New Mercedes-AMG C43 is the first proper AMG version of the latest C-Class and arrives in Australia in 2023.
The new-generation Mercedes-AMG C43 is here, and it will go on sale in Australia early next year. Available as a sedan or wagon, 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 C63 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 C43 gets a bump in power over its 280kW V6-powered predecessor. The new car produces 300kW 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.
The 48v system can briefly provide an additional boost of 10kW 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 C43 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 C43 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 C43, enabling a tighter turning circle.
Beating both rivals from BMW and Audi, the new C 43 accelerates from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds. There’s an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h but Mercedes offers an optional AMG Driver’s Package which raises the top speed to 290km/h.
Despite not being the full-fat C63, the brakes have also been upscaled to cope with the extra power. The C43 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 C43 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 C43’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 sedan (455 litres) or the wagon (490 litres).
Currently the most powerful model in the C-Class range, the C43 is also the least efficient, with both the sedan and wagon offering 9.1L/100km on a combined cycle. Emissions figures are 206g/km for the sedan and 209g/km for the wagon.
We expect the new Mercedes-AMG C43 to go on sale by the first half of 2023 in Australia, while pricing hasn’t been revealed yet.