C-Class gymnast ready for competition
The halfway AMG C-Class at last finds its own poise and authority
I never quite connected with the original Mercedes-AMG C43. It wasn’t a bad car — the opposite, in fact — but neither was it an AMG. The most obvious jagging piece of un-AMG-ness was the engine, not each built by hand by an artisan in Affalterbach, but by worker bees on a standard Daimler production line. There was an understandable backlash among those in the know. Among buyers who wanted in to the whole AMG thing but didn’t need-couldn’t afford a raucous, lecherous biturbo V8, it quickly found a bulging world of its own. Now the C43 AMG is even better than it was. It’s still not quite as ultimately engaging as the best sports sedans in the segment, but it’s now a credible step up between the mainstream Benz-badged stuff and that belting bellower of a C63. And because the rest of the C-Class range is getting a facelift, so is the C43 — in sedan, coupe and cabriolet forms. It’s highly unusual for AMG to punch them all out at the same time. Its upgrade means more power, a few fiddles...