Mercedes Benz C250D vs Mercedes Benz C63 AMG: Executive-Sedan vs Super-Sedan

first_imgThese two cars should be like chalk and cheese – executive-sedan versus super-sedan, wood versus carbon fibre, beige versus red, leather versus Alcantara, ECO versus RACE mode, inline-four versus V8, turbo-diesel versus biturbo petrol. Choosing one over the other could save you enough to consider a 3BHK in an area where your neighbours probably own one of these.ALSO READ: Mahindra Thar Club Challenge 2016 turns out to be a hitDespite all of that, they’re not that far apart. Because even though they’re in very different segments, it could very well be the same executive who starts dreaming of AMG-lettering alongside the C-badge on the rear of his sedan. In fact, the differences only serves to bring out the similarities.The main differentiator that a not-so-regular C has just passed you the four pipe exits. And a wall of angry V8 sound. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Like the way they look. The newest generation C-Class borrows the general look-and-feel of the S-Class but packages it into a 2,840mm wheelbase with an overall length of 4,686mm. The new C 250 diesel doesn’t change anything, over the already available C 200 or C 220 d models. There’s the same two-slat grille, beautiful headlamps with the subtly-curved DRLs, deep air dams and tasteful chrome. Not to mention the long hood, swoopy roofline, short rear deck and those oh-so-beautiful tail lamps punctuating the convex rear end.Both cabins are similarly luxurious. good for the AMG, considering its super-sedan competition. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Carbon fibre and aluminium accents have an industrial feel, set off by the rich leather upholstery and Alcantara-wrapped wheel. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) The AMG looks exactly the same, just drenched in protein shakes multiple times over a year-long P90 regimen. It squats lower, the hood has been lengthened 71mm to make room for the V8, additional cooling and strut braces. In the process, the hood also developed rippling power bulges. The bumper gets a carbon fibre splitter and more pronounced air dams. Wheel arches look impossibly flared thanks to a widened front track, just about keeping the staggered front-back 245/265 section 19-inch rubber in check under them.More carbon fibre, in design at least, on the dials. Favourite is the boost gauge. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ: Jeep Compass: Everything you need to knowadvertisementCOMAND interface, all controls have a wonderful tactile feel to them. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) Along the side, where the C has lovely chrome rubbing strips, the AMG has carbon fibre. Then there’s the rear end. That short rear deck gets a spoiler running right along the edge, almost invisibly so. And of course, the main differentiator that a not-so-regular C has just passed you – the four pipe exits. And a wall of angry V8 sound.Little i button activates the HUD on the windscreen for speed and revs. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)You see the silver stuff? All aluminium. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) All of which hits you on the inside as well. In the C 63 S, I swear you can hear the engine breathe in for a split second when you press the throttle, before it erupts. There’s a distinct turbo whoosh but only if you have the door open, close it and all you hear is the low V8 rumble of an approaching train. The interiors of both these cars are similarly luxurious and that bodes well for the AMG, considering its super-sedan competition.You see the silver stuff? All aluminium. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)On top of the exceedingly well-crafted surfaces, switches, vents and such, there’s also the 13-speaker Burmester sound system. Not to forget the AMG specials – a flat-bottomed steering wheel with Alcantara accents and the race car-like 12 o’clock indicator, carbon fibre trim over the centre console, sport seats and red seatbelts. It also gets a few extra buttons for the sports exhaust, AMG ride control and traction control settings. Oh and the clock in the centre of the console is an IWC, adjustable through the COMAND interface.Drive mode select best left in Sport+, with AMG ride control set in Comfort. Traction off, for extra grins. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ: Hyundai Elantra vs Skoda OctaviaThe C 250 d on the other hand gets a “regular” Mercedes clock, apart from a SYNC button for the dual-zone climate control to be matched instantly. Also, there are no controls for the rear passenger to adjust temperature or fan speed like on the AMG. Which for the diesel C-Class, likely to be a chauffeur-driven, is an omission worth pointing out. Unless, could Mercedes have other plans for the owner?advertisementWood grain inserts, the same lovely aluminium trim and the dual-tone colour palette makes the cabin feel spacious. