Mercedes launches new sub-brand with C 450 AMG Sport
New family of more accessible high-performance Mercs will sit below core AMG models and feature 4WD as standard
Mercedes is following the example of BMW's M Performance and Audi's S ranges with a new line-up of AMG Sport models, designed to bridge the gap between the standard cars and the full-blooded AMG vehicles.
And the brand has been launched with two new models, the C 450 AMG Sport (available as a saloon and an estate) and the GLE 450 Coupe AMG Sport, at the Detroit Motor Show.
More models are expected to be added to the range in due course.
Tobias Moers, Chairman of AMG, told Auto Express that “if the C 63 AMG is Batman, then the C 450 AMG Sport is Robin. The dynamics will be completely by AMG - the steering, the front and rear axle, the handling is all us. It’s a way of bringing the brand closer to the customer.”
The C 450 AMG Sport and the GLE 450 Coupe AMG Sport both feature an uprated version of the C 400’s turbocharged 329bhp 3.0-litre V6 engine, with the former getting 367bhp and the latter 369bhp. That still leaves a significant gap to the 469bhp C 63 AMG and 503bhp C 63 AMG S.
As well as upgraded engines, the models use 4MATIC four-wheel drive and suspension technology from the C 63 AMG S.
The C 450 AMG Sport dispatches 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds – impressive but some way short of the four seconds of the C 63 AMG S. The estate version is a tenth of a second slower, at 5.0 seconds.
Fuel economy is respectable at 37.0mpg, while emissions are 178g/km. (The estate’s figures are 36.6mpg and 180g/km).
Among the styling differences are a single bar across a pin grille, and body coloured bumper nostrils rather than the black of the full-fat AMG model.
"The new Sport models represent a convincing proposition for our customers: genuine sports car technology becomes accessible, appealing to an even broader-ranging clientele worldwide," said Moers. "For all our dynamic growth, we remain true to our brand claim of "Driving Performance"."
There’s no word yet on whether Mercedes will take a leaf out of BMW’s book with high-performance diesel models (such as the BMW X6 M50d) bearing the AMG badge, but it would seem a logical extension of the brand.