It is oddly pacifying, the night. Dark, quiet, mysterious. It isolates you from the chaos of the day. The bustling busy life, the stress and chaos and the expectations. For those few hours after the sun bids adieu and the city sleeps, you are free. Free to your will. No phone calls, no texts, no emails. It is you and what your heart desires. And when you speak of desires, to us petrol-heads, few things rank higher than a low-slung, loud, AMG V8. To be specific, the C63 Coupe.
One of the few cars out there that avoids being ostentatious and remains true to its character. Focussed, fast and fun. I could have gone out of the city at dawn and shot through the day while I spoke about the handling and the stiff ride that allows you to attack corners. However, the true character of the car shines through on the city streets. And let’s be honest, this German batmobile is going to be on city roads a lot more than on any racetrack. That said, to explore its true self, you need to give it some space and space in Mumbai is something you can only expect past midnight. As the city dozed off, I fired up the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. The loud rumble, especially in the basement parking lot makes you feel like a naughty child. I just had to give the accelerator a couple of nudges, but before the neighbours dialled 100, I made my way out.
Exploring Mumbai at night is a different experience altogether. What was chaotic and fast-paced just a few hours ago, was lazy and calm as I pierced through the streets. It quite literally is like the calm after a hurricane. But, it is here when you realise what the C63 Coupe is all about. It isn’t for posers or for those who want to flex in 5-star lobbies. It isn’t for those who want to show-off outside a club. It is a selfish indulgence meant to satisfy only those who own it and drive it. The design is subtle but suave as the coupe roofline blends into the boot. The big Panamericana grille up front gives it that imposing appeal, and the sleek LED taillamps add to the sporty nature. Add to that this stealth matte black paint and you do feel like Batman in Gotham. At least I did.
The interior too is typical AMG but it is in the night that it comes alive. Never has the ambient lighting impressed me so much. It bathes the interior in lighting that perfectly encompasses the C63 Coupe’s persona. Focussed yet luxurious. There is everything in here to do justice to the Mercedes badge. The chunky AMG steering, the sport seats, a sunroof, MBUX infotainment with touchscreen and the host of driving aids on offer go on to justify the price tag. But you just can’t put a price on self-love. That rush of excitement as you flex your right foot and the raucous note from those quad exhausts is nothing short of mesmerizing. But I simply couldn’t care less. The sunroof, wireless charging, Unleashing 470bhp on city roads is thrilling, to say the least, and a 0-100kph time of just 5.5 secs means you need not push too hard to have a big grin plastered on your face. The 9-speed gearbox too is quick and when you want, it can change its character from docile and comfortable, to agile and aggressive. The drive modes too alter the performance, but inherently the car remains loyal to its AMG roots. Not having four doors and a negligible back seat are reasons enough that the C63 Coupe has all it’s focus on the driver.
Surprisingly, the city has quite a few challenging routes that allow the C63 Coupe to feel at home. Barricades put up by our cities finest and potholes just where you wouldn’t want them allowed me to get a feel of the incredible steering and its bustling feedback. Then there are the long turns that join the highways where the C63 was flat and composed showing its poised handling and stability. It almost felt like a racetrack as I was on attack mode on the long straights. As the pitch dark sky turned inky blue and the city began to wake up, I pulled over and stepped out. I wondered at the beginning as to why would you spend Rs 1.3 crore and not want to be noticed, I wondered how can a car so inconspicuous make any sense to a buyer. But this drive was all that I needed. You don’t need validation with a car like this. You don’t need a hundred guys swarming around to take a picture and you don’t need your friends to pat your back and secretly be jealous. You buy it because driving it is like parenting a dog. It will do everything to make you and only you happy. And that is pretty much the best feeling in the world.