Mercedes has a slight, wonderful problem on its hands. Its hot AMG models used to be seriously quick, but lately they've crossed into insanity. Take the Mercedes-AMG C63, for instance, with the 504-horse twin-turbo V8 out of the Mercedes-AMG GT, which is just nuts for a small family car. For the slightly more staid adrenaline junkie, then, there's now the Mercedes C450 AMG.

Ahem. Excuse me. I meant the Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG 4MATIC, which is quite a mouthful any way you put it. But while its moniker may be a mouthful of words and letter and numbers and random amalgamations of symbols, it also provides a mouthful of speed.


Seriously! No fooling. I know it's not a "proper" AMG, and the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine isn't hand-built by one guy, but let me lay down some numbers on you. 362 horsepower, which is just about the same as the old V8 in the C55 AMG from a few years ago, and 384 pound-feet of torque, which is even more. It's shunted to all four wheels (2/3 of which can go to the rear) through a seven-speed automatic gearbox, which has a manual mode. And because new Mercedes cars aren't entirely like old Mercedes cars, if you want to drive this one like a total loon, it'll let you smack against the rev limiter a bunch if that's really how you like it. No nanny here to shift up for you.

And because "power is nothing without blah blah blah," it's got a whole bunch of suspension components from the top-of-the-line AMG C-class, just to make sure you don't end up in a German ditch. So it'll make the suspension all soft when you press a button, and then all firm again when you press another button.


Which all sounds very well and good. Actually, really good. Because maybe I'm the one who's truly nuts by saying this, but this might actually be the best of the C-class range. At least, on a street. Because slow-car-fast is still absurd, extreme, window-licking levels of fun when your "slow car" is a rocketship.

Yeah, I said it. A rocketship. Mercedes says it'll get to 60 MPH in less than five seconds. Not bad for a mid-level trim model.