by Jay Traugott
Mercedes-AMG didn't want to let Europe have all of the fun, so it's decided to bring its most affordable high-performance luxury sedan to America. Introducing the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 43 4-door, the new "entry-level" model in the GT 4-door lineup, slotting beneath the GT 53 and GT 63. Just don't let its supposed base model status fool you; it's a fully-fledged, German-built rocket ship for the road with a price tag to match. In fact, the GT 43 comes powered by the same turbocharged inline-six engine found in the GT 53, albeit detuned.
Combined with all of the luxury features we'd come to expect in any Mercedes-AMG model, the 2021 GT 43 is a member of an exclusive club. Entry requirements are more horsepower than you'll ever need, precision handling, and the latest infotainment and related technologies. And, not to mention, the sleek four-door coupe looks brilliant inside and out.
|AMG GT 43||
3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Hybrid
One look at the GT 43 and it's clear this four-door coupe is fast. Although it's the least expensive of the GT 4-door lineup, it looks mostly identical to its more powerful siblings. One exception is its 'GT 43' badging. AMG styling cues such as the Panamericana grille with LED headlights flanking both sides, front apron, 19-inch alloy wheels, a power glass sunroof, and a multi-stage active rear spoiler are all standard. Like the GT 53, there are four round exhaust integrated into the rear diffuser. To compare, the top-dog GT 63 has a set of trapezoidal pipes.
AMG notes some of the many exterior styling options available to buyers are a wide variety of wheel designs. Compared to the similar Mercedes CLS-Class, the GT 43, like the 53 and 63, is 1.3 inches taller, but the rest of its dimensions are otherwise the same.
Like the other two AMG GT 4-doors, the GT 43's interior is absolutely stunning with an array of premium build materials such as aluminum and lush leather. It's even more impressive to sit in. Occupants will be perched atop standard two-place individual rear seats (there's an optional executive rear-seat package) while the driver and front-seat passenger will benefit from sports seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and dual 12.3-inch digital display screens. Those screens are home to the excellent MBUX infotainment system which replaces the COMAND interface of old. This tech offers not only a new and more user-friendly interface but also learning-capable software and speech recognition.
AMG's exclusive steering wheels are, without question, some of the best-looking designs today. Mercedes' turbine-themed air conditioning vents remain, as does the wide center console that's home to a variety of functions. Bear in mind the GT 4-door lineup seats four passengers, not five as can be sat in the CLS-Class.
All passengers can enjoy ambient lighting and the Burmester surround sound system. Buyers can also select from a number of trim options, such as AMG Carbon Fiber trim and Piano Black Lacquer. Mercedes' MB-Tex upholstery comes standard while Nappa leather is an option.
Since when does "entry-level" mean a combined 381 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque? That's the situation here. The GT 43 is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with a mild-hybrid assist system. The combustion engine alone produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of twist, while the 48-volt EQ Boost hybrid system provides an additional 21 hp and 184 lb-ft. While the figures may be lower, this is the same engine found in the GT 53 where it produces a total of 450 hp and 568 lb-ft.
Like its higher-powered siblings, the GT 43's power is directed to the 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system via a nine-speed automatic transmission with torque distribution. According to Mercedes, a sprint time from 0-60 mph should take 4.8 seconds - just 0.4 of a second slower than the 53.
The thrilling driving experience continues with other standard equipment like the AMG Ride Control Sport Suspension and the AMG Dynamic Select driving modes. Drivers can switch to the Sport+ mode in order to unleash additional performance, improved steering, and reduced body roll. A set of six-piston front brake calipers with cool silver painting help with stopping power.
Like the GT 53 and GT 63, the new for 2021 GT 43 will face off directly against similarly equipped variants of the Porsche Panamera, BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, and Audi A7 and S7. All feature four-door coupe styling as opposed to the traditional three-box sedan design. The biggest downside all three face is reduced rear-seat headroom, but that's the price one must pay for sexier styling.
And speaking of pricing, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 43 4-door isn't exactly cheap. Pricing begins at $89,900 excluding the $1,050 destination and delivery fee. Just to compare, the GT 53 and GT 63 carry starting price tags of about $99,950 and $140,250, respectively. Sales are due to begin later this year.