Engine – 3.0L V6 Biturbo Petrol
Power – 390hp
Torque – 520Nm
Drivetrain – AWD (31:69)
Gross Weight – 1722kg
It was a truly special experience to drive the new Mercedes-AMG C 43 Coupe for a week. I drove it through urban areas, motorways, country roads and got a good all-round feeling of what an AMG truly is. This car has so much to offer the Thai market, and fills a large void for ‘affordable’ performance cars.
The C43 looks very similar to the regular C Class, with just a few subtle changes. There is still that unmistakable Mercedes identity with the pronounced grille and the iconic three-pointed star. One of my favourite elements of the exterior is the little ducktail on the trunk, which gives the car a sportier look. The 2×2 twin-exit exhaust looks fantastic, until you take a closer peek. Personally, I really dislike ‘fake’ exhausts because I feel that we see so many of them on Thai roads already. The C43 does have ‘fake’ exhaust attachments on the rear bumper, with the real exhaust pipe positioned in the ‘middle’ of the fake exhausts on each side. Nitpicking aside, I think the car looks fantastic from every angle, and the panoramic sunroof was a gorgeous addition to the car.
The interior of the C43 really lets you know that you are first and foremost in a Mercedes-Benz, but also more importantly, an AMG. The dash cluster is fully electronic, with a selection of 3 display modes. The system was intuitive and easy to get used to. The car offers so much in technology and assists, but what I loved even more is that you have the option to turn it off if you don’t want them. The wheel feels firm without being heavy, and is just the right tension for a sports car. The finish of everything else in the interior is just a testament to the Mercedes-Benz build quality, with nifty touch-sensors all over the wheel and center console for your convenience. The only thing I could complain about is the heat of the interior. The air-conditioning works well, but you feel that heat just finds its way into the cabin, meaning that at midday you have to have the fan on level 4-5 to maintain the temperature. This could be due to a lack of film on the windows.
This is perhaps the most important part for the C43 AMG Coupe. Boasting 390hp and 520Nm of torque, I was definitely expecting this car to be fast, and it was. From any speed, the engine is ready to shoot you forward, which is a very addictive feeling. The official figures for the 0-100kmh are 4.5 seconds, which is thanks to the 31:69 distribution of the four-wheel drive system. The most impressive thing is that the car didn’t ‘feel’ fast, it just was. Surely due to the build quality and noise insulation, you have to be careful when you overtake someone as it could result in a speeding ticket very quickly! The suspension was also truly special. I don’t think I’ve driven a road car which took corners so well. The car gives plenty of grip and confidence even in the wet, and the brakes are ready to stop on a dime. The driving experience of this car is unrivalled when it comes to value for money and money for horsepower, as there are not many competitors currently in the market with an entry-level sports car like the C43 AMG. When it comes to fuel economy, there’s no sugarcoating it, it’s not an economical car. The C43 could just about scrape to 500km per tank if you drove carefully, but let’s be honest, when you hear the sound and get that pull from the engine… I don’t mind stopping to get more fuel.
I really feel that I’m nitpicking when it comes to improvements on this car, because it is fantastic in every way, but there are some things that did not match the expectation you’d expect when you drive an AMG. The first one being the fake exhaust pipes in the back, that is something that I would change immediately if this was my own car.