The new W204 C-Class now comes in AMG form as the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, a compact monster powered by a normally aspirated high 11.3:1 compression 6.3 litre V8 engine putting out 451 horsepower at 6,800rpm and 600Nm of torque at a high 5,000rpm – but this does not mean the 6.2 litre engine doesn’t have any grunt on the low end! At least 500Nm of twisting force is already available from 2,000rpm onwards.

Straight line performance is naturally good – 4.5 seconds from 0 to 100km/h through a fast-shifting AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission, which enables you to shift gears automatically or through steering wheel shift paddles. The shift modes include a Sport, Comfort and Manual mode. The engine and gearbox combo also features automatic throttle-blipping during downshifts.

The front axle has been redesigned to take all the new power. It has a new three-link front axle design which has a 35mm wider track, supplemented by flared wheel arches. The suspension has been upgraded to an AMG sports suspension. The rear suspension has a 12mm wider track, and drive shafts have been reinforced to take the increased torque.

Steering is via an AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, which might be disappointing to some as the whole perception with speed-sensitive steering is that you lose alot of feel, but AMG promises a direct ratio feel when you are driving spiritedly.

For safety, the car’s 18 inch or 19 inch wheels hide huge 6-piston caliper 360x36mm discs at the front and 330x26mm discs with 4-piston calipers at the rear. The Electronic Stability Control program is also enhanced with a 3-stage ESP program. You can pick from ESP ON, EPS SPORT, and ESP OFF, much like BMW’s DSC, DTC and DSC Off functions.

However, traction control logic is never completely off in AMG’s ESP software, even in ESP OFF mode. Brake pressure is still applied sometimes to create the effect of a mechanical diff-lock.