The BMW M4 we tested and praised was a new-age turbocharged performance machine in every way. Lighter, leaner and quicker, its overwriting of its forerunner was unsentimentally rabid.

This C 63 saloon, in contrast, feels more like a chip off the old block, which is criticism and praise rolled into one. Some old irritations remain: the ride harshness, the non-premium level of background noise and the car’s tendency to drain its fuel tank in great gulps.

The Mercedes-AMG C 63’s capacity for goading you into petrol-burning exuberance is undiminished

However, the C 63’s capacity for goading you into petrol-burning exuberance – a quality we still consider paramount in a 469bhp saloon – is undiminished.

AMG’s insistence that a ferociously quick-tempo V8 bassline remains at the heart of the experience pays off – as does the fitment of a gearbox and chassis designed to work harmoniously with it.

In standard guise, that congruity puts it as near as damn it neck and neck with the leash-straining BMW M3, but the S version only goes and blows it away, and the same can be said of the coupé version against the M4.