Mid-strength brew that hits a high C
Mid-size performance Benz in tasty mid-strength
WE ALL have one relentlessly hyperactive mate, right? In vehicular terms, that mate is a Mercedes-amg C63. Great for a laugh most of the time, but there are days when they (and the C63) need to be hosed down.
Luckily, Affalterbach offers an alternative called the C43. It’s a fast C-class more suited to everyday use, with a level of performance that can be explored and enjoyed without regular visits to a racetrack.
For 2019, the C43 has been updated as part of the most comprehensive C-class facelift to date. The 3.0-litre V6 found in all four C43 shapes (sedan, wagon, coupe and cabriolet) is fed more boost by larger turbos from the E43, lifting peak power from 270 to 287kw. Torque remains at 520Nm, as does sharp 0-100km/h performance of less than 5.0sec for all body styles.
A bi-modal performance exhaust is now an individual option for $2300, or added as part of a $5400 package with performance seats, and microfibre trim for the new AMG steering wheel. The pipes let out a throaty growl as the V6 revs, with loud cracks on upshifts and a burbling overrun in the sportier drive modes, without fully reaching the C63’s level of V8 boisterousness.
Another major point of difference is the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. Grip is in ready supply, and the C43 is resolutely composed on fast roads.
Subtle adjustments have been made to AMG’S adaptive suspension tune, though its overall feel is unchanged. The difference in ride quality between Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes is noticeable, but less pronounced than the step changes of the adaptive dampers now available in regular C-class variants. Comfort is generally acceptable for a sporting car, but AMG could afford to sacrifice some agility in the C43’s softest mode.
To make it easier to identify, the C43 now has a distinctive twin-louvre grille, and 19-inch wheels with an aerodynamically optimised design. Multibeam LED headlights with a range of up to 650 metres are standard, as is the blacked-out AMG Night Package. A reprofiled front bumper includes aero aids at each corner to guide air around the wheels for efficiency. New LED tail-lights are also fitted.
Pricing starts at $107,900 for the sedan through to $124,900 for the cabrio, making C43 a full $50K and change more affordable than an equivalent C63. It’s an appealing proposition; closer to being compatible with Australia’s speed limits, while still more than fast enough to put a grin on your face. Consider it a grown-up brand of performance for the discerning, now more compelling for 2019.