While many a forum discussion is built on a new versus used debate, it's not always the wisest basis for editorial. Because even very similar cars are quite different prospects when one is factory fresh and one is secondhand; the security and support of buying brand new is pitched against the cost saving, but increased risk, of a used purchase. Arguably that's reduced nowadays with the increased reliability of modern cars, but for some only new will do.
A new Mercedes-AMG C63 would be a lovely thing, too, combining all those famed AMG attributes - power, prestige, luxury and excitement - into one very attractive overall package for £70,000 or so. However, when a W204-era Black Series C-Class also costs that money, it's impossible to ignore.
Partly that's because of how it looks; even without the optional Aero Kit (and perhaps more so because it's missing), the hulking presence of a C63 Black is undeniable. Wider tracks necessitated the fitment of broader arches, lending the BS the sort of stance to make small children scream and grown men quiver. In matt black with black wheels and the belligerent way this car sits on them, the C63 looks like a vehicle fit for Bruce Wayne himself - if only he weren't such a wimp.
The engine, as you might well have heard, also ensures an unforgettable experience. In every installation, the M156 V8 was special, but the Black Series treatment - SLS internals, basically, making more power than any C63 since - ensured a V8 that bordered on the obscene. Nic summed it up just nicely in his Hero story on the Black: "Modern enough to be voracious without feeling profligate or inefficient, the M156 gurgles, burrs and bellows (in that order) to 7,200rpm with such unhindered fury that it's all you can do not to pull over and embrace the bonnet."
Not sold yet? No problem, there's plenty more. Despite fixtures and fittings designed for the circuit, the Black Series proved mightily impressive as a road car in the UK - whole stories have been dedicated to the fact on PH. Which means you have an AMG product with one of its most ferocious engines ever, powering a car that's more capable than a standard C63 on both road and track. Which sounds rather appealing. A new C63 may well be faster still, given the progress made in tyres, chassis electronics and brakes, but it's hard to imagine a more engaging experience.
Discovering that experience for themselves is exactly what the previous owners of this car have done, it having recorded 36,000 miles in seven years - and so the most used of those available. Nothing really, but with cars still available on only 10,000 miles it's notable. The mileage also means this Black is £70k, rather than the £100k+ some still command. And that's quite a difference.
At this point it would be remiss not to mention that the regular C63 Coupes this car was developed from are available at £20,000. Lovely cars they'll make, too, but here is an instance where the hype is to be believed. And then some. The Black Series rarity, performance, look and status as the last 6.2-litre C-Class will ensure demand for as long as V8s are allowed - and there's no time like the present.
SPECIFICATION - MERCEDES C63 AMG BLACK SERIES
Engine: 6,208cc, V8
Transmission: Seven-speed MCT automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 503@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 457@5,200rpm
First registered: 2012
Recorded mileage: 36,000
Price new: £100,000
Yours for: £70,995