The next-generation 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is still not on sale in Canada, but that didn’t stop the automaker today from introducing the sporty new AMG C 43 model for 2023.
Just like we were warned, the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 is replaced by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Unlike the one driving the base C 300, it benefits from a series of upgrades that elevate output to 402 horsepower at 6,750 rpm. Peak torque is 369 pound-feet at 5,000 rpm.
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Compared with the previous Mercedes-AMG C 43, the new turbo-four delivers 17 additional horsepower, though at a slightly higher rev count. Torque is down by 15 pound-feet. However, thanks to the F1-derived, electrically assisted turbocharger, Mercedes-Benz claims turbo lag is reduced and boost pressure is maintained on throttle lift.
Furthermore, a 48-volt, belt-driven starter-generator can add 13 extra horsepower for a quick boost at lower revs while easing the burden on the gasoline engine. How much is fuel economy improved? The company didn’t say.
Power is controlled by a nine-speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission with a wet multi-plate clutch in place of a torque converter. It is then distributed to all four wheels via a rear-biased (31/69) 4MATIC AWD system. The result is 0-100 km/h acceleration in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h (or 265 km/h with the optional 19- and 20-inch wheels).
There are five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive modes to choose from including "Slippery", "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport +" and "Individual," which gives you a wide range of vehicle characteristics. As for the chassis, the AMG Ride Control suspension combines steel springs with adaptive dampers, while standard rear-wheel steering improves manoeuverability at low speeds and stability at high speeds. The front brakes use 370mm discs and six-piston callipers.
The car’s exterior isn’t radically different. Highlights include a unique AMG front grille with vertical slats and more aggressively styled bumpers. The rear spoiler is very subtle, but we do like the quad tailpipes down low.
Inside, look for red-accented sport seats, red seat belts and a sport steering wheel with a dial for drive mode selection. A 12.3-inch digital instrument panel joins an 11.9-inch vertical touchscreen. Augmented-reality navigation, head-up display and AMG TRACK PACE data logger are available, too.
The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC is due to go on sale by the end of this year. Expect a significant price increase from the base C 300 4MATIC. As for the future AMG C 63, don’t worry, it’s coming up, as well—with an electrified four-cylinder instead of the classic V8, mind you.