Mercedes-AMG is making a big statement, introducing the all-new C 43 in Australia switching from a punchy twin-turbo six-cylinder to a new mild-hybrid four-cylinder. The high performance model hits local showrooms mid-February.
The latest addition to the Mercedes-AMG family is sure to turn heads and spike conversation, as it is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder – based on the M139 unit from the A 45 pocket rocket – paired with a 48-volt, belt-driven starter-generator that supplies up to 10kW of additional grunt. The system unleashes 300kW and 500Nm.
That’s up from 287kW in the outgoing C 43 V6 but down from 520Nm. Matched up to the mild-hybrid package is a nine-speed MCT 9G automatic transmission feeding a 4Matic all-wheel drive system (running 31:69 front-to-rear torque split).
The good-old 0-100km/h sprint takes a claimed 4.6 seconds, which is only a fraction quicker than the 4.7-second claimed time of the old C 43 V6. Fuel economy has improved a bit, from 9.4L/100km to 9.1L/100km on the official combined cycle. Max it out and you’ll nudge the speed limiter at 250km/h.
Not only does it boast some serious tech under the bonnet, it also comes with AMG Ride Control suspension with adaptive dampers which allows drivers to tailor their driving experience based on their preferences; Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus settings. Plus, drivers can flick through the AMG Dynamic Select drive modes to change the handling and powertrain characteristics for further diversity.
As a first for the C 43, AMG is introducing rear axle steering as standard. It offers a maximum steering angle of 2.5 degrees, and works by turning the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front when driving at below 100km/h, and then the same direction as the front when travelling above that speed. The aim is to improve agility and corner-carving excitement at lower speeds, while providing rock-solid stability during high speed touring.
Inside, things don’t disappoint either. There’s a full suite of infotainment options via an 11.9-inch MBUX display screen, offering not just the usual Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and spectacular graphics, but also a special AMG performance menu that shows telemetry and other cool on-board driving functions and settings. A 15-speaker sound system comes as standard, along with AMG sports seats, but you can option these up to more superior items if you want to.
If you’re in the market for a very stylish, eco-conscious yet impressively sporty and characterful mid-size sedan, the new C 43 could be exactly the product you’ve been looking for. It’s on sale now in Australia priced from $134,900 (before on-road costs). That’s about $20,000 more than the old V6 version.