AMG C 63 Cabriolet combines V8 rumble with wind-in-your-hair thrills
Mercedes can't seem to stop creating AMG variants at the moment. On top of the E43, GLC 43 and SLC 43 that have all launched since this year's Detroit Auto Show in January, Affalterbach has turned the C-Class Convertible into a V8 bruiser for people keen to work on their suntan.
The C63 Cabriolet is built around AMG's twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, with both turbochargers are nestled inside the "vee" to minimize turbo lag and improve fuel efficiency. There's 350 kW (476 hp) and 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) of torque on tap in the base model, while buyers from the school of "more is always better" can choose the C 63 S version with 375 kW (510 hp) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft). Although the Cabriolet shares its motor with the rest of the C-Class AMG range, Mercedes has fitted a unique exhaust system to ensure the top-down soundtrack is up to scratch.
When you lop the top off a car, you're also removing a major structural element, which has a detrimental effect on handling, ride and crash performance. To tackle the handling problem, the C63 Cabriolet is fitted with a four-link front suspension, unique steering knuckles and a wider track for better stability in high-speed bends.
That wider track comes courtesy of a redesigned rear axle, which works in tandem with a multi-link rear suspension, AMG-specific wheel carriers, revised elastokinematic tuning and increased negative camber to make the car feel like it's dancing up on its toes in the bends. Also contributing to the Cabriolet's sharp handling setup is a rear differential, which is mechanical in the base model C63 and electrically controlled in the C63 S.
Working with these fixed, mechanical improvements are electrically adjustable shock absorbers and engine mounts that allow drivers to have a soft, comfortable boulevard cruiser when they're posing at Palm Springs or a proper sports car when the time comes to drop the hammer.
When it comes to boulevard cruising, Mercedes has an unmatched set of toys to keep you warm and comfortable. As well as its regular climate control system, the C63 Cabriolet is fitted with a draught-stopping system to make sure your expensive haircut isn't ruffled by the breeze, while an Airscarf system keeps the back of your neck warm. If those two systems aren't able to convince you stay roofless, the car's fabric top can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 50 km/h (31 mph).
On the outside, the C63 is set apart from regular C-Class Cabriolets by its black, 18-inch wheels, which are upgraded to 19s if you spec your car in S trim. Inside, the Cabrio is finished in the usual combination of leather, wood and aluminum, and the speedo extends to a slightly optimistic 320 km/h (198 mph). We can only imagine what taking the car to that speed with the roof down would do to your toupee.
Mercedes is yet to release details about the car's pricing, but expect to pay a small premium over the C63 Coupe and Sedan.