The Mercedes E 63 AMG is the latest car in a burgeoning market of performance brands that only keeps expanding. 

AMG's sales grew 40% from 2014 to 2015, with 68,000 models sold, according to boss Tobias Moers, and it will do the same again this year.

Rival Audi Sport is planning to double its product line-up next year, while less-premium brands are also creating performance-focused model lines, such as Hyundai, which launched its N arm at the Paris motor show, and Toyota, which is heavily rumoured to be launching a performance brand.

It almost seems as if there's a divergence: performance and electric. It's even something Spyker CEO Victor Muller predicted would happen, as we reported here.

So while the performance brands are addressing emission targets by fast improving powertrain technology, weight saving and more, it's certainly not to the detriment of speed.

The E 63 AMG in range-topping guise hits 62mph from rest in 3.4sec, making it the fastest-accelerating model yet produced by AMG. Moers describes the speed as "unbelievable" from a standing start.

But he also admits that electrification and hybrids will be the next major stage of development for AMG, bringing performance and the environment a little closer together. The recently announced hypercar is "the car that opens the door into the future", he said.