Hot version of Mercedes-Benz's new C-class estate to go on sale at the end of this year, powered by new twin-turbo V8 engine

Mercedes-Benz is speeding up development work on its range-topping C63 AMG estate ahead of a planned public debut at the Paris motor show in October.

Having recently unveiled the regular C-class estate - which will be priced from £28,055 when it goes on sale in the UK this autumn - work on the performance version is almost complete. 

Mercedes plans to launch four variants of the C63 AMG. Alongside the estate pictured here, a saloon, coupe and cabriolet will also be built. All are due to go on sale before the end of 2016.

As this latest prototype shows, visual changes on the car include the adoption of new alloy wheels and heavily revised front and rear bumpers. New side skirts can also be seen, alongside a more muscular rear bumpe which fully encloses the quadruple AMG exhausts. 

Power in all four models is set to come from a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, with outputs varying between 480bhp and 580bhp. That would eclipse the 451bhp offered by the naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine in today's car, while performance gains should also improve on its claimed 0-62mph sprint time of 4.5 seconds.

The firm's seven-speed Speedshift transmission should be offered, accompanied by fuel-saving features like stop-start, brake energy recueration and coasting. Mercedes bosses have already rejected the idea of offering a C63 AMG variant with four-wheel drive for the moment, despite strong sales of those models.

Expect the C63 AMG's interior to heavily mirror that of the standard C-class, but with additions including new sports seats and an AMG-badged steering wheel. Like the standard car, the C63 AMG estate should offer around 490 litres of storage space with the rear seats in place, rising to 1510 litres with them folded flat.

A significant price premium above the £33,220 asked for a top-spec standard C-class estate is expected. The current C63 AMG estate costs £58,500. The new model should go on sale before the end of this year.

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