlikely to do is mistake the C 63 Black Series for a regular C 63, and almost certainly not a standard C-Class coupé. It has been given the full, angry, GT3-effect treatment on the outside, with a body flared and sculpted to allow enough air to get to radiators that are 50 percent bigger than usual, and also to cover a front track that is 40mm wider and a rear track that has been increased by 79mm.

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With the track increases come revised anti-roll bars, new coil-over spring/damper units and, as standard, a limited-slip differential that locks under both deceleration and acceleration. Under braking, a limited-slip diff that’s too aggressive can limit a car’s willingness to turn in, but, as we’ll see, that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Composite brake discs are also standard. Our test car was fitted with an optional Track Package that comprises Dunlop Sport Maxx Race tyres and a rear axle radiator, located in front of the rear diffuser.

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