The new Mercedes-AMG C 43 is the first proper AMG version of the latest C-Class, and precludes the plug-in hybrid C 63
The new-generation Mercedes-AMG C 43 is here, and it will go on sale in the UK in May. Available as a saloon or an estate, the new C 43 features a totally new engine layout supported by mild-hybrid technology and fresh chassis equipment taken from newer AMG models in the Mercedes line-up. It arrives ahead of the next C 63 which, it has been confirmed, will move to plug-in hybrid power.
The new M139 engine pinched from the A 45 S hot hatch means the C 43 gets a bump in power over its 375bhp V6-powered predecessor. The new car produces 402bhp at 6750rpm and 500Nm of torque at 5000rpm. This extra power comes courtesy of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged set-up with 48-volt mild hybrid-assistance, as found in the new SL 43 roadster.
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The 48v system can briefly provide an additional boost of 14bhp through the belt-driven starter generator. Power is sent through a nine-speed automatic transmission with a wet start-off clutch, replacing the old torque converter.
The new C 43 is based on an updated version of the MRA platform of the previous generation C-Class. But just like mild-hybrid rivals – the BMW’s M440i and the Audi S4 – the new Mercedes-AMG C 43 now offers permanent four-wheel drive. The brand’s 4MATIC four-wheel drive system offers a rear-biased configuration with up to 69 per cent of the power going to the rear wheels. Rear-wheel steering is standard on the C 43, enabling a tighter turning circle.
Beating both rivals from BMW and Audi, the new C 43 accelerates from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds. There’s an electronically limited top speed of 155mph but Mercedes offers an optional AMG Driver’s Package which raises the top speed to 165mph.
Despite not being the full-fat C 63, the brakes have also been upscaled to cope with the extra power. The C 43 gets ventilated six-piston calipers at the front with 370mm brake discs.
As you’d expect of an AMG-badged Mercedes, the drive mode selection programme is expansive. There are five ‘AMG Dynamic Select’ programs – Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. The Sport and Sport+ programs increase the engine’s responsiveness, quicken the transmission’s shifting behaviour and the suspension and steering are tuned to be more agile.
Adaptive dampers are standard. These continuously adapt the damper profile to suit the driving style and condition of the road surface. Mercedes offers three different damping settings within its ‘AMG Ride Control’ system – Comfort, Sport and Sport+.
The new C 43 incorporates the new Mercedes design language we’ve seen on the latest E-Class and A-Class models. At the front there’s a large AMG-specific grille with vertical chrome struts and more aggressive air intakes. At the back is a diffuser-look rear apron with twin-tailpipes. As standard the C 43 gets 18-inch wheels, with 19- and 20-inch alloys as optional extras.
Like the exterior, the interior will be familiar to Mercedes owners with the brand’s faux-leather Artico adorning the seats and various bits of the upholstery. Red contrasting stitching, red seat belts, AMG sports pedals and a flat bottomed steering wheel are some of the few small touches to highlight the C 43’s sportiness.
The MBUX infotainment system is the same as in the regular C-Class, apart from the addition of a shortcut button for AMG’s ‘Dynamic Select.’ This shows up a data logger for use on track. Mercedes badges it as ‘AMG Track Pace’ and it displays vehicle-specific data such as speed, acceleration, steering angle, brake pedal actuation, lap times and various analysis tools. The boot space is the same as the regular C-Class should you choose the saloon (455 litres) or the estate (490 litres).
Currently the most powerful model in the C-Class range, the C 43 is also the least efficient, with both the saloon and estate offering 31mpg on a combined cycle. Emissions figures are 206g/km for the saloon and 209g/km for the estate.
We expect the new C 43 to go on sale towards the end of this year, and while pricing hasn’t been revealed yet, a starting price of around £60,000 is likely.
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