I’ve always been a fan of AMGs. More so the old stuff over the new stuff, but the philosophy of stuffing huge engines into cars that have no business getting huge engines has always been appealing. As an owner of a 17-year-old AMG myself, I’m always curious to see where AMG goes next.
Do I think there are too many AMGs available now? Yes. But that didn’t stop me from testing out the latest AMG had to offer in the C63 S coupe out at Monticello for the latest episode of /DRIVE on NBC Sports. (Yes, I’m on TV now. Get excited.)
My personal car is a 2002 Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG. It lives with me in New York City. I pay its rent and I baby the shit out of it. Just ask any of my friends who have been scolded from eating or drinking anything other than water while riding in it with me.
The C32 hails from the DaimlerChrysler days. It uses a 3.2-litre, supercharged V6 that’s also found in the SLK 32 AMG and the Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6. It has a five-speed automatic that was overbuilt as hell. When it debuted, it competed against the V8 Audi S4 and the E46-generation BMW M3.
It’s a car I love owning. It has just the right amount of power and I can see out of it because it has a nice and relatively airy greenhouse. It also can seat four of my friends in a pinch, and the trunk space is decent.
My favourite part is, of course, the engine. The supercharged unit is torquey and still pulls well, despite being almost 20 years old. When new, it was rated at 349 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. I have no idea if it is still making this amount of power, but when driven back-to-back with cars with a similar output, it feels comparable.
Since the C32, the number of C-Class AMGs you can buy has skyrocketed. You can now get the C43, C63 and C63 S coupes or sedans. They are bigger and heavier than ever, but they are also faster and more powerful. This is what 17 years’ worth of innovation and marketing has brought us.
While the C32 is nice and sporty on the track, it really shines as a daily driver. Because of its understated appearance, it’s a pretty damn good sleeper car.
The C63 S, on the other hand, feels like a dedicated track star. With two fewer doors, two extra cylinders, two extra turbochargers and a hell of a lot more power (503 HP), it’s a whole different beast. Everything is tighter, faster and more communicative. It’ll shred rear tires faster than you can replace them. The capabilities between a base-model C-Class and the top-of-the-line AMG are wider than than ever.
This is an episode all about AMG. Join Chris Harris, Mike Spinelli and myself as we explore everything AMG. My old girl will also make an appearance! It’ll air on NBC Sports on November 4, following the NASCAR playoff race at Texas. There's currently no word on where it'll air in Australia.
Here are some stills.