2010 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

The C63 AMG is one of those cars that sticks in my brain, even though I've had only a precious few occasions to get behind the wheel of one. Its gloriously raspy exhaust note, its rapid-fire paddleshift transmission, its form-fitting seats, and its aggressive looks all add up to one mean machine for not all that much money. (Well, in base $60K trim that's true, at least; this car's $77K as-tested price edges into the territory of some other truly hot metal, but the C63 still stands tall.)

The C63 has a detuned version of the engine that is in all manner of exciting AMG products, but its price of entry and everyday practicality make it pretty darn enticing. I think the C63 looks just as mean as some of its stablemates, too, and I'm confident that Phil is onto something when he suggests that the hottest C-class might be the most fun AMG vehicle extant.

Just as when the C63 and the BMW M3 (and its 3-series kin) were each selected as Automobile Magazine All-Stars back in 2009, it's difficult to pick a favorite between the two cars and usually ends up being a case of "I like this one better because I drove it more recently." The M3 holds a very slight edge in my head at the moment, but that's probably largely because I recently drove an M3 on a racetrack, where I've never had the pleasure of experiencing a C63. According to my colleagues who drove the C63 and the M3 together at GingerMan Raceway, however, it sounds like the C63 gives up nothing to its Bavarian rival.
- Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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