In launching the C 43 range in 2016 Mercedes-AMG chairman, Tobias Moers laid down a crystal-clear manifesto for the three-pointed star’s performance brand.

“Dynamic growth characterises the corporate philosophy of Mercedes-AMG. A key component is the continual extension of the product range to include all-new models,” he boldly proclaimed.

The sub-text here is that arch rivals Audi, BMW and Porsche have lots of performance model derivatives, and sell lots of them, in lots of countries. And true to his word, Moers has overseen the emergence of a proliferation of AMG variants across sedans, coupes, wagons, SUVs, 4WDs and the GT flagship.

But the C 43 was the one that really got the ball rolling. Offering a ‘Goldilocks’ sweet-spot between top-end Mercedes-Benz C-Class models and the fire-breathing, twin-turbo V8 C 63 S.

It’s fast, but not brutally so. Tuned for dynamic response, but not at the expense of day-to-day civility. And last year it was upgraded with aesthetic tweaks inside and out, plus – you guessed it – more power.

We grabbed the sleek coupe version to see if the C 43 has maintained its poise, polish and performance.