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2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series revealed!

Sat, 23 Jul 2011 00:00:00 -0700

There is Mercedes-Benz, there is AMG, and then there is the Mercedes-Benz AMG Black Series. The last mentioned are so highly tuned and rare that AMG has slapped the Black label on only four models so far: the SLK55, the CLK63, the SL65 and now this, the C63 AMG Black Series coupe.

We did not get to drive a C63 Black Series--but AMG did let us stand next to one and look at it. The coupe starts with the already formidable C63 AMG and goes up from there. With forged pistons, con rods and crankshaft from the SLS AMG, the car's naturally aspirated output rises from 480 hp to 510 hp, while torque goes from 433 lb-ft to 457 lb-ft.

This car does not make the leap to the higher-efficiency 5.5-liter turbo found in some AMG models, staying instead with the tried and true 6.2-liter V8. Granted, the chrome signage on the sidepod says “6.3,” a branding moniker inspired by an early AMG race car. You may recall the semifamous picture of the 300SEL 6.3 AMG at Spa 40 years ago.

Torque is routed through AMG's Speedshift MCT seven-speed, with the same four modes as on other AMG models: sport, sport-plus, manual and race start. Using race start, 0 to 60 mph comes up in 4.0 seconds, according to AMG.

The track on the car is widened one and a half inches in front and three inches in back. Overall width is up an inch in front and an inch and a half in back. There are no ceramic brakes available, but the steel rotors are bigger, measuring 390 millimeters front and 360 millimeters rear, with six pistons grabbing them. About 24 pounds of the car's 44 pounds of weight reduction compared with the AMG model comes from the Black Series' forged alloy wheels, which are wrapped in 255/35 front and 285/30 rear Dunlops.

Inside are two racing seats. Two rear seats are optional, in case you need to bring three riding mechanics.

The body tries hard to convey all of that power, perhaps a little too hard, depending on your tastes, with extremely wide fender flares, meaty hood scoops and slats and vents seemingly everywhere. The optional Aero package includes a rear wing. The tarted-up exterior may work for you or it may remind you of something you'd see at the SEMA show on a Ford Mustang, not in the main hall but off in one of the more remote locations. Forgo anonymity, all ye who enter here. Personally, we'd like a sleeper version with less of the bodywork and just as much horsepower.

All 510 hp are coming to the U.S. market in March 2012. Pricing will be released closer to that date. We are supposed to get to drive it sometime in November. Look for a (very fast) driving impression around that time.

By Mark Vaughn