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Car of the Year Awards 2021: Best performance car for thrills

First and foremost, a great performance car is entertaining and involving to drive, but unlike pure sports cars, they also have to be practical and comfortable enough to use every day...

Best performance car for thrills

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Estate

What Car? Car of the Year 2021 logo with sponsor

The C63 may not be the newest kid on the block, but in its latest form it’s one of the surprises of 2020. Facelifted and fettled, it’s now even more complete than the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, our pick in this category for the past three years.

Driving the C63 is a fully immersive experience. Its twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine packs an Anthony Joshua-like punch, while the apocalyptic noise it makes is enough to make you want to poke the bear at every chance. No rival sounds as good or makes you giggle quite as readily.

Mercedes C63 S 2020 dashboard

Meaty, feelsome steering makes you feel like you’re hardwired to a front end that’s bolted to the road, and you can play with the tail’s attitude via the accelerator pedal on the way out of corners with a level of confidence that’s missing in the Giulia.

While the C63 is also available in saloon, coupé and cabriolet body styles, the estate version adds an extra element of practicality that doesn’t harm enjoyment in any way yet makes the car more family-friendly. In this guise, the C63 is a proper wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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Read about more Car of the Year 2021 winners >>