Then, we got our first glimpse at the newest Black Series hotness during our recent drive day in southern France with the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG lineup. It's the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series – the most powerful Vitamin C ever from Stuttgart and Affalterbach – that will do all it can to make us forget about our holy experiences in the BMW M3 GTS and Audi Quattro concept. Tough acts to follow, Herr Daimler.
While the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series starts deliveries in western Europe in January 2012, both China and the United States have to wait for the until March of next year. Somehow, that just doesn't seem right.
The thundering M156 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 gets 510 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque here, in a car that weighs 44 pounds less than the coupe on which it is based. Someone will no doubt break the four-second 0-60 barrier.
The Black Series sits lower than the standard C63 AMG and gets nicely widened tracks – an additional 1.6 inches in front, 3.1 inches rear – due primarily to the special 9.0-by-19-inch front and 9.5-by-19-inch rear AMG forged wheels. Shift mapping with the AMG Speedshift MCT sport auto seven-speed has been modified, meaning gear changes in Sport+ and Manual modes take just one tenth of a second. The steering rate has also been tightened up versus than the stock C-Class AMG cars.
Most exciting of all is that Mercedes has finally realized that the oil temperatures on its AMGs get way too hot too soon (especially on track days), and that jumping into crawl-home mode just doesn't fly with aficionados craving a full day of hot laps. Thus, the Coupe Black Series gets an oil cooler with a 50-percent larger surface – just like the SLS AMG. Also like the SLS, the Black Series gets forged pistons and connecting rods, plus a harder and lighter weight crankshaft. Basically, this throttle pops now.
Brake discs are vented and perforated compound aluminum-lead units purported to avoid brake fade during rough treatment. (We'll wait and see on this part.) Their size is considerable, at 15.4-by-1.4 inches front and 14.2-by-1.0 inch rear. Carbon ceramic discs are not being made available for the C Coupe track terror.
Looking further inside, the cabin makes it clear that this is going to be a Formula 1 safety vehicle or pace car faster than you can say "Bernie Ecclestone's locker." The competition seats with leather and special Dinamica fabric feel swell on our backside and all the glitzy sport touches in there smack our awareness of all this just in case we didn't get it already.
The price difference for the Black Series in Europe against the standard C63 coupe is a 35 percent hike. That should theoretically make the price for this in the U.S. somewhere around $90,000. Hover indeed. Optional packages include a track package and aerodynamic package, prices for which are still being determined.
AMG development leaders tell Autoblog that the C coupe will be the one and only body configuration to get the Black Series treatment. A shame, but imagine what a collectible this hot little number will be someday.
The full press release is available below.
MONTVALE, NJ – Spectacular design, technology transferred from the world of motorsport and the very best in driving dynamics; the new 2012 Mercedes- Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series represents the new AMG brand claim, Driving Performance, like no other AMG model. The new high-performance vehicle is the most powerful C-Class of all time, boasting a maximum output of 510 hp and a maximum torque of 457 lb-ft. The high-revving AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine delivers stunning pulling power and exceptional performance - the 2012 C63 AMG Coupe Black Series accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds (all data provisional).
The driving experience is further enhanced by the adjustable AMG coil-over sports suspension, AMG high-performance composite (two-piece) braking system and superb functionality of the standard equipment. The AMG Track package with ultra high-performance tires and active cooling for the rear axle drive unit is available as an option for even better dynamics, while the AMG Aerodynamics package includes exterior winglets and an adjustable carbon- fiber rear spoiler.
Wide, low-slung, muscular and ready to pounce – the 2012 C63 AMG Coupe Black Series cuts an impressive figure. From the very first glance, it is abundantly clear that the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series is made for spirited driving on a closed track. Visually reminiscent of the SLS AMG GT3 customer race car, the new high-performance vehicle stands clearly for technology adopted from motorsport – something that has been a core philosophy of Mercedes-AMG GmbH for 44 years.
With its new C63 AMG Coupe Black Series, AMG is presenting an exciting sports car for enthusiasts with a passion for performance cars that are big on horsepower – it also marks the impressive continuation of the Black Series strategy, which began back in 2006. AMG, the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz Cars, is once again showcasing its expertise in the design and development of emotion-packed, high-performance cars.
