Test Drives

Mercedes-AMG C 43 Sedan & Coupe 2018 Review



Ample proof that big changes aren’t needed when cars are this hot. Also, multi-coloured LEDs!

Photos: Mercedes-Benz, Derryn Wong

Moselle Valley, Germany

What’s new cooking on this pair of hot tamales?
Not as many changes as the new C 200 sedan has, but there are still quite a few things to note in this facelift of the semi-hot AMG cars, the C 43 sedan and coupe. 

Naturally it wouldn’t be a facelift without a change to the face, of course. So the grille, once the AMG ‘diamond’ grille, now becomes the twin-slat version. Air intakes are pokier and meaner.

New lights, including more advanced Performance LEDs. New paint colours, new aero-optimised wheels, new exterior packages (Carbon Fibre Package II with bootlid spoiler, mirror caps in CF!). So far so optional, so TBC til they get to Singapore.

And the inside?

All the new C-Class models get a new steering wheel, with the two touch-sensitive pads that control the driver’s instruments and infotainment respectively. The 43 AMG models also receive new design ones, with alcantara grips, and a ergonomically enjoyable, squarish-round shape with flat bottoms.

New-fangled fully digital instruments on a 12.3-inch binnacle-shaped display, and a new 10.25-inch infotainment system are highlights on the interior too.

Very cool, and very usable with their AMG-special layout, with three themes to choose from. We liked ‘Supersport’, shown here, with the central tach and huge digital speedo.

Minor stuff, like more 64 different LED lighting colours for the interior. RGB FTW. So you can do this.

Okay enough of that crap, what’s the important bit?

The important bit is 23hp more, for a total of 390hp. Yes, almost 400hp from the ‘semi-AMG’ cars, thanks to separate, enlarged twin turbos that still reside within the V of the cylinder banks.

AMG guys also say the adaptive suspension, steering, gearbox have all been tweaked and updated, the all-wheel drive 4MATIC system is too, with the same 31/71 front-rear torque split.

How does the sedan drive?
It’s a beautiful. The 256hp C 300 already delivers quite the punch and a surprising amount of agility on the road, but it’s a case of encouraging the not-so-willing-for-velocity into doing anti-social things.

With the C 43 sedan it’s pretty much the other way around. The lively, direct steering, the light-on-its-feet feel, the snappy, happy-to-deliver-all-you-want engine with cracking soundtrack.

Slip the drive mode to Sport and pretty soon you’re saying to yourself, “No way I’m going this fast down this sort of road,” with a big fat grin on your face at how much the C 43 sedan supports and encourages. Bang it into Sport+ and things become louder, faster, everything-er, the passengers become ominously silent, but you’ll be too busy having fun to care.

We said before that the C 43 sedan easily represents enough all-round, do-everything and more performance for any but the most jaded speed freaks, and that remains true, now with even more LED colours.

What about the lovely coupe?
Lop off two doors and add a shapely rear end and you have the C-Class coupe. It’s actually no smaller than the sedan – same wheelbase, width, length, it’s just lower.

 

In this case, take the ‘everything-er’ bit about the C 43 sedan and add even more cornering gumption, and you have the coupe. The steering’s even more direct, the car’s nose more plugged in to what’s happening on the tarmac.

The best thing is, neither car will bother tooth fillings, as they’re beautifully setup and ride well even over some very rough Singapore-grade tarmac we found.

 

Anything else we should know?

AMG’s Track Pace on-board app has become a seriously cool piece of kit. It’s a race software that can track your lap times around preset global circuits, display customised telemetry (everything from oil temp to steering, brake and accelerator inputs, just like F1).

An even cooler feature is the ability to create your own track with GPS – say, a favourite road loop or deserted piece of road. Then you can track your progress and see what makes you quicker.  Many cars can make a driver quicker for many reasons, but the C 43 duo are one pair that can possibly tell you why.

Mercedes-AMG C 43 Sedan

Engine 2,997cc, V6, biturbo
Power 390hp at 6100rpm
Torque 520Nm at 2500-5000rpm
Gearbox 9-speed automatic
0-100km/h 250km/h
Top Speed 4.7 seconds
Fuel Efficiency 9.2L/100km
VES Band / CO2 TBC / 211g/km
Agent Cycle & Carriage
Price TBC
Availability TBC

Mercedes-AMG C 43 Coupe

Engine 2,997cc, V6, biturbo
Power 390hp at 6100rpm
Torque 520Nm at 2500-5000rpm
Gearbox 9-speed automatic
0-100km/h 250km/h
Top Speed 4.7 seconds
Fuel Efficiency 9.3L/100km
VES Band / CO2 TBC / 215g/km
Agent Cycle & Carriage
Price TBC
Availability TBC

 

about the author

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Derryn Wong
Has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. Is particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.