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If you demand the best and can afford it, no other compact performance coupe will even come close.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - With its sleek roofline and aggressive stance, the AMG C-Class coupe is available with the buyer's choice of three engines rated at 385, 469, or 503 horsepower. Of these, the C63 S offers the most powerful engine in the range. How outrageous is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S Coupe, the ultimate performance version of the company's compact two-door hardtop? Consider this — the upgrades on our tester cost more than the base C-Class Coupe.

That's amazing, because starting at $49,950, the C 300 Coupe is a very fine car. The fastback styling is graceful, the interior is roomy, the suspension is supple, and the turbocharged 2.0-liter four pumps out an impressive 255 horsepower, which the 9-speed automatic delivers smoothly to the rear wheels. The result is a nimble sports coupe that can reach 60 miles per hour in under six seconds while still delivering a respectable 22 miles per gallon in town and 31 on the highway.

If you want more, an AMG 43 version is available that features suspension and brake upgrades, a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 385 horsepower, and 4MATIC all-wheel-drive. It can reach 60 in 4.5 seconds, which is faster than almost anything short of a genuine sports car.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - As a premium brand, Mercedes-Benz takes care to offer a full suite of safety and connectivity features in all its vehicles.

Now consider this — that version starts at $58,500, which is still less than the additional cost of our full-loaded 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S Coupe, which was priced at $105,690.

So what does the extra $59,740 get you over the C 300? First and foremost, the most powerful engine available, a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that pumps out a whopping 503 horsepower. Mated to a different, faster shifting 9-speed automatic, that's enough to reach 60 in a mere 3.7 seconds, which is the stuff of supercars.

Naturally, all that power requires an even more robust underpinnings and brakes to keep everything under control. In our case, that included a ceramic compound brake package, carbon fiber aerodynamics, and 19-inch front with 20-inch rear wheels equipped with performance tires. But on top of that, our version came with multiple packages that included every conceivable premium, safety and technology feature available — resulting in the most luxurious and advanced compact performance coupe on the planet.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Yes, you can order the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S Coupe with seats designed for the race track.

In a week of driving, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S Coupe was never short of exciting and frequently awe inspiring to drive. Even in the default Comfort mode, it was incredibly fast off the line, perfectly flat through sharp turns, and could easily pass anything on the freeway. But it also had three drive modes that increased performance even more — Sport, Sport+ and Race, with Race making it fully ready for the track.

Of course, the performance modes also increased the stiffness of the suspension, degrading the ride over rough pavement. Fortunately, you can also customize the settings in the Individual mode — and a button on the console will out the suspension in the Comfort mode in any other mode, so you can have all the responsiveness of the Race mode without beating yourself up on poorly maintained streets.

Anyone who carries more than one passener is encouraged to consider the sedan version of the C-Class, which is also available in AMG versions. The rear seats of very cramped and difficult to reach in the coupe.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZIRSCHMEIDE - In addition to offering dramatic performance, the C63 S also offers reasonable utility. The trunk is big enough for generous luggage for two people.

Given the price, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S Coupe obviously isn't intended for everyone, or even very many people. But If you demand the best and can afford it, no other compact performance coupe will even come close.

2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S Coupe

Base price: $77,500

Price as tested: $105,690

Type: Compact sport coupe

Engine: 6.3-liter twin-turbo V8 (503 hp, 516 lbs-ft)

Transmission: 9-speed twin-clutch automatic

Modes: Comfort, Slippery, Sport, Sport+, Race and Custom

EPA estimated mileage: 17/26

Overall length: 187 inches

Curb weight: 3,900 pounds

Final assembly: Bremen, Germany

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The  Mercedes-Benz' popular C-Class includes compact sedans, coupes, and convertibles, but the C63 S Coupe is top of the line.


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