Presentation and price: C 43 starts at a good 71,000 euros
Appearance and interior: Contrasting stitching creates an AMG feeling
Traditionally, the sheet metal dress of the C 43 does not change much compared to the normal C-Class with AMG-Line. At first glance, only the plaques on the fenders and the four round tailpipes suggest the smallest C-AMG.
Once inside, the new AMG sports steering wheel and the optional decor immediately catch the eye. Contrasting seams on the dashboard and in the door panels bring the right feeling. A new generation of their optional performance seats was also introduced with the C 43.
Driving: This is how the four cylinders of the C 43 feel (update!)
AMG and downsizing just don’t really want to go together. The fine tuners from Affalterbach have spoiled us too much in recent decades with hissing six-cylinders and bubbling V8 engines. And now a four-cylinder in a C-Class? All that remains is to take a deep breath and approach without prejudice.
The fact that the cylinder diet does not affect self-confidence is already clear from the angry looking front. Large air intakes and the AMG-typical, vertical struts in the grille guarantee the best overtaking prestige. Side skirts and mighty 20 inchers (standard are 18) lead to the rear with a massive diffuser and two twin tailpipes.
Inside, the driver and front passenger are gripped by gripping and weight-optimized sports seats, and the ambitious driver can make his personal configuration via an AMG button.
Good four-wheel drive, but bad sound
In the city, the first thing that strikes you is that the C 43 doesn’t stand out. In comfort mode, he rolls velvet-pawed even over the worst pavement, reacts rather reluctantly to gas commands.
That changes radically in sport mode. Then the nine stages of the AMG double clutch are always on the move, and the 408 hp are also ready to jump thanks to an additional 14 boost hp from the electric starter generator. An electric motor, which helps the turbocharger in the lower speed range, enables a beefy 500 Nm.
The all-wheel drive, which is rear-heavy with 31 percent at the front and 69 percent at the rear, ensures perfect traction, while the rear-wheel steering creates superior road holding. Okay, the sound is rather meager, the background music from the loudspeaker is an abomination for purists.
Conclusion of Malte Büttner: Yes, the new C 43 is a victim of the strict emissionsregulate. But AMG impressively shows what is possible within these limits. At least in everyday life it is unbeatable.
Equipment and engine: Electric turbo for the C 43
Performance: More than 400 hp in the C class
The mild hybrid delivers 408 hp (+ 14 hp hybrid boost) and is said to be able to convince with an electric turbocharger with particularly good response behavior without turbo lag. Here, a small electric motor is placed on the turbocharger shaft, which is why it can be operated independently of the engine speed and the amount of exhaust gas. The transmission is a nine-speed automatic with a wet starting clutch.
The C 43 completes the standard sprint to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds, the estate takes a tenth longer. It ends at 250 km/h, for a surcharge of a good 2250 euros (“AMG Drivers Package”) the top speed can be increased to 265 km/h.