We like Mercedes-AMG’s twin-turbo V-8 as much as the next car enthusiast. Even so, we still hold a spot in our hearts for the brand’s naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engines of yore. Specifically, the 6.2-liter unit AMG installed in the likes of the SLS supercar and W204 generation of the C-class sedan.
From model years 2008 to 2014 (and 2015 if you include the C’s two-door coupe body style), the AMG arm of Mercedes-Benz fit a 451-hp variant of its burly V-8 under the hood of the three-pointed star’s small four-door—with enough grunt to push a 4034-pound example of the model to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds in our testing.
In 2010, Mercedes answered the call for even more power by way of the optional P31 AMG Development package. Thanks to a new tune to the engine management system and connecting rods, pistons, and a crankshaft cribbed from the SLS, the engine’s stable added 30 horses to the mix, bringing output up to 481 horsepower. Not quite the more than 500-hp the big bent-eight produced in other AMG models of the time, but still plenty for a car of this size.
In fact, the P31 package’s additional power wasn’t very useful at less than three-digit speeds, as the rear-drive sedan was no quicker to 60 mph with it installed (it was quicker to 100 and 150 mph, though, by 0.1 and 1.1 seconds, respectively). The package’s other features failed to sway us, as well, and we ultimately wrote that we would “forgo” the P31 package when we reviewed a so-equipped C63 AMG in 2010.
We’re starting to think a bit differently about it in 2022, though. Yes, we stand by the fact that the P31 package’s performance upgrades fail to notably improve the dynamics of the C63 sedan, but we also think there’s a value to the kit from a collector’s standpoint. After all, for a brief period of time, the P31 package marked the peak of C63 AMG performance.
That’s why we’re drawn to this 2011 example. Sure, a C63 AMG with the P31 package is not quite the gem of the later Edition 507 (or the coupe-only Black Series), but it still seems just a wee bit more special than your average W204-generation C63 AMG. It certainly helps that this approximately 35,000-mile example’s Quartz Blue paint and 18-inch wheels provide the wide-fendered C63 AMG with a low-key look that fails to call attention to itself while simultaneously enhancing the sedan’s menacing, AMG-specific styling.
Though this C63 AMG may do without Mercedes’s latest technology, its naturally aspirated V-8 provides a far different experience from the outgoing W205-generation C63 sedan’s forced-induction unit. The chasm will only grow once Mercedes-AMG unveils the next-generation C63 sedan, which will reportedly adopt a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain centered around a four-cylinder engine.