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The COMPLETE C63 AMG Buyers Guide (W204)

When it comes to pre-owned performance cars, the options are nearly endless. But when you start to narrow down your options as far as preferences in price, performance, looks, and aftermarket support, there is one car that tends to check every box for a lot of enthusiasts. The C63 AMG. 

When shopping for a W204 C63, it is important to understand the 2 main categories these cars are split into: Pre-Facelift models (PFL) and Facelift models (FL). I’ll go in depth about each of the models and what to look out for when looking for a C63. 

Pre-Facelift (PFL) C63 (2008-2011)

Pre Face-Lift (PFL) C63

Pre Facelift (PFL) 2008 C63 AMG

Specs and Features

Engine: 6.2L M156 V8 – 451hp/443lb-ft 

Transmission: 7-Speed GTronic Automatic

Curb Weight: 3800lbs (est.)

0-60 & 1/4 Mile: 4.5 seconds / 12.3 Seconds

Gas Mileage: 13/20mpg – City/Highway

On paper, this car is an absolute animal. This car outperformed each of it’s competitors in almost every category at the time of release and still competes with modern day cars with no issue. 

To top it all off, the sound these cars from the factory is incredible. The signature AMG “bark” is crisp and clean and will put a smile on your face every time you step on the gas.

Inside the C63 you are greeted with a simple but functional interior. The highlights being the AMG bucket seats that hug you in the turns but are still comfortable to daily drive.

PFL 2008 C63 AMG Interior

Notable Changes

In 2009, the P30 performance package was introduced for the C63. This adds an additional 29hp and brings the engine power up to 480hp/443lbft of torque. Also included in the P30 package is red brake calipers, an alcantara steering wheel, limited slip differential (LSD), and a carbon fiber trunk spoiler. 

This was soon replaced by the P31 package in 2010. This package includes the same upgrades as the P30 but also included the engine internals from the SLS at the time, providing a stronger motor (useful when choosing to modify your car).

Possible Issues

One of the main issues you will hear about for the PFL cars are the engine’s head-bolts. This is a wear item that can lead to engine failure if not properly maintained. When shopping for a PFL C63 make sure it has ample service records, bonus points if the head-bolts have already been replaced!

2011 C63 AMG w/ P31 Performance Package

Overview

Overall, the PFL W204 is an amazing car for the value. You can find non-performance package cars for under $20k with around 80-90k miles on the clock. The performance per dollar ratio is unmatched when it comes to other competitors. 

When shopping for a PFL, I’d try to stay in the $20-25k and find a well-maintained P30 or P31 car. These tend to be the most desirable and will provide a little more power as well.

Facelift (FL) C63 (2012-2015)

2012 C63 AMG Coupe

Specs

Engine: 6.2L M156 V8 – 451hp/443lb-ft 

Transmission: 7-Speed Speedshift (MCT) Automatic

Curb Weight: 3816 lbs (est.)

0-60 & 1/4 Mile: 4.4 seconds / 12.1 Seconds

Gas Mileage: 13/20mpg – City/Highway

The W204 C63 received a major revision, or facelift, for the 2012 model year. The 6.2L M156 V8 returns but this time attached to a new 7-speed SPEEDSHIFT MCT transmission, providing faster shifts as well as more responsive paddle shifters. Launch control is also introduced for 2012. 

The P31 package returns, bringing power up to 480hp as well as red brakes, SLS engine internals, and a carbon fiber trunk spoiler.

The new facelifted C63 received a new grill, headlights, taillights, as well as new wheel designs. The coupe model was also introduced for the 2012 model year. 

While the PFL model’s interior feels quite dated, the FL model provides modern luxury and creature comforts that help with the daily drivability of these cars. The updated steering wheel and digital dash components give the car a much more modern feel.

Not only did the facelift C63 look and feel better both inside and out, it also was more reliable. The M156 engine received updated head-bolts and doesn’t suffer from the same issues as the PFL models. 

2012 C63 AMG Interior

Special Editions

When shopping for FL C63s, you’ll come across a couple of special editions that add some pretty cool features to these cars. 

Edition 1: Limited production model that features special matte paint, upgraded interior, 19″ matte black multi-spoke wheels

507 Edition: Increased power to 507hp, AMG light-alloy wheels, special hood w/ vents, upgraded interior

Black Series: Hardcore track version of the C63 coupe that features widebody front and rear fenders, increased power to 510hp, rear seat delete, revised suspension, optional aerodynamics package

2012 C63 AMG Black Series

Overview

The FL W204 C63 provides an amazing daily driver experience that won’t stop putting a smile on your face. While FL models command a much higher price tag than the PFL, it is well worth it do the significant upgrade in interior quality and fixed head-bolts. 

Give yourself a budget of $30-35k and you will be able to find a clean FL model with 50-60k miles. Keep an eye out for the red brake calipers if you want to get the P31 package for some extra fun!

The Verdict

If you are searching for a daily drivable, affordable, performance sedan, you are doing yourself a disservice if the W204 C63 is not on your radar. I personally would lean towards the FL cars but you cannot beat the PFL’s performance per $. 

The best buy right now would be a pristine P31 or 507 FL car. These will be future classics as AMG is moving towards forced induction and smaller motors. 

The W204 C63 is a true German muscle car, one of the last naturally aspirated V8 cars that provides a raw driving experience in a stylish and respectable package. 

My old 2012 C63 Coupe!

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