Mercedes Proves that you can still go fast the old fashioned way.
Tags:2010 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG Review,2010 Mercedes models,brian cooley,car review,cnet,2010 mercedes benz c63 amg,2010 mercedes-benz c63 amg first look,car tech
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2010 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG Review
It's got a V8 that lectures the American big blocks. Handling that will make you forget the Italians make cars and a blend of confidence and comfort even the Japanese can't figure out. How did these people lose that war? Let's jump in Germany's pure hotrod, the 2010 Mercedes C63 AMG and check the tech.
Let's face it, the C63 lives in the shadow of BMW's M3. Part of that is the stigma of the C-class being a starter Benz while the 3-series has always been a car buff's favorite, and the C63 only comes as a Sedan. Oh, and then there's the transmission but unless you're just a fan-boy of something else, prepare to be converted. Now, the first thing I noticed about our C63 is it is equipped with the AMG leather-seating package, which I call the pain-in-the-ass package. Now I get it. These are great on track day which I don't do. I look at this car as a lovely gentlemen's hotrod, but these are going too far for everyday use.
They're really deep, really confining. They have integrated headrest that I think look kind of horsy in a car like this. It's all fine and dandy to have sports seats, but in a car that has a power-rear sunshade, 400 pounds of air-conditioning gear, and an automatic transmission, let's be reasonable.
Now once you wedge your fat ass into these seats, you do have a pretty functional cabin, tidy and compact, of course being a C-class. Our car is relatively basic because under the magic door is not something that muddy hole is pointing you to, instead it's a relatively limited head unit.
We don't have the Nav on this guy, if we did it would be a pop-up seven-inch display that goes up and down like a piece of toast right here. Instead we've got this which all C63s are going to have, that's what about a five-inch, sort of a basic utility display. You also have a very simple command controller to go with it down here. You can function your radio this way AM, FM, or Sirius Satellite Radio. Over on the disk button, you got access to your single slot CD, no DVD playback, that comes with the Nav head unit, and if you go the CD menu of the CD area, you get down to the auxiliary which takes you over here to the world's worst place auxiliary jack. You cannot reach it.
And right next to that you see my iPod Touch is hooked up to the universal media interface they call it for just about every generation of iPod's, iPhone's, iPod Touches, pretty good support on that. Now there's no Bluetooth streaming on this car. Again, this is the basic head unit. Well, you do have Bluetooth telephony and some basic phonebook technology, as well.
Now tech toys that are on the driving front include this wheel with a flat bottom kind of Audi- esque. I don't like these things but they seem to say boy racers so they sell well in this market segment. You do have paddles for the automatic transmission. They're up here on the wheel which isn't the best place for them in my estimation, but they're all made of metal and they've got a good strong feel to them not kind of flexible and loosey-goosey like some cars. And those paddles control a one-choice only seven-speed automatic with three modes controlled by this button here.
Comfort is your everyday driving mode. Sport is an automatic mode but the shifts are more crisp and the RPM's are held higher and then if you go to manual you're basically running this thing like a manual gearbox. It will go all the way to red line until you tell it to go to a higher gear or until you do get to the red line it will then shift to protect itself. Well, in addition to this display right here, you just don't want to look at it and go super Spartan. You can close that and just about everything on that display is available on that display.
The one in the center of the speedometer in a nice sort of a Teutonic, black and white LCD, very purposeful. Oh yes, here in lies the heart of the glowering beast, Pharaoh, yes, but uncommonly refined, a 451-horsepower, 6.2 some-odd, liter V8 without any tricks. This is honest horsepower done with displacement, not superchargers, or turbos and built by a guy. Patrick - whatever that says and then it goes in the car when he signs off on it, real artisan stuff. That 450-horse is backed up by 443 foot pounds of torque, a 0 to 60 squirt will happen in about 4.3 they promise. Honestly, most folks get these on the track and do closer to 4 or even under.
The downside is the MPG 12/19, big motor, no two ways about it. You get hit with a gas-guzzler tax also, so it's going to sting at purchase time. The best way to describe the power in this car is right now lots of it, but most importantly right now. There's no nonsense of blowers or turbos that are having to spool it up. It just goes like a son-of-a-bitch the minute you step on the pedal. You know I honestly would not ask for a manual gearbox in this car. This is the greatest automatic ever made. In comfort mode this car is entirely livable, in sport mode it's a great sporting automatic and in manual mode you can go just absolutely nuts.
Okay, let's price our 2010 C63. It starts off at $60,300.00 but $2100.00 of that is gas-guzzler tax. To CNET this guy up you got to get the multi-media package which is hard drive-based Nav, serious traffic, Harman-Kardon Logic 7 surround sound, 6 gigabytes of space for your media, still overpriced at $3300.00. So goes for the universal media interface for all kinds of portable connectivity, $1200. Who are they kidding? Get the iPod adapter for a more reasonable $375.00. The other cool tech-toy you want is a rearview camera; right? $450.00 ala carte, that's the only way to get one.