LAUNCHPAD Mercedes Benz has widened its C-class appeal with an AMG Performance Edition. Kartikeya Singhee has the details

Mercedes has added an AMG Performance Edition to its C-class line-up. This version has just a few changes over the standard car. The AMG-kitted C 250 CDI still maintains all the qualities of a Merc though — it glides smoothly over tarmac, the cabin is dead silent, and bumps only slightly intrude into the cabin. What’s new is the option to tighten up the suspension at the touch of a button.

Hit the Sport button and the character changes. The suspension feels firmer, the body movement tighter and the car steers and drives with much more precession. It’s now more fun around corners, you get paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel and, with 204bhp and 51kgm of twist on hand, the performance is pretty impressive too. Those of you that are more enthusiastically inclined, however, would want more power from the bog-standard twin-turbo 250 CDI motor, and that’s understandable. It is called the AMG Performance Edition after all. As with any AMG-kitted Mercedes, the C 250 CDI looks different; but the kit is more subtle than loud. There is no rippling bonnet bulge or slotted fenders and you really do have to look closely to tell the difference. AMG aficionados, however, will recognise the upside-down air dam, the only mildly flared wheel arches and the subtle side skirt.

The 17-inch, five-split-spoke AMG wheels look impressive though, the rear bumper is distinctly bigger and juts out like a speedboat’s stern, and the blacked out ‘diffuser’ at the rear accentuates the sportiness.

On the inside, the changes are even more subtle. The three-spoke AMG steering wheel is attractive and nice to hold, the matte aluminium trim looks good and the driver also gets treated to big steel pedals dotted with black rubber.

It’s no surprise then that the C 250 CDI doesn’t wear an AMG badge on its bodywork.

A far cry from the full-fledged 6208cc V8-powered bahn-stormer, it isn’t nearly extreme or crazy enough. The AMG kit only adds a hint of sportiness to the standard Avantgarde trim of the C 250 CDI. It costs a modest Rs 70,000 over the price of the standard car, which makes it good value for money.