The much-controversial Mercedes-AMG C43 has been a talking point since its official unveiling some months ago. With the decision by the Stuttgart-based firm to ditch the 3.0-litre in-line 6 motor in favor of a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder unit aided by technology derived from F1.
The exterior design of the Mercedes-AMG C43 boasts a number of AMG specific details such as the distinctive AMG radiator grille up front with vertical struts finished in chrome. The overall sporty appearance is further enhanced by flics, sporty air intakes, chrome-plated trim elements, matching side sill panels, a rear diffuser and quad tailpipes. The C43 4MATIC rides on 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels as standard however 19 and 20-inch wheel options are optionally available to customers.
Inside, the sporty theme continues with the fitment of AMG seats with a distinctive upholstery layout and seat covers in ARTICO leather/ MICROCUT microfibre in black with red contrast stitching and matching red seat belts. Customers may opt for optional leather and nappa leather seat covers. Also finished in nappa leather is the AMG Performance steering wheel with a flat-bottom and perforations in the grip area.
The AMG Performance steering wheel features two round AMG buttons which can control functions such as driving functions and the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs on the fly. Rounding up the sporty theme in the interior is the AMG sports pedals, AMG floor mats, illuminated AMG lettered door sills and silver-colored aluminium gearshift paddles.
The familiar MBUX infotainment system in the C43 4MATIC features a number of AMG-specific displays and functions in the instrument cluster, the central infotainment display and in the optionally available head-up display. An AMG TRACK PACE, a data logger which is utilized for racetrack driving is also fitted and operates by recording 80 vehicle-specific data such as speed, acceleration, steering angle and brake pedal actuation ten times per second whilst the driver is tackling challenging racetracks. Furthermore, a display of lap and sector times and additional training and analysis tools are included in AMG TRACK PACE.
Engine and Power
Fitted to the C43 4MATIC is a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder in-line motor which delivers 300kW and 500Nm of torque. Power is delivered via an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission, which enables the C43 4MATIC to accelerate from standstill to 100km/h in just 4.6 seconds and continue to sprint to a top speed of 250km/h. Customers may opt for the optional AMG Driver’s Package which raises the top speed to 265km/h. A belt-driven starter generator acts as a mild hybrid by providing a temporary power boost along with gliding and recuperation for enhanced efficiency.
The 48V technology increases comfort by means of an overall more quieter transition between start/ stop actions as well as when gliding. As a result of the measures in place to increase efficiency, the claimed WLTP fuel consumption is 9.1-8.7L/ 100km.
We had the opportunity to ride in the passenger seat for some hot laps around a race track with engineers from the East London plant and based on initial impressions, we can say that the all-new powertrain feels quite quick and the handling of the sports saloon is quite impressive too. We now await to drive the vehicle early in 2023.
We also had the opportunity to visit the plant in East London where the C-Class is assembled & that was quite a special experience. The C43 & C63 4MATIC models are also assembled at the plant alongside the 'normal' C-Class models.
The Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC will go on sale in South Africa in January 2023 with the Mercedes-AMG C63 expected to go on sale in Q4 2023 and we can't wait to get behind the wheel of them.