Two-door ready to muscle in on M3

MERCEDES-BENZ has revealed its first direct rival for BMW's venerable M3 Coupe.

The C63 AMG coupe is the first two-door version of the German car maker's C-Class flagship, adding a third variant to the sedan and wagon body styles.

The head of the new C-Class coupe range also becomes the fastest C63 model, with a claimed 0-100kmh of 4.5 seconds.

Another tenth of a second is shaved off if customers order an optional AMG Performance package, which increases the 6.2-litre V8's power output from 336kW to 358kW through lighter engine components.

The coupe follows other updates given to the recently facelifted C63 sedan that will arrive with the two-door in Australia in September, including new LED daytime running lights, aluminium bonnet and the switch from a seven-speed conventional auto to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The new gearbox, which is also used in the SL63 AMG, features a launch control system and four different modes depending on whether the driver wants to focus on saving fuel or maximum performance.

Inside, the coupe is less practical than either the sedan or wagon, offering two rear seats rather than three.

The interior design is virtually identical, including the use of carbon-fibre trim on the dash and doors and a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel.

Mercedes-Benz's C63 AMG sedan and coupe are expected to be priced close to each other, about the $150,000 mark. The company will be aiming to keep the model competitive with BMW's M3, which is priced from $152,300 for the sedan and $158,300 for the Coupe.

The AMG Performance pack currently costs $15,000, with a take-up rate of 30% since it was offered last year.



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