Mercedes widens the go-fast appeal
More power and speed for AMG’s surprisingly sharp C43 coupe and convertible
Last week we revealed the new Mercedes-Benz C43 sedan that is heading to SA later in 2018, but now the company has announced that its go-fast hotshop AMG has also punched the C43’s upgraded sedan bits into a convertible and a coupe.
The 3.0l, twin-turbo engine has picked up another 17kW of power to peak at 287kW and AMG has also tweaked the nine-speed automatic transmission for sharper, crisper gearshifts.
Like it did with the recently revealed C43 sedan, AMG has fitted a larger pair of turbochargers, with up to 1.1 bar of boost pressure to deliver the extra power, though the 520Nm torque peak is unchanged.
The 2,996cc motor helps the coupe to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds — exactly the same as the sedan — with the heavier cabriolet taking just 0.1 seconds longer to cover the same sprint.
Both cars share the same electronically limited 250km/h top speed, too, and the V6 promises flexibility, with its torque peak arriving at 2,500r/min and staying until 5,000 revs.
While AMG has yet to cite weight data for each model, the coupe claims a fuel consumption combined figure of 9.5l/100km and 217g/km of CO², while the cabriolet drinks 9.8l/100km and 223g/km.
Mercedes-AMG makes more of the transmissions improvements than it does for the engine, with the TCE 9G unit scoring (mostly) software changes aimed at stepping up its game for more enthusiastic pedal stompers.
THERE ARE VISUAL UPGRADES, INCLUDING A TWIN-LOUVRE RADIATOR GRILLE AND A PAIR OF ROUND TAIL PIPES.
It has fitted both cars with multiple-downshift function, so drivers can shift down multiple gears by simply holding in the downshift paddle on the left side of the steering wheel.
There is also a new Driver’s Package, which forces both two-door C-Classes to start in first gear, while it holds each gear in Manual mode, even if the engine hits its rev limiter.
The C43 4Matic makes use of the AMG Speedshift TCT 9G transmission, which the developers say has been tuned specifically for a dynamic driving experience. This has a model-specific software application to achieve short shift times.
The multiple-downshift function allows more spontaneous bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in Sport and Sport+ drive programmes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gearshifts in the other modes. In all modes moving off occurs in first gear to always guarantee a dynamic driving experience.
Manual mode can be selected using a separate button in the centre console. The gear changes are based on the selected drive programme, and the driver can now change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.
"With the new C43 4Matic coupé and cabriolet, we offer our customers extensively upgraded, visually and technically distinctive entry-level options into the performance world of Mercedes-AMG," Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers says.
One of those options is the AMG Track Pace system that seems incongruous on a soft-top, but it’s there nonetheless. Four-seat convertibles aren’t traditionally known for their track prowess, but we shall see.
In Sport mode, the Track Pace system becomes a virtual race engineer, farming data from 80 different areas of the car to deliver analysis of things like speed, steering angle, mid-corner lateral acceleration and track sector times, all of which it snapshots 10 times a second.
It already knows a group of the more famous racetracks, such as the Nürburgring, and can record maps in 2D and 3D as it drives them.
So that’s the sort of thing that intuitively suits the coupe rather than the convertible, though the soft-top drivers at least have an upgraded interior to play with.
Both models retain all-wheel drive, with a 69% bias towards the rear axle, and they ride on steel springs supported by active dampers, controlling the four-link front and five-link rear suspension systems.
There are 225/45 R18 front tyres with 245/40 R18s supporting the rear, though a financial consideration can see that grow to 225/40 R19 and 255/35 R19.
There are visual upgrades, including a twin-louvre radiator grille, a deeper front apron and a pair of new round tail pipes.
The interior is marked by the 12.3-inch screen of the optional fully digital cockpit, which can switch between Classic, Sport or Supersport designs.
It also boasts a new steering wheel for the speed-sensitive electro-mechanical power-steering system. The wheel, with a flat bottom, now uses touchpads on the flat-bottomed steering wheel to navigate around the instrument cluster.