Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG Sport Estate

If you want a performance-oriented Audi but can't stretch to an RS model, you can go for an S instead. If you want a performance-oriented BMW but can't stretch to a full M car, you can go for an M Performance model instead. If you want a performance-oriented Mercedes but can't stretch to an AMG model... you're out of luck. But you won't be for long, as circulating reports indicate that Benz is planning to launch a second line of AMG Sport models.

As we reported a few months ago, Mercedes is preparing to launch a C450 AMG Sport to slot in between the new C400 and upcoming C63 AMG, with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing around 367 horsepower – a few dozen horses more than the C400 but still a hundred or so shy of the C63. The model was subsequently spotted in wagon guise, pictured above.

The C-Class won't be the only one to get the AMG Sport treatment, however. Autocar reports that, while not all Mercedes models are slated at first to get the mid-level performance upgrade, many models will – including the A-, E-, S-, M, GL, GLK and GLA-Class models, as well as the upcoming MLC crossover coupe.

While they won't all get the same engine, each AMG Sport model is expected to undergo a similar transformation, with upgraded suspensions, wider tracks, reprogrammed electronics and more. Expect both gasoline and diesel versions to be offered (at least in certain markets), taking Mercedes into performance diesel territory for the first time to rival BMW's trio of M550d, X5 M50d and X6 M50d as well as Audi's SQ5 TDI and (currently concept-only) RS5 TDI.

The new line, to be jointly developed by Mercedes and its AMG performance division, would also give the Silver Star a three-tiered performance line-up, starting with the new AMG Sport line, followed by the AMG range and topping out with the AMG S models.