2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet Review

Feb 10th

“From the sublime to the ridiculous is only a step” is a well-known idiom that came to mind multiple times during our week with the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S cabriolet. Could that step be the difference between the sublime and equally new C43 AMG cabriolet, with its sweet 362-hp twin-turbocharged V-6, and the ridiculously overpowered C63/C63 S cabriolets, endowed as they are with AMG’s hand-built, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 in 469-hp and 503-hp tunes? Or, considering the mass and structural challenges of convertibles, is that step Mercedes-AMG’s decision to risk diluting the street cred of its C63/C63 S coupes, being bad-ass creatures themselves? Regardless of the answer, a C63 S cabriolet is just a step away from two vehicles that could be fairly characterized as sublime, and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on one, drop the top, and determine where it fell.

Other than roof components and some additional structural bracing, there are few differences between the C63 S cabriolet and the C63 S coupe; beyond the M177 V-8, both models share lowered air-sprung suspensions, beefy brakes, loud exhaust systems, and performance-enhancing wares both hard and soft. Having wheedled some outstanding track numbers in a C63 S coupe instrumented test, we were curious to see how the convertible’s extra 198 pounds would affect performance, so we scheduled a full battery of tests shortly after this droptop arrived at our West Coast bureau.

First, we took a few minutes to just stare—a common reaction among passersby and fellow motorists, whether we were boxed in traffic, loping along Sunset Boulevard, idling at stoplights, or paying parking meters. The C63 casts a large shadow: 187.0 inches long and 73.9 inches wide, the latter attributable to beefy, engorged fenders necessitated by the car’s wider front track and 10.5-inch-wide rear wheels. AMG visuals include its signature full-width air intake and matte silver grille splitter up front, as well as side-sill extensions, V8 BITURBO badges behind the front wheels, and a diffuser-style rear bumper with quad parallelogram-shaped exhaust finishers.

This car’s sultry Cardinal Red hue is a $1080 special-order color that conspired with $750 worth of blackout trim, two carbon-fiber exterior accessory packages totaling $4700, and a $2100 set of forged, staggered-size 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels to inflate the C63 cab’s already heady $81,775 base price. But as the sun danced along its shapely red sheetmetal, most graphics rendered dark and all slammed down upon those massive wheels and tires, this C63 S cabrio conveyed more visual gravitas than most models way up the Mercedes-AMG food chain, up to and including the $201K S63 cabriolet we recently tested. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Steve Siler

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