2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG – North American Debut

If the rest of the cars in its segment (the Audi RS4, the , and the ) are black cats, the C63 AMG is Pepe Le Pew. Not in smell, of course, but in speed.

If you recall, the lovestruck cartoon skunk always kept up with his disinterested feline objet d’amour without breaking a sweat, no matter how hard she scrambled, scratched, and oversteered to get away.

It’s with exactly such ease that the C63 AMG chases its prey. While the V-8s in the M3 and the RS4 are tuned to within a horsepower of their lives, the handbuilt AMG engine was electronically detuned for C-class duty. And yet it still makes 148 lb-ft more torque than the M3’s.

The seven-speed manu-matic performs perfect blip-throttle downshifts as you enter a corner. Add to that near-perfect chassis balance, spot-on suspension tuning, great breaks, and a plus-size cabin. If only it weren’t missing a clutch pedal.