C450 AMG: entry-level adrenalin pump
By: IOL Motoring Staff
Detroit Motor Show - AMG has extended its reach into the world of premium sports sedans with this biturbo V6-powered C-Class, the all wheel-drive C450 AMG.
While it's fun to describe an AMG as a sledgehammer, the big guns from Affalterbach can be downright intimidating, so the new 450 is positioned neatly between the regular C-Class models and the fire-breathing C63, as a sort of entry-level adrenalin pump.
The C450 will be available in either sedan or estate format from mid-2015 in Europe and North America, and June 2016 in South Africa (although the estate isn't confirmed for SA release yet) but either way, there's no mistaking its AMG status, even without the special badging, thanks to a special, deeper AMG front bumper and boot-lid spoiler (or roof spoiler, in the case of the estate).
Five-spoked 18” black AMG light-alloy rims with a high-sheen finish wear 225/45 front and 245/40 rear tyres; various styles of 19” hoops are available.
REAR-BIASED TORQUE SPLIT
The so-called 450 mill is actually a three-litre V6, based on the existing C400, but tweaked (and its boost pressure increased) to deliver 270kW from 5500-6000 revs and 520Nm from 2000-4200rpm.
It's delivered via a 7G-Tronic Plus transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive, the torque split rear-biased in this application with a 33:67 percent front-to-rear default setting.
That, says AMG, is sufficient for a 0-100 sprint in 4.9 seconds (five seconds flat in the estate) and an electronically limited 250km/h top end, at a cost of 7.6 litres per 100km for the sedan, or 7.7 for the estate.
A straightforward rotary switch on the centre console, just to the left of the touchpad, takes you through Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual modes, progressively sharpening the responses of the powertrain, steering and suspension.
The three-stage, electronically controlled damper adjustment is borrowed from the C63 AMG, as are a lot of the suspension components, including the front axle's special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; more negative camber front and rear improves grip in hard cornering.
The interior is trimmed with a variety of leathers with red contrast stitching, red seatbelts, black floor mats with red edging, and brushed aluminium inserts.
The instrument cluster has a sporty “chequered flag” design, and a flat-bottomed, three-spoked multifunction steering wheel complements the deeply bucketed sports seats.
Standard kit includes attention assist fatigue detection, and a upgraded collision prevention assist to help prevent rear-end collisions.