New Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Aims at BMW M3, Available with 457HP and 487HP [40 High-Res Photos]

True to prior speculation, Mercedes-Benz has lifted the curtain on a high-performance version of its recently launched C-Class Coupe developed by its AMG division. Stuttgart’s answer to the 450HP Audi RS5 and the 420HP BMW M3 coupes is built around the revised 2012 C63 AMG saloon and sticks with Mercedes-Benz’s familiar 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 lump.

As with the sedan model, the V8 powerplant in the 2012 C63 AMG Coupe will be offered in two states of tune. The basic version churns out 457HP and peak torque of 600Nm in EU-spec, and 451HP and 443 lb-ft in US-trim, for a 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds [0-60mph in 4.4 sec] and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h [155mph].

Customers can opt for the AMG Development Package that pushes output to 487HP in the EU model and 481HP in the U.S.-spec variant, for a 0 to 100 km/h to 4.4 seconds [0-60mph in 4.3 sec] and a limited maximum speed of 174 mph [280km/h].

There’s only one available transmission for the rear-wheel drive coupe, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed automatic that offers several modes including the Controlled Efficiency “C”, “S”, “S+” and “M” modes. These are selected through the new rotary control borrowed from the SLS AMG Gullwing model. Mercedes says gear changes in the “S+” and “M” modes take just 100 milliseconds. In addition, there’s a RACE START function that is said to allow “the driver to explore the vehicle’s full acceleration capability”.

The range-topping AMG model gets a modified chassis with a separate three-link front suspension, a reinforced multi-link independent rear suspension and a wider track at both ends, plus more negative camber all round and anti-roll bars with a larger cross-section. The high-performance braking system with composite front discs and the three-stage ESP (On, Sport and Off) complete the performance upgrades.

On the styling side, Mercedes’ newcomer stands out from its more timid siblings through a bodykit that includes front splitter, rear diffuser and a carbon fiber boot lid spoiler along with a modified aluminium bonnet and AMG-specific LED daytime running lights. The Coupe model rides on a set of 18-inch alloys wrapped in 235/40 R 18 (front) and 255/35 R 18 (rear) tires.

As for the interior, the two-door Merc gets a bespoke set of body-hugging sports seats with integral head restraints, unique trim and an AMG performance steering wheel with flattened top and bottom sections that was adopted from the CLS 63 AMG.

In Europe, the market launch of the new C 63 AMG coupe starts in July 2011 with prices in Germany set at €72,590. The new Mercedes coupe will make its U.S. showroom debut in September 2011.

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