Mercedes-AMG has launched its newest iteration of the C-Class in the Indian market. This comes in the form of the C 43. It is the performance version of the standard sedan just like the C 63 AMG S. However, the C 43 is a less powerful machine and a more affordable AMG product. Does that mean it isn’t worth considering at all with a hooligan like the C 63 AMG S in the picture? And, should it just be sidelined for being a cut-price AMG for it might fail to pack in all the fun? We decided to have a go in it at the Buddh International circuit before writing it off. Here’s how it went.
The one thing every car enthusiast will appreciate about the AMG C 43 is its tweaked looks. Sure, it has many a Mercedes styling elements intact, but the C 43 certainly looks beefier, more sculpted and more purposeful. The reworked front bumper with large intakes, a low-slung chin and a diamond-mesh grille make it look distinctive. And though it has the traditional C-Class profile, the new pattern for the larger 18-inch alloy wheels do add a bit of flair. What’s more, the bumper-integrated dual exhaust tips give the C 43 a wider, squatter stance.
The cabin of the AMG C 43 looks familiar to the regular C-Class. But, it gets a flat-bottomed steering wheel, fancier upholstery, black Artico leather seats with red stitching, bright red seat belts and dashes of ash wood trim on the door panels to set it apart from the regular C. Otherwise, the cockpit layout is typically Mercedes – two large dials for the speedo and the tacho and a central display; identical central console; and there’s nothing to tell the dashboard apart either, in terms of outline and design. The 5.5-inch screen still finds a prominent place in the centre of the dashboard but on the C 43 it also gets a race-timer function.
Quality, fit and finish, and the overall look and feel of the interior are top-notch, as is the list of equipment. Plus, the seats offer impressive support even though the cushioning is a tad firm, and the ones upfront offer a wide range of adjustment too; like a cherry on the top. There’s enough storage space, you get cup and bottle holders and the C 43 has a large 480-litre boot too. And a space saver. So, it might be fast, it might be focused, and it might be an AMG, but it is also practical.
Rated at 362bhp of power and an enormous 520Nm of torque, the twin turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine of the C 43 is pretty impressive in its own right. It might not be as wild or snarly as the C 63’s V8 but it still manages to live up to the AMG badge with its noise, poke and the taste for revs. Just like this rev happy engine, the nine-speed gearbox is eager too to hold revs a little longer before upshifting. Yes we are talking about the Sport+ mode, which is all we used on the track.
There are four other modes as well – eco, comfort, sport and individual, which though are best, left for a road review. Throttle response meanwhile is crisp and with every touch the car simply roars away. You are not exactly pinned to the seat every time if you slam the pedal down, but it sure makes you giggle with its acceleration. The AMG C 43 has a claimed top-speed of 250kmph and a 0-100kmph time in just 4.7 seconds.
Furthermore, the C 43 gets the brand's 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. It also benefits from the AMG Ride Control sports suspension setup and we quite liked the steering feel and response. On the track, even though the C 43 runs an all wheel drive setup, the turn-in is pretty crisp. And there isn’t much body roll to complaint about. Grip levels from the tyres are acceptable too. But, the best way to drive the C 43 on the track is to get it turned in and facing the exit before getting manically on the power. Do the opposite, and all one will get is understeer. We also like the brakes, and the fact that the electronics have our back just in case we overdo stuff.
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||362bhp @ 5,500rpm|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||520Nm @ 2,000rpm|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||66|
|Tyre size||235/40 R18, 255/35 R18|
|4MATIC all-wheel drive||Yes|
|AMG Ride Control with sport suspension||Yes|
|Reversing camera with guidance||Yes|
|Five driving modes||Yes|
|Artico leather seat upholstery||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||C43||Sportback 3.0 TFSI Quattro|
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||362bhp @ 5,500rpm||328bhp @ 5,500rpm|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||520Nm @ 2,000rpm||440Nm @ 2,900rpm|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||66||61|
|Tyre size||235/40 R18, 255/35 R18||245/40 R18|
The Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic is exclusive in itself for being created by the developers at Affalterbach. Then with its athletic looks, a powerful engine and good handling, mixed with comfort, luxury and practicality, it makes for a very good combination. Also, with such specs and at this price point, it doesn’t really have a direct rival. So, getting back to the start – yes, we think the C 43 is certainly worth considering. And no, it doesn’t deserve to be sidelined at all because what it packs in makes its pricing, very inviting.
Pictures by : Abhishek Nigam