The Mercedes C-class has long been a favorite of entry-level luxury vehicle shoppers. It’s easy to see why, too. It’s fairly compact and nimble but still brings the luxurious interior and ride quality you come to expect from a Mercedes. Until last year, those looking for a little extra spice have always had the option to turn it up to the AMG models. Historically, the AMG C-class models have been known to use huge horsepower outputting V8s with forced induction and massive displacement. Now, the AMG offering is back with a four-cylinder freak under the hood.
Don’t let the four-cylinder fool you; this thing has traditional AMG power output
According to Autoblog, the new C43 AMG makes an astonishing 402 horsepower out of its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Best of all, that’s not even the craziest part about this engine.
The turbocharger Mercedes uses on this engine features an electric motor on the turbine shaft that helps spool the turbo faster in low engine RPM conditions. This way, there’s a substantial reduction in turbo lag. Effectively that means all the power and torque come on sooner than it would with a traditional turbocharger. Mercedes uses this turbo tech on its Formula One cars, too.
However, the turbo isn’t the only electric assist on the C43 AMG. It also uses the Mercedes 48 volt mild-hybrid system wherein the electric starter motor offers 13 horsepower to get things moving smoothly. This allows longer use of the engine’s start/stop tech and a smoother transition to the car moving as the engine restarts from a stop.
Finally, Mercedes mated a nine-speed automatic transmission to this mighty little four-cylinder. Additionally, it gets a rear-bias all-wheel drive system with 31 percent of the power going to the front and 69 percent going to the rear.
All said and done; this remarkable tech makes for quite the performance. Mercedes says the 2023 C43 AMG will sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 4.6 seconds. Additionally, it has a top speed of 155 miles per hour. Though, the top speed governor gets a raise to 165 miles per hour with the addition of the optional 19 or 20-inch wheels.
The AMG upgrade nets you far more than horsepower
Though the 402 horsepower powerplant is undoubtedly the crown jewel of this reveal, the C43 AMG nets a whole lot more than just a bunch of power and snazzy F1 tech.
As is expected with AMG cars, the exterior and interior get a few performance-inspired styling upgrades. It has more aggressive front and rear bumpers than the standard C-class models, and they come with matching side skirts. Additionally, it has an AMG-only grille, a trunk spoiler, and a quad-tip exhaust system.
Inside, it has sport seats and a sporty steering wheel with drive mode selection at the tip of your thumbs. Of course, it also has an AMG-specific racetrack data logger to tell you things like top speed, G-forces, and lap times. ‘
Finally, it has AMG-tuned suspension with electronically variable damping, a rear-axle steering system with automatically adjusting steering weight, and AMG-specific brakes.
Though there isn’t any pricing yet, the C43 AMG will undoubtedly sit at the top of the C-class price list. Currently, the most expensive 2022 model year offering, the C300 4Matic Pinnacle, costs a hair under $50,000. So, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the AMG model graze the $60,000 mark, considering the last AMG C-class was over $56,000 starting when new.
Ultimately, though, for someone looking for an entry-level AMG car with all the spirit and fun of a classic high-horsepower Benz, the C43 AMG knocks it out of the park.