This is the kind of arms race we like. In answer to the new BMW M3 having 414 hp, AMG has gone and put a 6.2-liter V8 engine into a Mercedes-Benz C-Class and given this small sedan 457 hp at 6800 rpm, with a mountainous 442 lb-ft of torque from 2000 rpm, just for good measure. With a power-to-weight ratio of 7.9 pounds per hp, the C63 AMG zips from zero to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds and is electronically limited to a top speed of 155 mph. AMG fans will be no strangers to the company's V8 masterpiece, as it powers much of its product, each one made by hand and signed by the engineer. Here it drives the C63's rear wheels via AMG's Speedshift seven-speed automatic transmission. This car is the first AMG to feature automatic throttle blipping on downshifts. It also sports a specially tuned suspension, lightweight and aerodynamic body panels, and 18-inch light-alloy wheels (19-inchers are an option). Like the new C-Class it's based on, the C63 had a previous life as a digital prototype, but has also received a grueling real-life test regime that took it from Death Valley to South Africa. If it's half as good as the CLK63 Black Series, it will still be brilliant. Expect it in the US in early spring 2008.