As they say, never assume; it can make a total dork out of me and only me. Three days prior, I checked to verify that either the coupe or sedan would be present and Stuttgart replied quickly that, yessir, they had the station wagon for me.
At first, I sighed and whined; North America gets only the sedan and coupe versions, but not the wag. Then I was overjoyed. It swiftly turned into a lemonade-from-lemons thing. I have noticed that the most passionate admirers of premium German forbidden fruit are in that demographic of wingnuts who chatter incessantly about getting more sport wagons. Preferably with some boiling hot diesel motor and a notchy manual shifter, but anyway...
The swan-song Edition 507 C63 of the W204 C-Class (launched back in 2007) only really stands out for me as the station wagon. It is this dimension of hot Mercedes that sings most to my sensibilities for truer sporting drive dynamics in actual curves and whatnot. Most all other larger Merc AMGs are straight-line megarods of the highway and damned good at that, but this 500-horsepower practical gear-toting hauler is the one for me.
- Of the many items that make the 2014 Mercedes C63 AMG Edition 507 so glowing hot, chief is its legendary and loved naturally aspirated 6.2-liter M156 V8, the very first AMG-specific engine built from scratch starting in 2006. It is formidable and true, and it still wrecks me emotionally.
- For the C63 AMG, the Edition 507 (option "'P61" in the catalog) replaces much of what the AMG Performance Pack and the Development Pack currently offer. You've gotta love, too, the lightweight hood pulled from the Black Series, especially when slapped on this stunning wagon in matte-finish gray-silver. This is, in almost every sense, the ultimate swan song edition for this C-Class.
- I say almost. Mercedes is a German company, and the Germans fully embraced the parallel universe of massive options lists years ago. What irks me most about the enduring options list is that the locking rear sport differential remains non-standard. I mean, c'mon, guys. Go ahead and bump the price up even a tick more, but why on Earth is this not included without having to tick a box?
- Effectively, the only thing on this whole 507 treatment – starting at around $69,000 in the sedan once deliveries begin here in late summer – that actually bends my nose the wrong way is the seven-speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission. It irks me even on the Black Series C-Class, so this didn't surprise me much. Upshifts are great, but the mapping for the downshifts remains infuriating whenever pushing the beast hard. The litany of disallowed shifts down to either second, third or fourth gear can be maddening. I'm sure there's an aftermarket reflash fix, and if I were the owner, I'd seek it out immediately.
- Other than that personal drama, the Edition 507 chassis calibration and steering feel are terrific, and the throttle response in either Sport or Sport+ is exactly as it should be. This old V8, which isn't that old really, should be given a reprieve in the new C-Class coming out next year. If the M156 is discontinued, I'll be a one-man picket line in Affalterbach.
- Acceleration to 60 miles per hour is promised to be a full three-tenths of a second quicker than the standard C63, so the sedan should easily do it in 4.1 seconds. Weight on the 507 is down some 90 pounds, torque is up 8 pound-feet maxing 200 revs higher at 5200 rpm, and power is up by 50 horsepower.
- This version of the M156 motor has a few upgrades pulled from the stronger M159 version used in the SLS AMG GT, accounting for some of the weight loss, and also for the higher torque at higher revs. The on-off gas pedal play is terrific stuff, sometimes rendering unnecessary the intervention of the larger diameter front compound brake discs with their standard, pretty red calipers.
- The 19-inch dark titanium finish AMG wheelset is gorgeous, too. The Z-rated ContiSportContact 5P tires are like Velcro when they need to be (i.e. almost all day), but the rear axle in Sport+ with traction and stability control shuttered can instantaneously overcome their grip and turn them into heavy smokers.
- As the end-of-series W204-based Edition 507 phases in, so are plans for the fourth-generation C-Class. The sedan 507 of the W204 will have a one-year run through to fall 2014 and the more expensive coupe will run out until fall of 2015 when the next-gen coupe arrives.
- I know that AMG is under orders for its share of 4Matic all-wheel drive sales to increase, as well as directives to embrace turbocharging and displacement downsizing ever more as time moves on. It's all very wise and smart. It was thus a huge pleasure to have two days in what remains my favorite rear-drive and naturally aspirated Merc going – in its best possible factory treatment for public roads. And by my account, the wingnuts who chatter incessantly about these German sport wagons are right to do so.