The order books open on December 7, and first deliveries are coming to the Land Down Under in January 2024 – that’s faster than the US is getting it, but we are still determining if it’s also cheaper.
Right now, if you want to buy a W206 fifth generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class in America, you are confined to just three versions – C 300 from $44,850, the 4Matic version from $46,850, and the C 43 AMG from almost $60k, newly equipped with a MHEV four-pot 2.0-liter powertrain that’s good for 402 horsepower and not a lot of cool sounds.
There’s no plug-in hybrid option just yet, and we might have to wait for the release of the C 63 S E Performance to nationwide dealerships, starting sometime next year, if we really want one. However, Mercedes-AMG has not put North America next in line for the “unleashing of a force of nature.” Instead, the honor goes to Australia, which just opened the pre-registration process and will see the first units delivered in January 2024.
However, be prepared to give up an arm and a leg because the all-new Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E Performance has an MRLP (Manufacturer’s Recommended List Price) of no less than AUD187,900 – which is the equivalent of around $123,270 at the current exchange rate. This baseline quotation includes the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and applicable LCTs (Luxury Car Tax) but excludes all on-road costs like “registration fees, stamp duty, CTP, and the like.”
If you’re OK with that, and the fact that the C 63 S is infamous for ditching the big V8 in favor of a meager four-cylinder plus electrification (PHEV), Mercedes-AMG promises the new E Performance model “is inspired by technology transferred directly from Formula 1.” As such, the sprint to 100 kph (62 mph) takes 3.4 seconds, but it can also be driven as an EV for up to 15 km (9.32 miles). Frankly, that figure is the laughing stock of the C 300e model, which Mercedes praises for being able to cover up to 116 km (72 miles) in all-electric mode!
Sure, some will say the trade-off is well worth it as the C 63 S E has 671 horsepower, a fully-variable AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system, a selectable Drift Mode, and the AMG Real Performance Sound makes you forget it’s not on par with the BMW M3 anymore – “the actual sound of the combustion engine is recorded via a pressure sensor in the exhaust system and further enriched before it is emitted in the interior via the entertainment sound system. The sound signature is also modulated via exterior loudspeakers.”
Additionally, there’s also the first-ever rear-axle steering for a C-Class, the AMG-specific exterior and interior design, plus impressive specifications that include a Burmester 3D surround sound system, heated and powered front seats, ‘premium’ Ambient Lighting, smartphone integration and wireless charging, MBUX with augmented reality for navigation, and the AMG Track Pace package.