|Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG|
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In the German Touring Car Championships (DTM) the new AMG C-Class ensures exciting motor racing at the highest level, and now its roadgoing sister model is celebrating its debut: the new C 63 AMG. Its AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine develops a peak output of 336 kW/457 hp and a maximum torque of 600 newton metres - unrivalled figures in this segment. Accordingly the C 63 AMG accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds, while its top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. In conjunction with an all-new front axle, speed-sensitive AMG sports steering and the new, 3-stage ESP Ò, the AMG sports suspension ensures both outstanding driving enjoyment and exemplary handling dynamics. A combination of expressive design, a decidedly sporty interior and a high level of everyday practicality makes the C 63 AMG a unique high-performance car. The market launch will commence in early 2008. With the new C 63 AMG, Mercedes-AMG GmbH is making a confident statement to mark the 40th birthday of the company. The new V8 flagship model is now the fifth generation of the AMG C-Class, whose family tree goes back to the C 36 AMG of 1993 - the very first vehicle developed as a cooperative venture between Daimler-Benz and AMG.
Merely the appearance of the C 63 AMG is impressive enough, with its wide, road-hugging stance. The new bonnet with its prominent power domes conceals the independently developed AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine, which develops a fulminating 336 kW/457 hp at 6800 rpm from a displacement of 6208 cubic centimetres. In this respect the C 63 AMG comes very close to the 470 or so horsepower delivered by the AMG C-Class racing touring car in the DTM series. This high output also benefits the power-to-weight ratio, which is a very favourable 3.6 kg/hp. The torque developed by the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine need fear no comparison either. The maximum of 600 newton metres at 5000 rpm is unrivalled in this class, and the torque curve is equally impressive: from 2000 to 6250 rpm the driver always has more than 500 newton metres on tap - ideal for powerful acceleration in any engine speed range.
Introduced in 2005, the V8 engine is installed in numerous AMG high-performance cars and excels with its thoroughbred motor sports technology. Perfect cylinder charging is guaranteed by the vertical arrangement of the intake and exhaust ducts, as well as the magnesium variable intake manifold with two integral throttle flaps. Other high-tech features include variable camshaft adjustment, four-valve technology with bucket-type tappets, a particularly rigid aluminium crankcase of closed-deck design and the low-friction TWAS coating on the cylinder contact surfaces.
Among the particular strengths of the AMG V8 engine are outstanding responsiveness and enormous pulling power - by virtue of its large displacement, it develops over 30 percent more torque than comparable engines in this performance class. Electronically controlled fuel delivery is another reason for the outstanding agility and responsiveness to movements of the accelerator. With its sporty AMG sound, which was designed-in during a series of sophisticated trials, this eight-cylinder powerpack from Affalterbach offers the unique excitement of a fast-revving, Naturally Aspirated engine - an audible and immediate experience whether at low, medium or high engine speeds.
In the interests of optimal reliability, the C 63 AMG has a particularly efficient water cooling system and large engine and transmission oil coolers. Located behind the large apertures in the AMG front apron, these coolers ensure non-critical operating temperatures at all times - even under the extreme stress of the racetrack. Like all AMG high-performance engines, the AMG 6.3-litre V8 is built in the AMG engine shop on the traditional "one man, one engine" principle. This means that one technician is responsible for hand-assembling a complete V8 engine to the highest quality standards - which is attested to by his signature on the AMG engine plate.
This high-performance eight-cylinder engine has the perfect partner in the form of the AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic transmission. Equipped with AMG steering wheel shift paddles and three driving modes, the seven-speed automatic transmission allows a decidedly sporty or more comfort-oriented style of driving according to the driver's preference. The different modes - "S" (Sport), " C" (Comfort) and "M" (Manual) differ in their shift characteristics and speed: gearshifts in "S" mode are around 30 percent faster than in "C", and no less than around 50 percent faster in "M" mode. Pressing a button is sufficient to activate the desired driving programme. The new C 63 AMG is the very first AMG car to feature an automatic throttle-blipping function during downshifts. This not only enhances the driver's emotional experience - the almost completely jolt-free downshifting process also reduces the load-change responses and has a particularly positive effect when braking before bends on the racetrack.
The C 63 AMG owes its outstanding handling dynamics to the AMG sports suspension and an all-new three-link front axle design. The stiff configuration of the springs and gas-pressure shock absorbers ensures optimal road contact and low body movements when negotiating serpentine bends at speed. The new front axle has a 35-millimetre wider track - visible by the more widely flared wheel arches - and therefore ensures lower dynamic wheel loads when cornering. A number of features make for substantially more stability and precision in all driving situations: the redesigned wheel location at the front axle is 100 percent more rigid, leading to a considerable improvement in steering precision. Another benefit makes itself felt when braking, as the new wheel location ensures an immediate response even under high dynamic stresses.
In combination with completely newly configured elasto-kinematics, the new wheel location provides greatly improved lateral dynamics and allows the driver of the C 63 AMG to benefit from significantly higher cornering speeds. A larger torsion bar stabiliser, new head bearings and dampers with rebound buffer springs further enhance this stability and precision. Steering feedback is also improved by the new kinematics. The speed-sensitive AMG sports steering has a ratio of 13.5:1, but feels more direct as a result of moving what is termed the instant centre of motion at the front axle. A more rigid Hardy disc in the steering column, as well as modified steering characteristics, make a further contribution to increased precision.
The multi-link independent rear suspension has also been thoroughly re-engineered, with a twelve-millimetre wider track and more camber leading to improved cornering performance. Reinforced drive shafts and drive joints increase fatigue strength and round off the improvements to the rear suspension of the C 63 AMG. The completely newly developed AMG sports suspension combines outstanding handling dynamics with the long-distance comfort to be expected of a Mercedes - which also means that the C 63 AMG has the characteristic virtues of a genuine AMG.
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