Mercedes has unveiled the first AMG-badged version of the latest C-Class, the Mercedes-AMG C 43. The new C 43 produces 402bhp from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder M139 engine you’ll know from the AMG A45 S hot hatch. A different engine tune means the M139 unit found in the new C 43 produces slightly less power than the same unit from in the A 45 S. Despite losing two cylinders, the new C 43 gets a bump in power over the outgoing 375bhp V6 model.
The turbocharged power unit also features a 48-volt mild hybrid system, which can briefly provide a 14bhp boost through its belt-driven starter generator. Power is sent to the 4Matic four-wheel-drive system through a nine-speed transmission with a wet start-off clutch in place of the old torque converter setup. The C 43’s four-wheel-drive system uses a rear-biased setup, allowing up to 69 per cent of the power to be sent to the rear wheels.
With a 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds, the new C 43 is faster off the line than its mild-hybrid rivals - the BMW M440i and the Audi S4. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, though it can be increased to 165mph with the optional AMG Driver’s Package.
The new C 43 gets 18-inch wheels as standard, though buyers will also have the option to upgrade to either 19- or 20-inch alloys. Rear steering comes as standard on the new Mercedes-AMG C 43, while ventilated six-piston callipers and 370mm front brake disks increase stopping power. Adaptive dampers come as standard with the new C 43, which can be adjusted through the on-board ‘AMG Ride Control’ system, providing three different damping settings - Comfort, Sport and Sport+.
The new C 43 features Mercedes’ Artico faux leather upholstery alongside contrasting red stitching and seatbelts, while AMG sports pedals and a flat-bottomed steering wheel also add to the motorsport feel. The MBUX infotainment system carries over from the existing C-Class, though the addition of ‘AMG Track Pace’ provides data for track use such as lap times and other performance-related metrics.
The C 43 is currently the most powerful C-Class on offer from Mercedes, though the upcoming C 63, which will adopt plug-in hybrid power for the first time, is set to become the king of the C-Class range when released. The new C 43 is likely to go on sale towards the end of 2022, and while official pricing is yet to be announced, a £60,000 starting price is expected.
So, what do you think of the new C 43? Are you impressed with the performance of the four-cylinder powerplant? Let us know your thoughts.