Remember the C43 AMG? You should. Arriving in 1997, it was the second AMG-tuned C-Class (following the straight-six C36) and the first to fly the V8 flag with its woofling 306bhp 4.3-litre V8. It could do 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds.
Now, 19 years later, the C43 badge is back, denoting a warmed-over C-Class Coupe that plays second fiddle to the full-fat C63. However, warmed over in AMG land is pretty damn hot everywhere else.
It (official title Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC Coupe) uses a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 producing 362bhp and 384lb ft of torque, delivered through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Making the most of its four-wheel purchase, it sprints from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds (just 0.8 seconds down on the 503bhp C63 S Coupe) and head butts the limiter at 155mph.
What’s interesting is that despite sharing its engine with the Mercedes GLE450 AMG Coupe, this car isn’t branded a halfway-house ‘AMG Performance’ model. It’s been awarded full Mercedes-AMG status – confirmed by ‘AMG’ being joined to Mercedes in the name and coming before the letter/number model designation. So it might not have the poke of the C63, but it should handle just as well.
For starters the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system has a rear-biased 31:69 torque distribution so controlled slides aren’t completely out of the question. There’s the same three-stage adaptive dampers as the C63, too, and many ‘Dynamic Select’ drive modes to choose from – Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual. The front axle gets new steering knuckles, while the brakes have swollen (compared to the standard C-Class Coupe) to 360mm at the front and 320mm at the rear.
On the outside AMG has eschewed a ‘C63-lite’ badge in favour of the less emasculating ‘BITURBO – 4MATIC’ lettering on the flanks, while the bodywork is subtly-pimped with unique exhaust pipes and a boot lip spoiler.
Like the C43’s more under-the-radar looks and performance? You’ll be able to buy from early April, starting from around £47,000 – a hefty £20,000 less than its better-endowed brother.