It sports over 400 horsepower... from a four-pot!
Following the arrival of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan, we knew it wouldn't be long before the AMG Division introduced a spicier version. Though the German automaker hasn't unleashed the most powerful C63e just yet, the company just gave us something to hold us over. Say guten tag to the new Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan, a hybridized sport luxury car with a mean attitude.
The C43 uses the same M139l (the L stands for longitudinal installation) hand-built engine as the CLA45, but adds an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger derived from Formula 1 technology. It contains a belt-driven starter-generator operated by a 48-volt electrical system, which can provide a 13 horsepower boost to the engine. In total, the four-pot engine develops a whopping 402 hp and 369 lb-ft. That grunt all goes out to a nine-speed automatic transmission through a rear-biased 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.
AMG says the C43 will scoot to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, eventually capping out at a limited 155 mph top speed (165 mph optionally). This puts the car in competition with other mid-level sport sedans like the Audi S4 and BMW M340i. The AMG is the first competitor in this segment to employ a mild-hybrid setup, and it's the first to incorporate standard rear-axle steering, like the larger S-Class. The rear wheels can articulate up to 2.5 degrees, moving opposite of the front wheels at up to 37 mph or in the same direction at higher speeds. This should give the car more maneuverability at low speeds and stability at highway speeds.
Like other AMG models, the C 43 includes various drive modes to adjust the experience. Drivers can select five modes - Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual - on the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT system. In addition, the car offers separate adjustments for the adaptive dampening suspension system and the three-stage steering.
On the exterior, the C43 is differentiated from lesser C-Class models with an AMG grille, sporty air intakes, unique front and rear bumpers, and AMG exhaust system with quad tips. The stock exhaust includes a pressure-controlled flap for more noise, but buyers can add AMG Real Performance Sound, a system that extracts engine sound and pumps it back into the cabin. The C43 rides on 18-inch wheels as standard, with optional 19- and 20-inch wheels available. No matter what, four-piston front brakes sit behind the sporty wheels.
The interior looks similar to the standard C-Class, albeit sportier. Drivers still look out at a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with an 11.9-inch LCD center touchscreen handling infotainment duties. An optional HUD is available. The biggest changes for this AMG model are the sportier seats with red contrasting stitching and red seat belts, and the AMG Performance steering wheel finished in Nappa leather.
Mercedes hasn't announced pricing yet, but we know the standard C300 with 255 hp ranges from $43,550 up to $49,500 for the Pinnacle trim with AWD. With the competition from Audi and BMW both starting above $50,000, we expect the C 43 to arrive at a similar starting price. The C 43 will arrive at US dealers late 2022, meaning we won't see the more powerful "63" model until next year.