The Mercedes-AMG C 63 gets smarter looks, a new 9-speed auto gearbox, even sharper handling and a smarter cabin. But its key selling point hasn't changed: a throaty 4.0-litre V8 that still wields a big stick. Select from 476hp C 63 or 510hp C 63 S states of tune, with in each case a choice of saloon, estate, coupe or cabriolet body styles - and enjoy responsibly.
So - what have we here? A Mercedes C-Class? To some extent, yes. But a very angry one. We're talking twin-turbo V8, tyre-smoking excess and a top speed of potentially up to 180mph. This is the car that sits at the heart of the Mercedes-AMG tuning division's model line-up, an improved version of the fearsomely fast second generation C 63.
For driving enthusiasts, a car like this often lies at the end of a long progression of power. Perhaps for you, it started with something like a fast Fiesta. Then, as times got better, you graduated into something a bit nicer - say a Golf GTI - and from there, onwards to even greater hot hatch sophistication - maybe an Audi RS3. Whatever the cars in question, all may have bought you to this point, the pinnacle of the practical performance car tree. A time in your life when somehow, it all seems quite sensible to be driving something not much larger than a Focus that has a 4.0-litre biturbo V8 with up to and around 500hp shoe-horned in up-front. Something like this C 63.
This MK2 model, first launched in 2015, still bears that badge, even though the old normally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 its predecessor had has been substantially down-sized, with those twin turbos added as customer compensation. This car's most unique selling point hasn't been lost though, specifically the cachet of sharing its engine with a proper supercar. With the first generation C 63, the V8 in question was lifted from the exotic SLS: here, the potent powerplant is borrowed from the almost equally desirable Mercedes-AMG GT.