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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Mercedes C63 AMG Experiment - /CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS

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The Mercedes C63 Coupe has many notable attributes, not

the least of which is the fact that its small, two-door body,

which normally runs a 2.2 liter diesel motor, has a 480

horsepower 6.2 liter V8.

That's 66 horsepower more than a BMW M3.

But perhaps the C63's best boast is the relationship

between that V8 and its rear tires.

You see, the C63 behind me has the Power Pack fitted, which

gives it 480 horsepower, 368 foot pounds of torque.

They're big numbers.

But the rear tire is just 255 in section.

That to me gives it an unprecedented

amount of power to rubber.

Let's think of it as a power to rubber ratio.

It's the biggest in its class.

In fact, outside of stuff like the 1,099 horsepower

Koenigsegg Agera R, I can't think of a car that is better

qualified to destroy its rear tires.

So this is a C63 on absolutely standard tires, 18-inch rims.

The rear tires are 255 sections, the fronts are 235s.

I've left the systems on now, OK?

I'm getting oversteer everywhere.

This is a Millbrooks handling track.

It's quite famous actually because it's treacherous.

[INAUDIBLE], and there's not massive amounts.

We have a concrete surface, which is quite

harsh on the tires.

So you can see, I've having to make very few steering


[INAUDIBLE], I have to say.

But you know what?

In these conditions, this doesn't feel like it has an

enormous amount of grip.

When we say, "mechanical grip," we mean, "tire grip,"

because there is no aero grip in this car.

Doesn't feel that grippy, because the

surface is a bit wet.

What the hell is it going to be like when I've got a 125

section tire on it?

The mind boggles.


That's right, we're going to alter the power to rubber

ratio even further in favor of that motor.

These are space-saver tires that are supposed to be used

to get you to the next garage after a puncture.

In fact, these are special AMG versions that have vast spokes

to clear those massive brake calipers.

And so here we are, the change from 255 to 125.

Looks kind of slippy, doesn't it?

Now there are two ways of looking at the choice little

modification behind me.

On the one hand, we could get the calculators out, go all

geeky, and work out the exact increase in

power to rubber ratio.

Or should that be decrease in rubber to power ratio?

I can't work it out.

On the other hand, we could do what my photographer, Neil,

just said to me earlier, well, hang on a minute, the 125

section space-saver's about a third of the width of a normal

tire, a normal 255 section tire.

So that's about three times the horsepower.

So let's say the car's got around 1,200 horsepower.

So what we have behind me is a C63 Coupe with 1200


And that is a good thing.

And so here we have it, this is the C63 AMG Coupe with

Power Pack, 480 horsepower, on 125 section tires.

What's it going to be like?

Got manual, gearbox selected, I've got all the traction

control off.

It's a little tippy in here.

See what we get.

Tires are at 60 PSI, which feels quite a lot.

So this is [INAUDIBLE] throttle.

So there we go, oversteer immediately.

Oh, oh, oh.

This is marvelous.

We have just invented possibly the greatest driving machine

on the planet.

The C63 Coupe on space-savers might be the best handling car

in the world.

Oh, come on.

This was in third gear last time, and this time it's full


I got no traction in third, it just lights up.


Can't quite ignore that one, but all the rest

of it's just marvelous.

It's got a locking deferential.

Non-standard, but you need it for this.

Oh, come on.

This is the best handling car I've driven in ages.

It just is so predictable.

It's just a joy.

It's a joy.

OK, initial impressions.

If you're going to buy a C63, it needs to have space-savers.

This is the bit when we get to discuss the moral of this

brief tale as you watch some sexy, slo-mo shots at 200

frames per second.

A bit like they did at the end of He-Man, but He

gets a great new V8.

So is there anything serious to be learned from bunging an

AMG onto pathetically small tires and pulling big drifts?

Actually, you know what, there is.

Modern sports cars are now so obsessed with lap times and

circuit performance, that at normal road speeds they're

mostly boring because they never come close to moving

around, making the driver work.

OK, a 125 section's excessive, but this does prove that

narrower tires equal fun.

And on the street, fun is better than speed.


The Description of The Mercedes C63 AMG Experiment - /CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS