People are different and so are their demands, whether they’re in the market for clothes, watches or cars. While some don’t settle for anything less than the absolute best that a brand has to offer, others are happy to take home the lowest offering. Then there are those who either can’t afford the real deal or simply don’t want to spend too much, and settle for something in between; something that looks like the real deal, but doesn’t offer the full spectrum of features or ownership experience.
Big brands know there are a considerable number of people who belong to this category and that it’s foolish not to tap into their wallets. That explains the existence of Audi’s S line range, BMW’s M Sport line-up and Mercedes-Benz’s Sport collection. These cars do not have the performance of RS, M or AMG models, but they sprinkle a few of the characteristics of these extreme machines here and there, while carrying a much lower price tag.
The C 250 Coupé Sport driven here is one such car. It is not a full-fledged AMG, and with just a 201bhp turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, is a far cry from the wrath of the C 63 Coupé AMG. However, the good guys from Affalterbach have fettled with the chassis settings of the already sporty C-Class Coupé to give it a markedly sportier character than the stock car. The AMG sports suspension features firmer spring, damper set-ups and modified camber settings and bearings.
On the road, the C 250 Sport rides conspicuously firmer than the regular Coupés, leaving you feeling much more in control going into or coming out of a fast corner. Aiding the sharper driving experience are larger brake discs, a new speed-sensitive sports steering with more direct ratio and a sports exhaust system.
It’s interesting to note that despite sticking with the same engine with no change in output, Mercedes has chosen to give the Sport a revised, quicker-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission in Sport and Manual modes. The result is a kind of urgency in throttle response that was missing in the base coupé, and a sportscar-like throttle blip on braking thanks to the new active downshift feature.
These technical upgrades are rounded out by the AMG Sport Plus package, which provides a range of styling changes, including 18in AMG seven-twin-spoke bi-colour alloy wheels, wider wheel arches to accommodate the AMG wheels, an AMG spoiler lip on the boot lid and bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights on the exterior.
Meanwhile, the cabin gets super-supportive AMG sports seats in black Dinamica microfibre with side bolsters in black Artico artificial leather and contrast stitching on the seats, door panels, the three-spoke AMG steering wheel, centre console, arm rest and floor mats give the interior an overall sporty look.
The C 250 Coupé Sport brings with it a level of agility and good looks, which should ideally have been standard for the C-Class Coupé. It’s a pity the engine doesn’t get any added performance to do justice to these upgrades. To be fair though, what you get here is good enough for the extra Dh17,510 you would pay for the Sport package over the regular coupé’s Dh187,700 price. But if you’re one of those used to shopping at the top end of the market, then there’s always the mad, bad C 63 AMG coupé.
Specs and ratings
Model: C 250 Coupé Sport
Engine: 1.8-litre four-cyl turbo
Transmission: Seven-speed auto, RWD
Max power: 201bhp @ 5,500rpm
Max torque: 310Nm @ 2,300rpm
Top speed: 240kph
Price: Dh205,210 (as tested)
Plus: Improved agility, AMG styling bits
Minus: No performance gain