The Saloon’s styling is possibly less successful than the interior. The front is fine, but the designers seem to have only worked as far back as the B-pillars. Viewed from front or rear three-quarters the rear arches look in need of a good meal or three, while in profile the saloon just looks plain weird, with a long bonnet and a disproportionately short rear.
The small boot spoiler is the saving grace because despite being more of a gurney flap, the way it fluidly rises up at the edges is beautifully sculptural.
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The answer to the saloon conundrum presents itself in the form of the estate, which I hop into the following morning. For an extra £1200 you can have not only an extra 55 litres of luggage space (1075 litres extra with the rear seats folded) but a much more handsome machine to boot (if you’ll pardon the pun).
As for the Coupé, it certainly looks ready to rumble as only the roof, doors and boot lid of the AMG are borrowed from the standard C-class Coupé. Its extravagantly flared wheel arches (64mm wider at the front, 66mm at the rear) transform its stance and presence from that of a rather svelte and elegant small coupe into a real thug. A few years ago AMG could have stuck a Black Series badge on the tail, it’s that pumped and aggressive.
Things are just as serious beneath the bodywork. Most obvious are the wider wheels and tyres (255 section fronts, 285 rears), but there’s significant structural reinforcement to better contain the lateral and longitudinal forces generated during maximum cornering, braking and acceleration. AMG has also gone to town on the suspension, most notably the rear, which features an all-new multi-link axle, which combines a wider track for greater wheel control and increased camber change.