Thor is my least favorite character in the Marvel franchise. Stubborn, living in the past, and in control of lighting and thunder through his hammer, he comes across as more brute than hero. But while this formula may not work for a modern superhero, it sure works in the C63 AMG.
Armed with the P31 version of the 6.2L V8 engine, the 2010 C63 AMG outputs 480hp and 443ft-lbs – a bump of 30hp but no increase in torque. Not that the car needs a bump – the somewhat warn Continental 5P tires on the tested vehicle couldn’t hold grip during a slam on the gas from a stop, or from heavy acceleration at 50mph. Despite the loss of grip, though, this C63 managed to hit 60mph in 4.1 seconds and smoke a new WRX in a stop light grand prix.
The power is slightly intoxicating, with the constant temptation to push the throttle another inch. If you’re the type to succumb to whims of desires, it’s best to look elsewhere for your new car as the speeding tickets will likely pile up.
Also intoxicating is the sound from the exhaust. The C63 doesn’t need any fake sounds through the speakers to let you and everyone around you know it’s got the muscle to handle the straightaways. From 1k to the 7k rpm redline, the C63 doesn’t hold back on each thunder, pop and crackle. It’s one of the most satisfying exhaust notes from a recent car, outside of the Jaguar F-Type. Thor would be proud of this car’s command of thunder.
What’s not satisfying is the car’s lack of finesse when canyon carving. The C63 will dance in the turns, but only after begrudgingly agreeing to it. Body roll is light but the steering lacks precision found in other sport sedans. And it feels heavy. At nearly 4,000lbs, it’s just not the car to choose if you prefer tossing a car around corners on the weekend.
The interior of the C63 AMG is well appointed. The front bucket seats are exceptionally comfortable and fit around the average sized person like a glove. If you’re above average in width, though, Thor may recommend you work out or look at another car as the side bolsters don’t leave much body margin.
The cabin is still looks modern, with the standard analog Mercedes clock displayed in the center of the dashboard right below a retractable 7 inch LCD screen. Hard buttons control everything needed to operate the climate and sound and the display gauge offers a tachometer in addition to a speedometer
The COMAND system feels behind even 2010, navigating beyond the radio view taking a substantial amount of effort. Though fast to navigate different views, and well colored, the system is completely unintuitive. Expect to spend some time with the reader’s manual figuring out how to switch from navigation to the radio. No one said Thor was easy to figure out.
Both Thor and the 2010 C63 AMG are stubborn, brutish, and can command thunder. While these traits may not work in a Marvel character, it sure works well in a car. Even 6 years later, the C63 is full of (excess) power, class, and some of the most comfortable seats in the business. While it may not be the best in the twisties, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you push the ignition button.
C63 AMG Known Issues:
Engine head bolts (2008-2010) can stretch and detach from the motor, leading to massive coolant leak and a destroyed engine. If engine fails, the cost to replace can exceed $10k.
Which One Should You Get?
With the C63, maintenance records and a pre-purchase inspection are your best friends. If you can afford it, we recommend a 2012+ C63 AMG model. The head bolt issue on the 2008-2010 model, while rare, is still scary enough to worry about. The 2012+ models are also refreshed, with optional two-toned leather seating, a revised suspension and transmission, and an updated interior with a new 5in LCD screen. 2012+ also features a coupe version which scored well against the outgoing e92 M3 in most publications.
Used 2010 models, like the one driven above, range from $28-35k, depending on mileage and condition. 2012+ models range from $33 – 45k in recent eBay Motor scans.