- The Washington Times - Friday, March 14, 2008

Auto manufacturers, like all of us, tend to make decisions to test the waters, then sometimes realize they made a large mistake and hustle into reverse.

Other decisions result in a strong positive outcome.

Fortunately, for Mercedes-Benz the decision to market vehicles with parts from their performance brand AMG had a positive reaction from most of their customers.

AMG is well known as a high performance nameplate. Granted it was at one time separate from Mercedes-Benz, but today it falls under the Mercedes-Benz umbrella.

A Mercedes-Benz with the AMG badge means superior performance in all aspects of the automobile. No matter which Mercedes-Benz model it is attached to everyone knows the vehicle could accelerate, handle and stop with the highest of standards.

Signaling this move to make an AMG vehicle all about performance Mercedes-Benz has introduced the C63 AMG brand that is just the preemptive strike.

The C-class sedan is considered the entry-level sedan for Mercedes-Benz; however, the C63 AMG is anything but an entry-level vehicle. Powered by the newest version AMG V-8 engine while equipped with bodacious brakes, incredible handling and fabulous interior features the C63 AMG is a wondrous package. With that the AMG folks also attached a breathtaking base price of $54,625 and that includes the destination charge.

This automobile will be a force to reckon with in the performance sedan category.

AMG’s “one man one engine” philosophy of engine building is never more evident than with the C63 AMG.

Each engine is hand-built by one technition who insures the highest level of perfection with his signature atop a plate attached to the engine. The 6.2-liter V-8 installed here produces a neck-snapping 451- horsepower and 443 pounds-feet of torque. This is helped by the relatively light curb weight of this sedan.

AMG, knowledgeable of the kind of fun drivers may have during a drive a have installed incredibly supportive front sport bucket seats in the C63 AMG.

Typical of how much thought goes into Mercedes-Benz vehicles the C63 AMG seats are not your typical sport seats. Large adjustable side bolsters on both cushion and seat back are adjustable so that no matter your girth you can find a supportive position.

The one inconvenience is the location of the bolster switches. Positioned on the inner side of the seat back you must use the opposite hand crossing over your body to manipulate the bolsters. Of course, once set you no longer have to worry about making adjustments.

I was able and fortunate to put the C63 AMG though its paces on both public roadways and on a race track. In both situations the car shined.

Moreover, a car that carries just 7.9 pounds per horsepower is just flat-out fun. However, it is the sum of its parts that makes the C63 AMG a fascinating automobile. Couple this with a base price of just $54,625 and you have a Mercedes-Benz that lights up the senses while providing the luxury you expect from this German company.

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