It can ferry fam­ily, bi­cy­cles and your need for speed

Cycling Plus (Malaysia) - - THE HUB -

ou might be think­ing, what is a saloon car do­ing in Cy­cling Plus Malaysia? Surely it is not the most suit­able car for cy­clists to roll around in? Well first of all, if you’re a reg­u­lar week­end war­rior and have been to all the reg­u­lar cy­cling spots, you will know that cy­clists tend to pair up their ex­pen­sive and de­li­cious look­ing bikes with their shiny sports cars.

This can some­times even in­clude two-door sports coupes. Se­condly, this is no or­di­nary saloon, this is Mercedes Benz Malaysia’s lo­cally built C43 AMG, a Ger­man beast that has been put to­gether right here in Malaysia at the com­pany’s swanky fac­tory in Pekan, Pa­hang.

In fact, this along­side its SUV (sports util­ity ve­hi­cle) brother the GLC43 are the first AMGS ever to be built in Malaysia, ef­fec­tively slash­ing the price of these splen­did ve­hi­cles by nearly RM100,000 - and that’s

Ybe­fore the GST free era. So why not just go for the SUV ver­sion, you might say? Firstly be­cause the GLC43 costs nearly RM60,000 more than the four-door saloon ver­sion, and se­condly, some peo­ple still pre­fer saloon cars.

One down­side is that these cars are not hand built in the tra­di­tional AMG way and in­stead are only 25 per cent hand­crafted -- but does it re­ally mat­ter? Aren’t ma­chines more ef­fi­cient any­ways? Apart from that, the only other down­side is that the car can only man­age to fit one bike, al­though that is without need­ing to take the front wheel off - some­thing we love here at Cy­cling Plus Malaysia. If you need to carry more than one bike, a roof rack is al­ways the best way, in our opin­ion.

The C43 AMG is a 3.0-litre 367hp 4Matic (four-wheel drive) Bi-turbo (twin turbo) 9-speed saloon car. Some like to call it the en­try level AMG but we think it should be bet­ter known as the AMG that you can ac­tu­ally live with ev­ery day. It’s com­fort­able when you need it to be and a mon­ster when you’re feel­ing all Amg-ish. One of the most pleas­ant things about the C43 com­pared to the other AMGS is the ver­sa­til­ity of the ex­haust note.

When you need a quiet snooz­ing ride, let’s say on the high­way, the car can be as tame as a silent shark in wa­ter. When you have the STIG head on, it can in­tim­i­date peo­ple with a roar­ing raspy ex­haust note that would scare away the big­gest of Lion Kings. This is ac­tu­ally a very wel­com­ing at­tribute, be­cause some­times af­ter a bi­cy­cle ride, you need the op­tional peace and quiet to re­cover.

The 9-speed auto box is also a god­send as it can help the ve­hi­cle re­turn great fuel econ­omy when cruis­ing on the mo­tor­way. We man­aged to get it as low as 8.4l/100km a fig­ure more com­monly seen in ve­hi­cles with a

dis­place­ment of 1.5-litres and un­der, not a 3.0-litre beast. Some have said that the C43’s ride is a bit stiff, but we think it’s sup­ple enough for every­day driv­ing, es­pe­cially in com­fort mode.

Speak­ing of com­fort mode, the ve­hi­cle does soften up the sus­pen­sion when in this mode, but it doesn’t make the car all tame be­cause it still rides like a train on rails when go­ing around corners. If you’re re­ally up for some spir­ited drives, you can al­ways put it in sport or sports+ and this will stiffen up the sus­pen­sion, im­prove throt­tle re­sponse and keep the car revving at higher rpms. This should let you utilise the 521nm of torque that the car has on tap.

So what is not to like about the C43? It has power, re­fine­ment, chameleon char­ac­ter­is­tics and is a jolly good ride too. Well, we think to some, the ex­te­rior aes­thet­ics might not be special enough. In fact, if you don’t pay at­ten­tion to the de­tails

It’s com­fort­able when you need it to be and a mon­ster when you’re feel­ing all Amg-ish. One of the most pleas­ant things about the C43 com­pared to the other AMGS is the ver­sa­til­ity of the ex­haust note.

such as the Bi-turbo badges, AMG brake calipers and many more, you’ll never think it was any­thing more special than a C250. But we like that, be­cause we have al­ways been fond of ve­hi­cles that are la­belled as ‘a wolf in sheep’s cloth­ing’. Why be shouty about ev­ery­thing? Let the per­for­mance do the talk­ing, just like some of the most plain road bikes out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg ei­ther.

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