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The C 250 d comes with the same 2.1-litre twin-turbo, diesel in the C 220 d but tuned to produce 34 horsepower more, at 204bhp. The main point of interest is the 500Nm of torque that maxes out between 1,600-1,800 revs. The new-to-the-C, nine-speed 9G-TRONIC transmission is smart enough to keep that creamy torque right where you want it too. So at a steady 100kmph, the engine is relaxed at a little over 1,300rpm. Slow moving car ahead of you? A slight nudge will see you pass in a matter of seconds and a downshift or two, that’s how effortless the new powertrain is. Space for two cups or a phone, the cubbyhole isnt deep enough to accomodate both. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)As obviously more skewed towards the driver that this diesel C250d is, I think it drives best in Comfort, where a higher gear than necessary takes precedent every time. Sport and Sport+ make the car feel more on-edge than befitting its otherwise laid-back character. Still, downshifts are quick, whether by nudging the throttle or through the paddle shifters. It’s also very, very refined and you barely hear the engine at all. Which is what you want in an executive sedan with the three-pointed star on its hood. Placement of gear lever ideal at traffic lights, push the selector button in for Park without taking your hands off the steering wheel. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ: We give you the ultimate guide to travel India Of course, the other sedan here with the three-pointed star on its hood is an attention-seeking child. India only gets the AMG C 63 S version, which has the 4-litre V8 tuned to 510bhp. Yup, that’s 500 plus horsepower from a car that can seat five. While it’s a step down size-wise, from the earlier gen C 63 with a naturally aspirated 6.3-litre engine, this new hand built lump of anger makes more power and torque thanks to the two turbos nestled within the cylinder banks. In fact, there’s a whole 700Nm of torque to play with from 1,750rpm. And AMG engineers have been very particular to tune throttle response to the point where you just can’t tell that you’re driving a turbo.Paddle shifters in a diesel? Sure, theres nine gears to shift through. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)They’ve also been very attentive to the exhaust system, carefully measuring out exhaust runner lengths to provide the large displacement V8 sound that makes heads turn. Especially with the trick sports exhaust system that opens up valves that give you the full bore growl. From standstill the AMG will do 100kmph in 4 seconds. From there the speedo needle sweeps right almost as quickly as the revs do. This car will do serious speeds in no time at all, while top speed is electronically limited to 250kmph. The surprise here comes from the diesel corner. The C 250 d has a claimed 0-100kmph time of just 6.6s and a top speed of 247kmph.advertisementCentre-most toggle brings up climate control settings. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)For laughs, the AMG comes with a Comfort mode too. This affects the steering feel, throttle response, suspension stiffness and the dynamic engine mounts in the car. It also makes the C 63 quieter, which we didn’t think was fitting. We much prefer Sport+ or Race, where the car feels so tightly wound, a whisper could set it off. Here’s where the AMG shines. The electromechanical steering offers precise movements and feedback is superbly judged.ALSO READ: Living life with the Maruti Suzuki BalenoAt much, much higher speeds only Sport+ or Race offer the weight necessary for confidence. It’s a good thing, because the AMG can really attack corners, there’s just so much grip. It’s also really predictable, with under steer safely letting you know when you’ve reached the limit. So instead you lean on the optional carbon-ceramic brakes into a corner, get the front end to bite and then let the electrically controlled LSD meter out power to the rear wheels. This makes for very entertaining mid-corner antics, all perfectly controlled with ESP and traction control on.Under the right road conditions (and possibly a full moon night) Sport+ on the diesel C could almost be a Comfort+ on the AMG. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)And the C 250 d inherits much of the same behaviour, just dialled down. In fact, under the right road conditions (and possibly a full moon night) Sport+ on the diesel C could almost be a Comfort+ on the AMG.  VerdictMercedes-AMG C 63 SIf you value usable performance over making heads turn and smartphones pop out of car windows, the AMG is for you. While it looks like a C-Class that’s been modified and thus flies under the radar of most people, it does give you supercar performance – with decent ground clearance, space for five and all the luxury you could want.     ALSO READ: Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza’s SUV cred put to testMercedes-Benz C 250 dThe new, more powerful diesel-C adds some niceties like interior ambient lighting, park assist and more to make the experience a whole lot better. The main talking point is the retuned engine that adds some horsepower and torque that does make the driving experience more effortless. If anyone other than yourself will be driving it, look at the C 220. Otherwise, look no further.last_img

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