With cash that flows like water, luxury automakers are willing to stick their necks into just about any niche that opens up. One of these niches is the slot right between the all-out performance models and their respective base models. BMW does so with its M Performance line spanning the gap between its base models and full-on M models, and Audi does so with its S models that bridge the gap between A and RS models. Mercedes-Benz, however, has never had a true filler between its base models and its AMG variants.
If a report from AutoCar proves to be true, then Mercedes will join this niche starting in 2015 with its own AMG Sport models. These not-quite-AMG models will feature some of the design and suspension goodies of their AMG counterparts, like a wider track and mild body kits, but they will lack the all-out AMG look and the monstrous power output of true AMG models. That’s not to say they will completely lack power upgrades, but they won’t be anywhere near their AMG siblings.
The first of these models has already been caught testing in Germany, and rumors claim that it is dubbed the C450 AMG Sport. Reports state that the C450 AMG Sport features the same 3.0-liter V-6 as the C400, but with its output pushed to somewhere around 360 to 370 ponies — a gain of 31 to 41 horsepower. This would give less-affluent buyers a crack at a performance-oriented Mercedes C-Class, while leaving a wide enough power gap — around 100 horsepower — between the AMG Sport and the C63 AMG to avoid the lesser model gobbling up sales from the full-blown AMG model.
According to the AutoCar report, the AMG Sport moniker will eventually make its way across the Mercedes lineup and enhance the likes of the A-Class, C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, GL-Class, M-Class, GLK-Class and GLA-Class.