When Mercedes married AMG in 2005 following a lengthy courtship, who would have expected that union to spawn 38 children? Not all those babies come to the U.S., but we do receive our share and more are on their way. The car on this page is the first middle child, a sports sedan badged Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG. It’s been reared to fill the void between regular Mercedes-Benz C-class models aimed at law-abiding citizens and the rowdy Mercedes-AMG C63.
Fret not over this C’s lack of a V-8. A new twin-turbo direct-injected 3.0-liter V-6 cranks out enough energy—362 horsepower, 384 pound-feet of torque—for the C450 to run with or past competitors such as the Audi S4, BMW 340i, Cadillac ATS, and Jaguar XE S. Aided by standard four-wheel drive, it bolts to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and through the quarter in 13.1, just a few tenths of a second behind the 503-hp C63 S. Living with only a six-pack under the hood benefits mileage and chassis balance and drops the base price to $51,725—within reach of middle management.
The C450 has a nicely balanced performance portfolio. Panic stops from 70 mph in 160 feet rival the best competitors. The 0.93-g cornering grip is also exemplary, topping all BMWs lacking full M specifications. Thanks to a fixed 33/67-percent front/rear torque split, you can power out of bends in the wet without fear that the tail will slip first. Three-stage dampers handed down from the C63 provide body-motion control ranging from firm to extra firm, accessible via a console toggle.
“Discreet” best describes the C450’s exterior. There’s minimal AMG identification. But a megasized three-pointed star in the grille assures that no one will mistake this for a Suzuki. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Marc Urbano
This review is about mercedes benz c.