Mercedes-AMG C 63 S: Does adding a turbo cost your soul?
It's the only thing we absolutely can't stop doing if we want to stay alive.
The air around us is vital to every fiber of our being.
The same is true with cars.
You can put as much fuel in as you want, but deny a car air and you're going nowhere.
This is the Mercedes AMGC63S.
And like everything else about Falterbach it comes with a buttload of stats to put a smile on your face.
510 horsepower, 516 foot pounds of torque.
62 miles an hour in four seconds, dead.
And a top speed electronically limited to 155 miles an hour, but as impressive as those numbers are, what I'm most interested in is the engine that delivers them.
The previous generation of this car, featured a much larger 6.2 liter, naturally aspirated V8.
An engine praised not just for it's phenomenal power, but for it's amazing sound.
But AMG, like everyone else, is having to move with the times.
They've had to teach the car how to breathe better.
They've had to go turbo.
[NOISE] That 6.2 liters has been reduced to a still sizable 4 liters with two turbos nestled inside the V of the cylinders.
It is in fact, the same engine you find on the gorgeous AMG GT.
Adding turbochargers to engines is just a dumb thing at the moment.
The M3, which is the 263's opposite number, at BMW, added a turbocharger in its latest generation.
It's a twin turbo straight 6, the v8 has been dropped completely from the line up.
Natural aspiration, it would seem, is being phased out.
Going the way of it's automotive cousin the Carborita and the pop up headlamp.
For years and years, it was the way things got done.
But, as progress has marched on, and trends have changed, Carborita's have made way for fuel injection.
Headlamp's headlamps pop up no more and turbos, they're so hot right now.
Combustion inside a car needs what every flame needs.
Fuel and oxygen.
Fuel in the form of petrol and oxygen in the air around.
Now the normal action of an engine draws that air in just fine.
But, in the 19th century, Gottlieb Daimler, the same Daimler as in Daimler-Benz, now Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, discovered that by compressing the air and forcing it into the engine, you could get more air, so more oxygen.
More oxygen means a bigger explosion, which means more power.
Later, a Swiss engineer by the name of Alfred Buchi patented the idea of using the exhaust gases from the engine to blow a turbine that in turn compressed and forced air into the engine, and the turbocharger was born.
The technology was patented in 1905, but it took until 1962 for it to find its way into a production.
The Chevrolet Cordier and the Oldsmobile Jetfire both had it in that year.
And slowly but surely, the idea started to catch on.
By the 70s, Porsche was fitting them to 911 and making widows the world over.
BMW had put one in a 2002 and Renault had slaughtered one into a formula one car.
Mostly though, these were for incredibly.
Power adding a turbo to an existing engine to get great to performance.
Adding turbos however wasn't all gain.
Apparently turbo cars featured a lot of turbo lag.
And by that we mean the amount of time it takes for the exhaust fumes to spool up the turbine to compress the air to give you that boost.
It wasn't uncommon for you to put your foot down for an overtake manuever.
Over, and to almost finish it when the power would kick in at the worst possible time, spinning you of the road, in a firy ball of death.
If you are interested in the characteristics of driving those early Porsche Turbo's, you should check out our film, Turbo Fever, with Magnus Walker.
Now, however, turbo's largely fill a different role.
Instead of increasing the power of an existing engine, turbo's are added to smaller engines to match the power of their larger naturally aspirated brothers.
Whilst being more economical due to their smaller displacement losing less energy through heat and friction.
In a world of depleting natural resources it makes sense to try and get the most out of every drop of petrol.
And increasingly manufacturers are turning to turbos to make that happen.
In a performance car like an AMG fuel economy and efficiency isn't really the main.
In selling point though.
In order for this generation of C 63 to satisfy fans of the previous car, it's going to have to satisfy them in the gut, and in the ear.
Now, normally, taking the exhaust and using it to power a turbine can have detrimental effects on the exhaust nodes of a car, but the engineer's [INAUDIBLE] have worked incredibly hard to preserve that V-8 character that it's so well known for, without having to resort to such cheating methods as pumping in artificial sand through the stereo, like some other people may have done.
Now, I'm not naming names.
But you know who you are.
So does this car sound as good as its naturally aspirated predecessor?
Has the turbo affected the throttle response in the overall handling of the car?
Well there's only one way to find out.
I'm gonna have to go out and thrash it around a bit.
All right, well, if I must.
So the sound, that's what everyone wants to know.
Does this bi-turbo 4 liter V8 sound anywhere near as good as its predecessor's naturally aspirated 6.2 liter.
Well I defy anyone, anyone, to say that that isn't an amazing-sounding engine.
The boost feels so progressive the way it comes on.
The problem of turbo lag has been all but eliminated through various methods.
Chiefly amongst are multiple turbos that spool up sequentially to bring on the boost more immediately, and progressively.
There is no obvious turbo sound.
There's not much in the way of waste gait, that you can hear.
Although it does make a fantastic burble when you lift off.
Listen to that!
That is phenomenal.
AMG have done an incredible job, not only retaining the characteristics of that V8 noise, but really proving that without any fakery, it's possible in an age of emissions regulations and increasing fuel prices that you can still roar.
Keeping in mind that this car claims to have the most economical performance V-8 on the market is nothing short of impressive.
So that's the noise box well and truly kicked.
But how about the rest of the experience?
I got to spend all of yesterday with this car and immediately.
it felt like a nice place to be.
These really sporty looking seats are more comfortable than they look.
And the interior is really well laid out.
I've never been too much of a fan of Mercedes's interiors but they've done a great job on this.
With the main exception being the budget tablet computer looking screen that seems to to have been superglued to the dash as an afterthought.
Although it looks great I'm not a massive fan of having a cluster of buttons down here.
When you've got 500 horses at your disposal, even when they are this well-behaved, you don't really want to be looking down there to adjust certain things.
And that's another point.
It wasn't that long ago that 500 horsepower.
Was the domain of top-end super cars, and the kind of thing that would spit you off the road at the nearest convenience, and frankly, be absolutely terrifying to drive.
Nowadays, though, that is a completely different case, because these are 510 extremely well-behaved horses.
The power's available for you when you ask for it and only then.
They don't sneak up on you.
Jump out at you from darkened corners.
It's an insane amount of power on a tight leash.
But like any leash, if you feel inclined, you can give it some slack and see where it takes you.
[NOISE] This car, with all of its phenomenal power and the potential to have incredible performance, doesn't feel any harder to drive than any other car you can buy.
You jump in and go.
As horsepowers have increased in saloon cars like this, the safety measures that have come along with it have been incredibly well-developed, and impressive, frankly, by keeping novelties like me from spinning themselves off the side of a mountain.
lose it for which I must say, I am eternally grateful.
You're given a raft of options to customize so you can turn this car into exactly what you want it to be.
I settled on everything in sport plus but the suspension which shapes the C sixty three into a screaming beast that is still a few notches short of breaking your back each time you hit a pothole.
For your money, you're getting an AMG GT engine wrapped in a practical and comfortable shell.
Which in my book isn't a bad deal at all.
So, here is the key question.
Turbo-charging a small displacement V8, damaged in any way what the C63 was.
Has it changed how we feel about AMG?
Is it welcoming in a dangerous new procession in [UNKNOWN]
This car is everything AMG want it to be and more.
They know what they're doing.
They're gonna put that smile on your face.
They're gonna give you that kick in the gut and they're gonna make your balls tingle.