The Mercedes-AMG C 63 is more than just another alternative to the ubiquitous BMW M3.

In many ways it’s the most serious attempt yet by Mercedes’ performance arm, AMG, to put one over its nemesis from Munich, and when you look at what the car has in its armoury, you can’t help but feel for its opponents.

The engine is a whopping great 6.2-litre V8 that develops 457bhp and 442lb ft in standard form or 507bhp and 450lb ft with the optional Performance Package, while the corresponding level of performance is big enough – in theory – to blitz anything the new M3 can offer

But the key difference between this car and those previously served up by AMG is that, according to its creators, it is a genuine driver’s car, rather than merely a very powerful, faster version of an ordinary Mercedes.

This time AMG has focused as hard on getting the dynamics right as it has on delivering huge power, hence the steering, brakes, suspension and even the ESP have all been completely redesigned to deliver a sharper driving experience.

As well as having a choice of power and torque outputs, the C 63 comes in three different body styles. As well as a four-door saloon, there's a two-door coupe and an estate, making its spectacular performance available to a relatively wide range of buyers, even if you need the practicality of a load-lugger.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Audi RS4 Avant
    First Drive
    12 December 2017
    The Audi RS4 Avant covers ground like few, if any, other estate cars, but it doesn’t involve you all that much in the process
  • Subaru XV
    First Drive
    11 December 2017
    Second-generation XV sits on a new platform and is safer and more refined than before, but it suffers from the same problems that plagued its predecessor
  • Mini Cooper S Works 210
    Car review
    8 December 2017
    Mini splits the difference between Cooper S and John Cooper Works, and what a revelation it is
  • Seat Ibiza
    First Drive
    8 December 2017
    Does the Seat Ibiza deserve class honours ahead of the Ford Fiesta? We spend six months with one to discover just that
  • Alpine A110
    First Drive
    7 December 2017
    The Alpine A110 is back. We witness the rebirth of the French sports car maker and drive the wonderful A110, one of the best driver's cars in years