Mercedes-Benz is preparing to take on the Audi RS5 and fifth-generation BMW M3 with a powered-up version of its upcoming C-class coupe.
The new two-door, set for launch late next year, will be known as the C63 AMG Coupe. It runs a combination of the company's four-year-old naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 engine and 7-speed MCT (multi-clutch transmission) — a setup that will also be used in a face-lifted version of the C63 sedan due next year.
Officials from Mercedes' performance car division said the AMG Coupé was conceived as a direct rival to the RS5 and M3.
“We're looking to up the power beyond that of today's C63 AMG. It's safe to say it will be the most powerful of the three,” said an AMG source.
In a move mirroring that of the CL63 AMG, Mercedes is expected to offer the C63 AMG Coupe and its four-door sedan sibling with an optional performance package. This will put power up from a standard 450hp to around 480bhp — 36hp more than the RS5 and 66hp more than the M3.
However, sources say an even more powerful C63 AMG Coupé is also being developed. The C63 AMG Black Series is planned to fill the void left by the discontinuation of the CLK63 AMG Black Series, although its launch will be preceded by the SLS63 AMG Black Series toward the end of 2012.