Mercedes R63 AMG | Spotted
One truly silly AMG to rule them all
By Matt Bird / Tuesday, 31 October 2023 / Loading comments
AMG knew it was onto something special with the M156. No longer would it have to be content with modifying Mercedes engines to make them fit for flagship status. This was an AMG engine, from its design to its specification, and it was stupendously good. AMG knew it. The world would come to know it soon enough. But excitement rather got the better of the good folk of Affalterbach (and probably even the suits at Mercedes Benz), because the 6.2 was first seen in… a CLK. Not really best foot forward for such a momentous feat of engineering, even if it did eventually become the Black Series.
Still, that first port of call for the M156 did at least preview the madcap AMG approach to deploying it: the V8 was going anywhere and everywhere. It was most famously employed in the ‘204-generation C63 (perhaps where the engine should have debuted for maximum impact), then in E- and S-Class saloons, SL- and CL-Class two doors, more than one SUV, the SLS supercar… yes, sir – AMG definitely got the most out of the engineering effort that went into the M156. The fact that a version is still used in the AMG GT3 race cars demonstrates just what an awesome thing it is.
Even by those standards, however, installing that V8 into an R-Class – creating the R63 AMG – was truly barmy. Not least because the standard car was a real curio, a sort of MPV-cum-SUV that didn’t really offer the full benefits of either. Even with more frugal petrol and diesel options, the R never sold brilliantly in Britain, though it actually soldiered on with some success in China all the way till 2017.
In the R63, buyers got 510hp and 465lb ft from the V8, healthy gains over the C63 installation that meant a 4.9-second 0-62mph dash was possible. But it was a much larger, heavier car, and just didn’t have the chassis to take full advantage of the powertrain. There wasn’t the image of the ML or GL SUVs, either – it still looked like the family bus it once was. The R was available for just one model year, with only 322 produced in total. It’s easy to see why this ‘63 project didn’t quite work out, but the rarity (and that engine) makes finding one today really quite exciting. Forget Black Series, GT R Pros and 507s – here’s the really rare AMG.
This example looks like a UK-spec, right-hand drive car; if it is, it’ll be one of just 12 sold over here. So basically one a month was sold across the entire British Isles for a year, back in those pre-meltdown days when everything was going great. Good job it didn’t arrive any later or Mercedes may not have sold any at all.
Though the ad is still waiting on some additional details, the mileage is low (64k) and the pics show an R63 looking… well, as good as an R63 is ever likely to look. There are unlikely to be many better ones out there. If you’re into this car, it’ll surely be despite its looks and not because of them. On PH, we know not to judge a book by its cover – never has that been more true than for the R63. If the AMG collection is missing a final puzzle piece or the kids’ inheritance is better off spent right now, look no further.
SPECIFICATION | MERCEDES R63 AMG
Engine: 6,208 V8
Transmission: 7-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 510@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 465@5,200rpm
MPG: 17.3 (NEDC combined)
First registered: 2006
Recorded mileage: 64,000
Price new: £74,115
Yours for: £33,950
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