Mercedes-AMG has really pulled one over their German competitors with the introduction of their 43 range of performance cars.
They have opened the AMG brand up to a broader target group while still offering a real AMG experience. And their world sales figures of the AMG 43 models support this decision. The models are available in the C-Class range as a Sedan, Coupe and Cabriolet, while also including four SUVs, in the GLC and GLC Coupe, the GLE and GLE Coupe and an SLC Roadster.
A substantial number of features differentiate the new models. Even at first glance, the characteristic AMG body styling leaves no doubt that these cars are part of the Mercedes-AMG family.
The model we had on test was the C43 AMG Coupe, and at the heart of this slick-looking coupe lies a 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine that produces 270kW of power and 520Nm of torque. Basically, this AMG is prepped to go to war with BMW’s M Sport packed 440i and Audi’s S5 Coupe.
The C43 runs a 9G-Tronic sports transmission with AMG Dynamic Select for selecting five transmission modes from Comfort to Sport+. And this little fact caused me to commit the cardinal sin of motoring journalism.
I tried everything to figure out how to activate the Race Start function, but when defeated, I had to check the owner’s manual. This didn’t help, so I went down an even darker path and almost asked my wife because she knows everything.
I finally turned to Google behind my wife’s back and that told me that the C43 has no Race Start function. I have to admit, this is a glaring omission in a car that is a real AMG in almost every other way. So a little disappointed I turned on my Racelogic test equipment and unleashed the C43 on the long straight at Gerotek.
Surprisingly the numbers that came back were not bad at all. The car got 100km/h in a fuss-free 4Matic all wheel drive 5.09 seconds, hit the quarter mile in 13.39 seconds at 174km/h and the 1km at 222km/h. Top speed fun is electronically cut at a true 250km/h.
What I have added to my test line-up is half mile (800m) data because there is a growing trend in SA with the fast guys now emulating the rest of the world, and participating in this type of top speed event.
Here the C43 ran 20.82 seconds at 210km/h. So it’s by no means a diluted AMG car, it is fast. And thanks to the standard sports exhaust system with double-declutching function during downshifts in “S” mode, and audibly emphasised double-declutching during downshifts in “S+” mode, the car sounds the part.
You also get the AMG Sports Suspension based on air body control as standard. This sports suspension provides two suspension levels from comfort to sport with the Adaptive Damping system.
And if you are out playing, you can be confident knowing that you have large 360mm in the front, and 320mm in the rear four-piston AMG brakes under you. Coming in at a base price of R928 100, I think the C43 range of cars is the pic over their less sporty more mundane competitors.
And it also puts you in the AMG brand at a price that can’t be matched by these same competitors.
Road Test Data
Mercedes Benz C43 AMG Coupe
- Gearbox: 9 Speed G Tronic Transmission
- Engine: 3.0 litre V6 Twin Turbo
- Power: 270 kW @ 5 500–6 000rpm
- Torque: 520 Nm @ 2 000–4 200rpm
- Licensing Mass: 1 735kg
- Power to Weight: 155.620 kW/ton
- Power to Capacity: 90.120 kW/litre
- 0-100 km/h: 5.09 seconds
- 1/4 Mile (400 m): 13.39 seconds @ 174.06km/h
- 1/2 Mile (800 m): 20.82 seconds @ 210.28km/h
- 1 Km (1000 m): 24.15 seconds @ 222.42km/h
- 60-100 km/h: 2.81 seconds (in 3rd gear) / 3.60 seconds (in 4th gear)
- 80-120 km/h: 3.58 seconds (in 4th gear) / 4.83 seconds (in 5th gear)
- 100-200 km/h: 13.67 seconds (from 3rd gear)
- True Top Speed: Limited to 250.92km/h @ 5 450rpm in 7th
- Fuel Consumption: 8.2 litres /100km claimed (10.8 litres test average)
- Fuel Tank Size: 66 litres
- Fuel Range: 805km claimed (611 km on test)
- CO2 Emissions: 183g/km
- Vehicle Odometer: 3 295km
- Test Temperature: 11 degrees
- Tyres Size: 225/40 R19 (Front) & 255/35 R19 (rear)
- Tyres Make: Continental Conti Sport Contact
- Warranty: 2 years/unlimited km
- Service / Maint Plan: 6 years /100 000km maintenance plan
- Priced From: R928 100
- Test Date: May 3