Mercedes-AMG has finally unveiled its take on the latest, fifth-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the C 43 4Matic. Arriving more than a year after the W206’s debut, the German carmaker opted to retain the same name as the previous W205-based model, contrary to ‘C 53 4Matic‘ as what prior reports suggested.
While the name is unchanged, the new C 43 4Matic does come with a more powerful engine than its predecessor. Under the bonnet, you’ll find a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine taken from the SL 43 in place of the previous 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6.
Despite the reduced capacity and cylinder count, the downsized mill puts out 408 PS (402 hp) and 500 Nm of torque, which is an improvement over the outgoing V6’s 367 PS (362 hp) and 520 Nm, save for peak torque. It should be noted that those figures are also higher than the SL 43’s 381 PS (375 hp) at 6,750 rpm and 480 Nm.
Codenamed M139l (the ‘l’ refers to the engine’s longitudinal layout), the engine is a variation of the M139 used in the A 45 hot hatch and is said to be the world’s first series-production unit to feature an electric exhaust gas turbocharger, with technology derived directly from Formula 1.
According to the company, an electric motor around 4 cm thin is integrated directly on the turbocharger shaft between the turbine wheel on the exhaust side and the compressor wheel on the intake side. This acts to spin the shaft up at low revs until the exhaust gases take over, improving engine response from idle speed and across the entire engine speed range.
The motor is linked to a 48-volt mild hybrid system that also includes a belt-driven starter generator (RSG), which can provide an additional boost of 14 PS (13 hp) depending on the situation. Alternatively, it also facilitates smooth operation of the start-stop and gliding mode functions.
Like the SL 43, the new C 43 comes with an AMG Speedshift MCT 9G nine-speed automatic gearbox, but unlike the convertible, it also gets an AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel drive system with a rear-biased torque distribution (31% front and 69% rear).
The C 43 can be had as a sedan (W206) or a wagon (S206), with the former taking 4.6 seconds to get from 0-100 km/h, while the wagon takes 4.7 seconds – a tenth faster than the W205 C 43. Both will hit a top speed of 250 km/h, which can be raised to 265 km/h with the optional AMG Driver’s Package. Another option is AMG Real Performance Sound, which picks up engine noise and feeds it into the interior if the regular AMG exhaust system isn’t sufficient.
AMG Ride Control suspension is standard for the C 43 models and includes aluminium front and rear double wishbones, coil springs as well as adaptive dampers. A rear-axle steering system with a maximum steering angle of 2.5 degrees is also included, along with an AMG sports braking system. The latter sees brake discs measuring 370 mm at the front with four-piston fixed calipers and 320-mm discs with single-piston floating calipers for the rear.
The characteristics of some of these vehicle systems can be configured via the AMG Dynamic Select system, which offers five drive modes (Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual), with AMG Dynamics also included with three modes (Basic, Advanced, Pro) for the car’s Electronic Stability Programme. Each vehicle system can also be individually configured based on the driver’s needs.
Styling-wise, the C 43 boasts AMG-specific cues to mark it out from a regular C-Class. Besides the beefier brakes, there’s also the Panamericana grille with vertical struts in chrome and two round twin-tailpipe trim elements at the rear.
The sporty body kit you see here is similar in appearance to the AMG Line package and includes AMG front and rear bumpers, matching side skirts and a diffuser-like rear apron. AMG light-alloy wheels sized 18 inches are the default, but buyers can also option 19- or 20-inch units.
Inside, you get AMG seats upholstered with Artico man-made leather and Microcut microfibre with red contrast topstitching and seat belts, with real leather and Nappa leather available for a cost. The AMG Performance steering wheel, silver-coloured aluminium shift paddles, carbon-fibre trim, AMG sports pedals as well as AMG-branded floor mats and illuminated door sill trims add to the sporty look.
The MBUX infotainment system also gets AMG-specific displays and functions, including shortcut buttons for the AMG Dynamic Select drive modes and AMG Track Pace for drivers who want to log data during their time out on a race track.