The super saloon market remains, as ever, fairly small but fiercely competitive. The German big three still have a huge presence, although perhaps aren't as dominating as they’ve enjoyed over the years, with changing emissions legislation having shaved away the meat of certain performance brands’ model ranges – and opened the door for others to move in.
In the past few years, we’ve seen the return of Alfa Romeo to the segment. The Italian marque’s Giulia Quadrifoglio is an epic sports saloon and will soon be joined by even more hardcore GTA and GTAm models. It goes without saying that we’re phenomenally excited about their respective arrivals. Meanwhile, BMW’s decision to remove the standard M5 from sale in the UK has bumped it from the top spot, with Mercedes-AMG’s outstanding C63 S stepping in to claim the throne.
As ever, power and performance figures are getting more and more impressive - with some of the cars in this list now churning out in excess of 600bhp. Is output alone enough to grab the top spot, though?
The Mercedes-AMG C63 S has had to fend off some serious competition to land a spot in the podium of our super saloons best-of list – not least from bigger brother, the E63 S.
Gone is the phenomenal naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 of its predecessor, but the current twin-turbocharged V8 is by no means short on character or power.
While the C63’s ride is firm and unisolating, its handling is super-engaging, accurate and readily, benignly adjustable, while its steering tactile and confidence-inspiring. The automatic transmission complements the engine brilliantly.
There is a noticable amount of road noise, but the addictive nature of its V8 powertrain more than makes up for this. This is a seriously impressive, old-school piece of kit that we like very much.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio missed out on a class-leading berth here by the skin of its teeth. Excellent handling, a composed ride and gorgeous looks are order of the day - all key traits for any serious contender in this segment.
Its Ferrari-derived turbocharged V6 is also enthralling – not quite as potent or bombastic as the V8 in the C63 S but with its own distinct appeal. Handling, meanwhile, is as lithe, balanced, direct and sports-car-like as it’s possible to find in anything with four doors – and very engaging with it.
Overall, this car marks a stellar return to form for a brand that had been floundering for some years. The only real shortfall - and it’s a relatively small one - is the interior, which is a bit lower-rent than those offered by Mercedes-AMG and BMW.