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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

Mercedes’ efforts to make the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz C-Class an even more slippery, more elegant prospect have not particularly paid off in the C 63’s favour.

Typically, we expect some exposed sinew from our V8 muscle cars, and the Mercedes-AMG is well short of the BMW M3’s appearance in that regard. Mostly this is because of the tapering rear end (the automotive equivalent of a weak chin) and the absence of blistering in the wheel arch department.

The new twin-turbo V8 displaces 3982cc – precisely what you get when you combine two 1991cc cylinder blocks in the same closed-deck crankcase

Instead, AMG has relied on new front and rear bumpers, widened front wings, fatter sills and a power-dome bonnet to get the job done – and, certainly in white, they don’t quite manage it.

Nevertheless, even if the car’s presence comes in a stately whisper, the quad pipes do at least remind you that the C 63 has something large within it to shout about. Having said that the estate certainly looks more imposing, while the coupé and cabriolet's sleek design certainly suits the AMG mantle more.

Whatever its application, the new twin-turbo V8 displaces 3982cc – precisely what you get when you combine two 1991cc cylinder blocks in the same closed-deck crankcase. In the C 63, the engine is designated M177 – a wet-sump version of the dry-sumped M178 that features in the Mercedes-AMG GT. The C 43 which heads up the C-Class AMG range is a 3.0-litre V6 acting solely as the warm-up act to the main event V8 models.

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As you might expect from something built at Affalterbach under the ‘one man, one engine’ principle, the V8 is a symphony of exotic materials and technologies.

The pistons are forged aluminium, the cylinder heads are made from zirconium alloy, spray-guided combustion comes courtesy of high-pressure piezo injectors and, most impressive, its two turbochargers are mounted in a ‘hot inside V’ configuration, meaning that they nestle between the cylinder banks to make the unit as compact as possible.

The power is directed exclusively to the rear wheels via a heavily revised version of the seven-speed Speedshift MCT transmission – AMG’s version of the 7G-Tronic automatic that does away with the torque convertor in favour of multiple clutches and bands for each gear.

In the S version, 503bhp and 516lb ft are distributed between the rear wheels via an electrically controlled locking differential. In the standard guise driven here, 469bhp and 479lb ft are split using a mechanical limited-slip differential.

Both variants sit on the same modified chassis. There’s a 25mm drop in ride height and the front track is 31mm wider than that of a normal Mercedes-Benz C-Class. At the back, new wheel bearings allow the car to be set up with greater negative camber. Firmer springs and larger-diameter anti-roll bars are included all round, as are stiffer bushings and three-stage adjustable dampers.

The C 63 comes as standard with 18in wheels and 360mm disc brakes. The S gets 19in alloys and 390mm front discs. The brakes can be upgraded to ceramics for £4285, and the AMG exhaust system – whose extra throatiness really ought to be the default sound – is an additional £1000.