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First drive: Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

First drive: Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic
Next year Mercedes will bring the all-wheel drive C 450 AMG Sport to the UK. Worth waiting for?

   



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Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic

4 4 4 4 4

It'll be a while before the four-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport reaches UK shores, but first impressions suggest that it'll be a great rival to the likes of the Audi S4. It looks good, sounds great, is fast by any standard and really rather good to drive too.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate
Pricing: not on sale until 2016
Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder petrol
Transmission: four-wheel drive, seven-speed automatic
Body style: estate (available as a saloon too)
CO2 emissions: 180g/km (Band I, 225 per year)
Combined fuel economy: 36.7mpg
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 5.0 seconds
Power: 367hp at 5,500- to 6,000rpm
Torque: 520Nm at 2,000- to 4,200rpm
Boot space: 490- to 1,510 litres
EuroNCAP ratings: adult: 92%; child: 84%; pedestrian: 77%; safety assist: 70%

What's this?

A new version of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class breathed on by the AMG division. It's the second car to be labelled with the new 'AMG Sport' title, representing models that sit between regular versions of a Mercedes and their more focused Mercedes-AMG counterparts. So the C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic (to give it its full, long-winded, title) is claimed to be much more than just another trim level, while not stepping on the toes of the mighty C 63.

In spite of the 'AMG-lite' remit, this car still looks great, with its own round of styling enhancements to differentiate it from other versions of the C-Class, if not quite the widened track and wings of the AMG C 63. The interior is particularly impressive and features red stitching and seat belts, aluminium trim and Artico/Dinamica upholstery (man-made leather and suede).

Under the bonnet is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 engine, producing a useful 367hp and 520Nm of torque. It puts power to all four wheels via a tweaked 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox, encouragingly, sending 67 per cent of the engine output to the rear wheels by default. Mercedes quotes an electronically limited top speed of 155mph as ever and a none-too-shabby 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds. Somewhat surprisingly, three-stage adaptive damping - called AMG Ride Control - is standard too, as is AMG Dynamic Select, with Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Individual settings.

Sadly, while all this sounds spiffing, it's difficult to truly assess this car's market positioning. The C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic doesn't arrive in the UK until summer 2016 and pricing hasn't been set.

How does it drive?

We drove the C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic at the same launch event as the new Mercedes-AMG C 63, which was a brave and confident move by Mercedes. Surely the C 450 would pale when compared back-to-back with its illustrious cousin? Surprisingly, no, though with the disclaimer that we didn't drive the C 450 on track. Then again, none of its buyers will; this is just not that sort of car. However, it makes a good fist of keeping a quickly driven C 63 in sight when the road turns tortuously twisty. After all, 367hp is no small amount of power, and the maximum torque figure is produced all the way from 2,000- to 4,200rpm so there's always effortless performance on tap.

Turn everything up to the max and the C 450 feels every inch the sports saloon (or estate, as driven), blipping the throttle gratuitously on every down-change, chasing the rev limiter in each gear and that V6 popping and crackling through the exhaust on the overrun. It's a blast. And the chassis isn't bad either. While the front tyres aren't quite as keyed into the tarmac that those on the C 63, this car tackles a twisty road with aplomb and - more importantly to keen drivers like us - it's fun to do so. In the dry there's never a hint at the fact that it has four-wheel drive, but on wet and greasy roads in the UK it should be more impressive again.

The flipside of the C 450 is its ability to cope with normal everyday duty in an understated manner. Leave all the driving options in their default modes and it's as comfortable, smooth and refined as any other normal C-Class. It betters the C 63 in that regard.

Verdict

Mercedes has nailed the brief for the C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic. While it offers a good portion of the performance and fun of the full-on C 63 model, it plays the role of a 'normal' car more convincingly. The 4Matic four-wheel drive adds an extra dimension to the C-Class, too, though we suspect that all its high-end polish and equipment will come at a relatively high price.

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

5 5 5 5 5 Driving Dynamics

5 5 5 5 5 Powertrain


Shane O' Donoghue - 12 Mar 2015



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2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.



2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.
 

2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.
 

2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.
 

2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.
 

2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.
 

2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.
 

2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.
 

2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.
 

2015 Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic Estate. Image by Mercedes-Benz.
 






 

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