Best performance sedan: Mercedes-AMG C63 S

All hail Mercedes-AMG’s performance weapon, the C63 S

In this hotly contested segment, it IS the power and the glory, forever and ever…  AMG… that is until the next hot sedan (probably German) comes to snap at its heels.

This segment caused the most contention in the office, thanks to another sports car of Bavarian descent. On paper, the BMW M3 and the Merc-AMG C63 S are worlds apart in their engineering make-up yet scarily similar in character. Both are fettled to carry five passengers and luggage at incredible speeds. Both are festooned with leather upholstery and myriad safety, entertainment and convenience features. Both fiery engines up front drive the rear wheels and adaptive damping systems to suit the mood of your right foot. Both cost over R1,1 million and both carry the weight of their brands on their shoulders.

They trade stats like two equally powerful gale force winds. Where the AMG beats the BMW in power (370kW over 317kW), the Beemer is almost 200kg lighter. Where the C63S stops with a touch more consistency than the M3, it loses to the BMW’s near perfect dual-clutch transmission.

For us, a performance car at this level needs to stir something from deep within. The BMW is almost clinical in its deftness. The Merc-AMG however… WOW! When the revs light up, it explodes in an elemental savagery that awakens your senses and your neighbours. The exhaust note alone, unsynthesised as in the M3, is enough to convince you that this is no docile breeze. It is a thunderous, unashamed tornado. A cyclone in the teacup that is this segment. And we absolutely love it.

— Avon Middleton