It is surely no secret that there are certain cars that we auto reviewers fight to review, and it often requires careful negotiating on the writer’s part to be awarded the review from the editor bosses.

The current generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class may not be on the same level of desirability as, say its exotic AMG GT stablemate, but it’s nevertheless a car I was eager to log more seat time in, even though it had just gone through a recent comparison test with the BMW 340i. I may have even had to agree to review some distasteful, econo-turd produced in some Communist nation before the editor granted my wish.

And you know what? It’s worth it.

The C-Class was all-new just a year ago, with the C 400 topping the lineup with a smooth and lusty turbocharged V6 engine being the heart of that great machine. And before the new car smell had barely faded away, that C 400 became obsolete thanks to the car you see here: a new C 450 AMG.

Keen eyes will notice those three magical letters tacked on to the end of the name: AMG – the revered performance division of the prestigious Stuttgart brand. Recent years have seen AMG offer up the world’s most tasteful muscle cars, most of which feature hand-built and wholly-beastly V8 engines that bellow a most sinfully baritone exhaust note.

This car, however, is a bit different. It’s not a full-on AMG car, but rather a “regular” Mercedes-Benz that’s been warmed over by the go-fast gurus at the performance division. The heart remains a biturbo V6, but now the engine provides a very healthy 362 horsepower and a whopping 383 lb-ft of torque from as few as 2,000 revs (and fitted with some sassy red accents).

The folks at Mercedes-Benz say the C 450 will hit 100 km/h from a standstill in 4.9 seconds, but we say they’re just being modest. This thing pulls ferociously from dawdle to dizzying speed with a particularly robust mid-range kick that’s especially fun for backroad passing.

The C 450 now becomes the middle child in the C-Class range with the perfectly capable four-cylinder C 300 remaining as the entry point and a new C 63 AMG (the full-beans AMG) featuring 469 thundering V8 horsepower. But the C 450 suffers no middle-child syndrome, but instead resembles more of a Goldilocks pick, proving itself neither too timid nor too boisterous for everyday use and catering to the broadest driver spectrum.

An honest-to-goodness two-door coupe: 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

Certainly the crowd enamoured by the bigger badge number on the back (and three-pointed star on the nose) will snatch them up regardless of performance capabilities, but enthusiasts should not feel too shortchanged for not buying a C 63. Sure, the full AMG car throws down more impressive numbers, but it also costs a heck of a lot more, and the C 450 is truly no slouch, even when it comes to tickling enthusiasts’ ears with the occasional belch and pop from the tailpipes.

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