"AMG has its roots in international motorsport. The new C63 AMG Coupe Black Series showcases the ongoing transfer of technology from the race track to the road. Great success in the DTM, the customer sport program featuring the SLS AMG GT3 and our commitment to Formula 1, where we have been providing the Official F1TM Safety Car and the Official F1TM Medical Car for the past 15 years, are an ongoing source of inspiration for our engineers and technicians. The C63 AMG Coupe Black Series embodies the new AMG brand claim, Driving Performance, like no other AMG model", comments Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Whichever way you look at it, the new C63 AMG Coupe Black Series proudly displays its motorsports ties. The arrow-shaped front end with the central Mercedes star in the radiator grille is the visual expression of its forceful forward thrust. The air intakes in the distinctive front valance direct a continuous air flow through the large cooling modules, while two openings in the aluminum hood aid the outflow of heat from the engine. The angled struts in the front skirt emphasize the vehicle's width and the black front splitter beneath provides aerodynamic balance.
The distinctive design continues through to the side view. The newly developed front axle with wider track is accommodated by new fenders, extended by 2.2- inches. "6.3" badges indicate the sheer power of the large-displacement, eight- cylinder, high-revving, naturally aspirated engine beneath the hood. The impression of air outlets behind the wheel arches is evocative of powerful racing cars, while the newly designed AMG sills bear black trim elements that continue the visual of the front splitter. The rear fenders have also been widened by 3.3- inches to house the track of the rear axle. Virtual air vents ahead of the rear wheels complete the picture.
AMG alloy wheels featuring lightweight forging technology
Mighty 255/35 R 19 and 285/30 R 19 wheels grace the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series at market launch. Mounted on 9 x 19 (front) and 9.5 x 19 (rear) AMG alloys, the wheel/tire combination fills out the fenders to stunning effect and has a significant impact on the dynamic appearance of this new AMG sports car.
Painted in titanium gray, the polished alloy wheels are made using extremely lightweight forging technology – as on the SLS AMG. Compared with conventional wheels, these forged wheels are a total of 24.2 pounds lighter overall. The lower weight results in reduced unsprung masses, which improves both suspension characteristics and steering precision.
Broad rear end with diffuser insert
The rear of the Black Series coupe also underlines its performance potential. The new rear valance with its distinctive black diffuser insert creates visual breadth. Similar to the SLS AMG GT3, it extends beyond the profile of the rear valance. The black mesh on the upper edge of the diffuser insert is just as much of an eye- catcher as the AMG sports exhaust. Both of the chromed twin tailpipes integrated into the rear valance feature an angular cross-section. The spoiler lip on the trunk lid is painted in body color and reduces lift at the rear axle, resulting in greater stability at high speeds. The AMG logo with its discreet "Black Series" lettering is reserved exclusively for the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series.
Engine with high-tech components from SLS AMG
A displacement of 6.3 liters, a maximum output of 510 hp and torque of 457 lb-ft from eight cylinders – one glance at the technical data and it's clear that the technology behind the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series is every bit a match for its sensational appearance. The high-torque M156 naturally aspirated engine was fine-tuned specifically for the new two-door model. Its forged pistons, connecting rods and lightweight crankshaft all come directly from the SLS AMG and are complemented by a new engine control unit. As a result, the sprint from 0 to 60 mph takes just 4.2 seconds (all data preliminary).
High revving, agile road manners and phenomenal pulling power – the qualities of the large-displacement AMG high-speed naturally aspirated engine are every driver's dream. The jewel in the crown is the inspiring AMG eight-cylinder sound from the AMG sports exhaust system.
The optimized engine oil cooling delivers more performance even under harsh race-track conditions. With the aid of components from the SLS AMG, engineers added 50 percent to the cooling surface of the oil cooler. Power transmission is handled by the highly acclaimed, innovative AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports gearbox. Four transmission modes, the rev-matching function and RACE START deliver maximum driving fun and a high degree of versatility. In the "Sport plus" and "Manual" modes gear shift takes a mere 100 milliseconds.
AMG coil-over sports suspension with an AMG rear-axle differential lock
The AMG sports suspension is a sophisticated new development. Conceived as a coil-over suspension -- as is the norm in motorsport and a typical feature of Black Series models -- it offers a range of setting options, and allows the driver to create an individual set-up. Track has been widened by 1.57 inches (front) and 3.11 inches (rear). In conjunction with modified anti-roll bars, the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series delivers impressive dynamics, tenacious grip and minimal body roll. The AMG speed-sensitive sports steering facilitates superb vehicle control, with modified mapping of the power assistance for maximum steering precision.
