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

  • 2017 Range Rover Velar
    First Drive
    23 July 2017
    The Range Rover Velar is the most road-biased car Land Rover has made. So does it still feel like a proper part of the family?
  • Seat Ibiza
    Car review
    21 July 2017
    A model upon which Seat has staked its future, the new Ibiza must now deliver
  • Honda Clarity FCV
    Car review
    21 July 2017
    Honda’s fuel cell flagship reaches its second generation, but is the world ready?
  • Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi 110 N-Connecta 2017 review
    First Drive
    20 July 2017
    A UK drive in Nissan’s crucial crossover shows an update has not cost it any of that which makes it sell so well
  • Seat Ibiza 1.0 MPI
    First Drive
    20 July 2017
    The Seat Ibiza has wowed in other iterations, but how will the entry-level 1.0-litre MPI version stack up in the UK? We've been to north Wales to find out