Mercedes-Benz recently descended on Kennebunkport, Maine with a fleet of brand new 2012 C-Class models, the first to hit the road in the U.S.

Testing the new Mercedes-Benz models in Maine

We were, of course, on hand to help test out the vivacious vehicles, including redesigned sedans and all-new coupes, a much-needed addition to the MB lineup in this segment.

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Considering these are “entry level” Benzes – pricing starts at only $34,800 – the new C’s deliver a lot of bang for the buck, with details and finishes normally only seen in much more expensive cars.

The C-Class will leave the marque’s competitors quaking in their Pirellis

In a word, the C-Class is going to leave the marque’s competitors quaking in their Pirellis – and it left us with a serious case of separation anxiety when we finally let go of the leather-wrapped wheel.

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With its unmistakably agile styling and a panoramic sunroof, the new coupe is the standout, and of course the amped-up C63 AMG version is the well-bred bully of the bunch.

The amped-up C63 AMG version is the well-bred bully of the bunch

Both the C-Class coupe and sedan are available in three different versions: the C250, powered by a new direct-injection, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder, 201 hp engine; the C350 Sport, with a new direct-injection 3.5-liter 302 hp V6; and the C63 AMG with a normally aspirated 451 hp 6.3-liter V8.

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In addition, the C-Class sedan is available as a C300, with standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive and a 228 hp 3.0-liter V6 engine, making for seven models in all, with Luxury and Sport trims adding to the available variety.

While getting our revs on we bunked at the beauteous Hidden Pond

In Kennebunkport while getting our revs on we bunked at the beauteous Hidden Pond resort, a collection of bucolic cottages and lodges on sixty unspoiled acres.

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There we enjoyed an amazing meal at Earth, their restaurant run by James Beard Award-winner Ken Oringer, as well as some warming drinks by the bonfire.

We stretched the C’s legs on a jaunt to Mount Washington

We also stretched the C’s legs on jaunts to the Lobster Shack at Two Lights, the Tides Beach Club and the famed Mount Washington Auto Road (below), then got to spend some personal time with the C350 on an excursion of our own.

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A shot of inclement weather did nothing to deter the C-Class’ panache on the Mount Washington outing, while the well-appointed interiors were an oasis of cozy luxury we were reluctant to abandon, even for a lobster roll.

A shot of inclement weather did nothing to deter the C-Class’ panache

And with the fall foliage in full blast, when the sun finally did emerge to shine down on our captivating convoy, it was pure art in motion.

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If you’ve never seen a Subaru-driving soccer mom overtaken by a dozen brand new Benzes on a backwoods route in New Hampshire, it’s something to behold – especially if you’re in the lead AMG….

JPS