Mercedes is adding a second AMG version of the C-class coupe to its performance range – the first in this class to feature all-wheel drive – in a move set to trigger an explosion of AMG models at lower prices.
The new Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic coupe, to make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week, will sit below the mighty rear-drive-only C63 coupe in the line-up when it arrives in UK showrooms at the beginning of April.
The newcomer eschews AMG’s favoured V8 option for a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 boasting 367bhp – that’s just on 100 fewer horses than the 4.0-litre C63.
Helped along by 384 lb ft of torque distributed to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission, the C43 is credited with 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds (seven tenths behind the C63) and a top speed limited to 155mph. The all-wheel drive features a 31/69 front/rear torque split and what Mercedes calls ‘high agility’ and ‘exhilarating dynamics’.
As a kind of half-fat AMG, the C43 goes far beyond the AMG Line trim level in offering an AMG-developed model-specific chassis and suspension components adopted from the C63. It also gets the AMG Ride Control from the C63, along with Dynamic Select driving modes and a host of styling, trim and interior AMG upgrades.
An AMG C43 model has already been introduced in the SLC line-up, and more C43 versions are expected across the Mercedes range.
Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers said: ‘The C43 4Matic coupe starts the introduction of a whole series of new 43 models this year. The 43 models boast the characteristic AMG genes, which are also included in our GT and 63 vehicles. Sports car technology and motor racing flair thus become more attainable and appeal to a broader customer base.’
No price has so far been confirmed for the C43 but the SLC43 comes with a margin of £7,000 over the next most expensive model. If that applied in the C-class coupe range the C43 would come in around the £50,000 mark, £10k cheaper than the least expensive of the new-generation C63 coupe models.