Only a week ago we reported that the new Mercedes C-Class station wagon would appear at Frankfurt, and now we hear that the C 63 AMG Estate is about to be launched, too. Which is odd, as we were told that the mighty 6.3-litre version wouldn’t be in the opening line-up. Could the change of tack be anything to do with Audi’s announcement of the launch of its RS 6 Avant, perhaps? Two high-performance estates – albeit in different segments of the market – announced by rival German manufacturers on the same day: such is the mystery of the motor industry.
Nestling under the Mercedes’ distinctively domed bonnet is the same 450bhp 6.3-litre V8 engine as the C 63 AMG Saloon (see Classic Driver’s July write-up...), which will propel the Estate from 0 to 62mph in 4.6 seconds. Exactly the same figure, then, as the Audi RS 6 Avant – despite the Audi’s significantly higher power and torque figures. No doubt there’s a hefty weight (and price) difference.
The Mercedes uses AMG seven-speed automatic transmission controlled by steering wheel gearshift paddles, and offers three driving modes ranging from distinctively sporty to a more comfort-focused feel. Automatic throttle-blipping when downshifting is a new feature.
The load capacity of the C 63 AMG Estate is, at its maximum, a very impressive 1500 litres – which Mercedes says is the largest in its class. If you’re looking for something even larger, then the Audi RS 6 Avant has 1660 litres of luggage space – but as an E-Class competitor the price will surely reflect an entirely different sort of vehicle.
The market launch of the C 63 AMG Estate is scheduled for the start of 2008.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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