"Driving Performance" isn’t exactly a term used when describing a Mercedes-Benz. That’s because despite its bank-vault solidity, luxury and panache, its offerings are tuned more for comfort than all-out driving fun.
Of course, there are exceptions. One of these is the new Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic. The newest member of the C-Class family doesn’t just possess the sexy coupe profile of the model that was launched in August last year, it also gains a lot of dynamic motoring bits from Affalterbach, Germany--home of AMG. Its "43" designation stands for sports-car- and motor-racing-like traits in a package that can be used every day, as opposed to the more brutal "63" AMGs.
At the heart of this shapely two-door is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 motor that puts out 367hp at 5,500-6,000rpm, and 520Nm at 2,000-4,200rpm. Equipped with the new 9G-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox, the C43 4Matic can sprint from rest to 100kph in just 4.7 seconds before hitting an electronically governed autobahn cruising speed of 250kph. The nine-speed tranny even features double-declutching when downshifting, to make one look like a true race driver behind the wheel.
The new Merc is likewise fitted with the brand’s vaunted 4Matic all-wheel drive system. This helps give the sporty coupe better handling and excellent grip on any road surface. And since it is biased for rear-wheel drive (with a 31:69 front-to-rear axle ratio), the drive is more rewarding when one knows what he’s doing. It likewise receives goodies like AMG Ride Control sports suspension with variable three-stage damper settings, AMG Dynamic Select to help customize driving characteristics, a three-stage electronic stability program, and large internally cooled brakes for effortless stopping power.
Being an AMG model, the C43 naturally benefits from the tuning company’s styling know-how. The subtle yet menacing looks come from stuff like new front and rear aprons, a diamond-like grille with gloss-black finish, gloss-black five-spoke 18-inch AMG wheels, and specially tuned and designed exhaust tips at the rear. The inside also gets treated to a checkered-look AMG instrument cluster with a 280kph speedometer, a flat-bottom sports steering wheel with red contrast stitching, and Artico/Dinamica sport seats with red stitching.
All these tuning pieces come together and promise true driving pleasure (if we may borrow a tagline from the other German carmaker).