THE MERCEDES-AMG C43 is based on the company’s bestselling C-class. It sits snug between the base C200 petrol and the manic and mom expensive 510hp C63 S. With 367hp on tap, the C 43 is seriously quick too.
Under the hood, is a 3.0-litre V6 turbo motor. Start the engine and it lets out a loud bark typical of an AMG. Start moving and the power comes in quickly without you having to wait it. Feed in more power and the engine spins all the way to its 6500rpm limit. As a result, acceleration feels very strong. To help the engine put down all the power cleanly is the nine-speed gearbox. It is fairly quick and quite smooth in operation too.
Unlike its more powerful sister car, the C63 S, the C 43 gets an all-wheel-drive system, which sends 67 per cent of power to the rear wheels and the remainder to the front. This gives it sufficient grip for the power available. And even with the engine, suspension and steering in Sport +, the sportiest of the five modes, the C 43 doesn’t feel edgy to drive. This is mainly down to the all-wheel-drive system which has improved traction. As a result, the C 43 has much more grip when you take comers with verve.
Steering feedback though could have been a bit better for a performance car And the gearbox at times is a bit slow. That apart, there’s hardly a thing we didn’t like about the C 43 in the brief drive. We’d love to see how well it rides on our broken mads – the C 63 S had a stiff low speed ride. Unfortunately, the smooth surface of a race track is not the right place to judge the ride.
On the styling front, the front bumper is redesigned and the grille gets chrome-plated pins, which makes it look a bit different when viewed head on. Move to the sides and you’ll see a small ‘BiTurbo’ badge on the fenders to signify that this one gets four-wheel drive. There are different side skirts and the rear bumper gets fake aluminium inserts above the exhaust pipe. And if you count the black mirror casing, well that’s different too. But, we would have liked a bit more attitude though.
Step inside and you’ll notice subtle changes, the most noticeable being the unlacquered wood inserts that abound in the cabin. There is red contrast stitching on the seats and the door pads. This red theme, along with the black seats gives the cabin a sporty look. Also, the tachometer redline is set to 6,500rpm. These things apart, the interiors aren’t very different from the C 63 S. The dials look identical, the seats are the same and it doesn’t feel any more special.
The Mercedes-AMG C 43 may only have six cylinders and may also be down by 143hp compared to the full-fat C 63 S, but on its own, it still is an exceedingly quick car that’s well tuned and tremendous fun to drive The 0-100kph, for example, comes up in 4.7secs and the handling is easier to access and friendlier too. Fast, fun and much better value, here is an AMG you can enjoy every day and exploit to its full potential on an open mad.