REMEMBER back in the good ol' days of adventure playgrounds? When kids were encouraged to be challenged, take risks... and when you actually felt like there was a genuine chance of death if the flying fox experience went awry.
Nowadays we seem to be protected from everything - mostly ourselves.
The kids have "soft fall" surfaces beneath the play equipment which is both ergonomic and virtually hazard free, while the architecture encourages social awareness.
Meanwhile, we adults need to be informed that green bananas should be left for a few days, and the yellow ones are ready for immediate consumption (thanks Woolworths for those signs). Really, have we become that ridiculously stupid?
Thankfully we still have cars which fly in the face of boredom and sensibilities.
The Mercedes-AMG C63S falls firmly into that category.
Insanely quick, with a brilliant V8 soundtrack, it feels like it wants to kill you. Of course if won't, with a multitude of safety features which make it appear like you have race car driver-like prowess, but at least it ignites an excitement fire within.
Consider the interior posh performance. Apart from the figure-hugging seats and flat-bottom steering wheel with red 12 o'clock marking, the understated elegance of the cabin keeps a lid on any raucous expectations... until of course you hit the start button and the bent eight comes to life.
The $7900 Edition 1 pack fitted to out test offering does take the athleticism up a notch. That feeds your C63 S with a cool carbon fibre dash which is coloured with a sprinkling of red pepper highlights and brushed aluminium trim. Mmmm, tasty.
The Nappa leather with red diamond stitching on the seats is also found on the doors. For those who want to take things to the next level there's optional red seat belts.
Collectively it's an enticing environment where four adults can bask in the performance glory created by those at AMG - where engineers get around in Hugo Boss shirts on floors from which you could eat the finest cuisine.
Operationally it's a gem. Those not so tech-savvy may take some time to find their way through the dial-operated computer system, but once mastered it's a cinch, while changing between driving personalities is a toggle away, and the cruise control is one of the best in the business.
On the road
Just outstanding. The old C63 may have had a bigger donk, but this new version loses nothing.
In fact, it's faster and collectively it's a much easier car to drive quick. This thing can make just about anyone look good.
Part of the reason for this ability is what the AMG crew call a "hot inside V". While that may sound deserving of a trip to the chemist to the uninitiated, it actually results in a more compact engine and a faster throttle response and improved fuel economy, with the turbos positioned inside the cylinder banks.
But for those who don't really care about the engineering shenanigans, it's got two turbos (always better than one), and it's ridiculously quick.
The ride is firm, even in comfort mode, but not enough to rattle your fillings.
Dial this up into sport+ and things get positively sublime, and the C63 corners with rail-like attributes and will leave just about anyone in anything behind at the lights.
To make things better, there's a button to accentuate the exhaust soundtrack - even in comfort mode. If only they could put a mute button on the kids' complaints and there would be perfection.
What do you get?
Basic equipment incorporates five-spoke 19-inch alloys, Nappa leather trim, panoramic sunroof, performance seats, sports steering wheel, 21.3cm colour display with high definition sat nav, 590-watt Burmester sound system with 13 speakers that has full bluetooth connectivity, digital TV tuner, metallic paint and five-star safety with a 360 degree camera, high performance brakes, nine airbags, radar cruise control, blind spot assist and acceleration skid control.
Throw in the Edition 1 pack and you also get the AMG carbon-fibre trim red pepper/ brushed aluminium trim, steering wheel in Dinamica microfibre with red contrasting stitching and fairing in silver chrome with "Edition 1" lettering, armrests in the doors and centre console in man-made leather with red topstitching, while on the outside the alloys are matt black with red flange, the spoiler lip is high-gloss black, there are red accents on the grille and wing mirrors and grey sports stripes above the side skirts.
The key rival is the BMW M3 ($139,900), along with the Audi RS4 Avant ($151,010).
Our test saw fuel consumption average just below 12 litres for every 100km. Only on highway journeys did we achieve the official Mercedes figure of 8.7L/100km.
Mercedes now has capped price servicing, so at least you know what you're in for before scheduled maintenance.
You really can have your performance cake and eat with the family too. Four doors and a large boot mean it can handle a school run or grocery shop. The rear seats split fold 40/20/40, although the wheel arches do impede load-through space which makes awkward size cargo, like bikes and flat pack furniture, a challenge.
There is a pair of cup holders in the console and two in the rear arm rest.
Looking sleek and quick, those in the know would be well aware of its abilities. Those with little knowledge of the three-pointed star line-up will find it sporty without being over- the-top. The Edition 1 is a worthy addition.
Families and firepower mix beautifully with the C63 S. The beauty of this 2015 derivative is its ability to do the mundane and then manage the insane.
Model: Mercedes-AMG C63 S.
Details: Four-door rear-wheel drive luxury performance sedan or wagon.
Engine: 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 generating maximum power of 375kW and peak torque of 700Nm.
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic.
Consumption: 8.6L/100km (combined average), wagon 8.7L/100km.
CO2: 200g/km, wagon 202g/km.
Performance: 0-100kmh in four seconds.
Bottom line plus on-roads: $154,510, wagon $157,010 (as tested $162,410 with Edition 1 pack).
What matters most
What we liked: Brilliant poise, exhaust soundtrack, Edition 1 pack features.
What we'd like to see: Less tyre noise on the highway, better fuel efficiency - but you can't have it all.
Servicing and warranty: Three year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Servicing is at 20,000km or annually. Capped price dealer servicing is available, the average price for the first three services is $1126.