Can’t quite afford the C63? With the C450 AMG, Mercedes-Benz has you covered

Mercedes-Benz is filling the gap between the C-Class equipped with the AMG Sport package and the tire-shredding C63 with the 2016 C450 AMG 4Matic. Set to debut at the Detroit Motor Show, the C450 is the second member of Mercedes’ new AMG sports sub-brand.

The C450 AMG is billed as a more affordable alternative to the C63. It gets a look of its own that is characterized by a single-slat radiator grille with small chrome inserts, a less aggressive front bumper, a gray air diffuser out back and model-specific 18-inch alloy wheels. The C63’s powerdome hood has been tossed out and replaced by a less muscular-looking flat panel.

Inside, the C450 gains black MB-Tex upholstery with red contrast stitching on the seats, the dashboard, the center console and the door panels. The cockpit also features aluminum trim, sport seats up front, a 175-mph speedometer with a checkered flag background and a three-spoke steering wheel upholstered in Nappa leather.

Like the GLE450 AMG, the C450 AMG packs a serious punch thanks to a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that is tuned to generate 362 horsepower – 107 less than the C63 – and 384 foot-pounds of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission, allowing the C450 to reach 60 mph from a dead stop in 4.9 seconds.

In regular driving conditions, the 4Matic all-wheel drive system sends 67-percent of the six-cylinder’s power to the rear wheels and the rest to the front wheels. Handling is further improved by an electro-mechanical speed-sensitive power steering system, an AMG-tuned adaptive sport suspension with a three-stage adjustment range and vented discs on all four corners.

A standard start/stop system helps keep gas mileage in check. Additionally, the C450 comes with a sailing function that disengages the engine from the rest of the powertrain when the gas pedal is released between 37 and 99 mph. All told, the C450 aims to strike an ideal balance between comfort, performance and fuel economy.

The Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG will go on sale next fall, in time for the 2016 model year. AMG sports is set to become a full-blown sub-brand so additional models will follow shortly.

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