The AMG rear-axle differential lock is standard equipment and responsible for reliable traction, especially under race track conditions. The 3-phase ESP® is the ideal solution for all driving situations - using the ESP® button, the driver can choose from "ESP ON", "Sport Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF". As a result of the increased dynamics the AMG high-performance brake system and the anti-lock functionality was reprogrammed. The larger braking system features discs with race-proven composite (two-piece) technology at the front (15.35 x 1.42 inches) and integral discs at the rear (14.17 x 1.02 inches). Red-painted six-piston fixed calipers at the front and four-piston fixed calipers at the rear provide reliable stopping power to the perforated, fade-resistant rotors, which are ventilated at all four corners.
Interior with a functional motorsport atmosphere
The inspiring high-tech components and the spectacular exterior design both find their logical continuation in the interior of the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series. Finished in black with red accents, the interior of the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series displays the functional atmosphere of a true race car combined with outstanding quality and meticulously crafted details. Two AMG sport seats provide the best levels of lateral support and thus optimum vehicle control on the race track. The black DINAMICA microfiber upholstery on the center panels of the seats and doors is a new type of synthetic fiber characterized by its high fade resistance. The omission of the rear bench underlines the vehicle's sporty character and reduces its weight. The C63 AMG Coupe Black Series is also available as a four-seater incorporating the AMG sports seats familiar from the C63 AMG Coupe, with individual seats for the rear.
The AMG performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber with its rim flattened top and bottom features aluminum shift paddles for manual gear shifting. Red seat belts and red contrasting topstitching on the steering wheel, seats, door trim, door armrests, center console and shift lever add eye-catching accents. An exclusive "Black Series" logo adorns the trim on the dashboard, which is finished in high-gloss black piano lacquer. The dashboard with separate dials has a three-dimensional TFT color screen, which displays the AMG logo when the vehicle door is opened. Integrated into the AMG main menu are display options for engine oil temperature, ESP® mode and gear selection. The rotary control for the C, S, S+ and M transmission modes and RACE START is located on the center console next to the selector lever, which is finished in DINAMICA microfiber.
The C63 AMG Coupe Black Series is clear proof that outstanding dynamics and excellent active and passive safety need not be mutually exclusive. Airbags, belt tensioners and belt-force limiters for all seats are part of the standard equipment, as are the ABS anti-lock braking system, the 3-stage ESP®, the tire pressure monitoring system and electronic cruise control.
AMG Track package and AMG Aerodynamics package
AMG has two special packages to offer for even further enhanced dynamics. The AMG Track package comprises 255/35 R 19 front and 285/30 R 19 rear sports tires from Dunlop. They were developed exclusively for the C63 AMG Coupé Black Series and dramatically increase grip. Active cooling on the rear-axle drive unit improves performance under tough race-track conditions. Its cooling module is located in front of the diffuser insert in the rear valance for optimum airflow.
The AMG Aerodynamics package includes exterior winglets made from genuine carbon-fiber on the front valance. There is also a fixed carbon-fiber spoiler at the rear with adjustable aerofoil. Both components not only increase the downforce at the front and rear axle, they also optimize the vehicle's aerodynamic balance.
Four stunning Black Series models since 2006
Despite its race track dynamics, the new C63 AMG Coupe Black Series offers all the characteristics of a true Mercedes-Benz – everyday drivability, durability, safety and quality.
The most powerful C-Class of all time is the fourth Black Series model to be launched since 2006. The first one was the SLK55 AMG Black Series (not offered in the U.S.). The AMG 5.5-liter V8 engine in the thoroughbred two-seater boasted a maximum output of 400 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Just 120 units were produced between between July 2006 and April 2007. The CLK63 AMG Black Series followed directly in its footsteps. The two-seater coupe was powered by an AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine with 500 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Just 700 units of this very exclusive model were built between April 2007 and March 2008.
The highlight until now was the SL65 AMG Black Series, unveiled in July 2008. The high-performance coupe remains an attention grabber to this day with its spectacular appearance, unique performance data, lightweight design and high- end exclusivity. The AMG 6.0-liter V12 biturbo engine with a maximum output of 661 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque made the SL65 AMG Black Series the most powerful AMG vehicle ever to enter series production. A total of 350 units were built from September 2008 through August 2009.
The C63 AMG Coupe Black Series celebrates its world premiere at the Formula 1 German Grand Prix on the Nürburgring (July 23 – 24, 2011). U.S. market launch will follow in early 2012.