From the small community of Affalterbach, home of Mercedes-AMG, new models are coming not previously on the AMG roster. Right now, the C43 AMG coupe and convertible (Cabriolet) are busy turning heads at the Geneva Motor Show.
“The extension of the C-Class family is another component in our growth strategy. It not only enriches the wide line-up of the C-Class family, but also starts the introduction of a whole series of new ’43’ models this year,” said Tobias Moers, Mercedes-AMG GmbH Chairman.
Moers explained the reasoning behind offering the Mercedes-AMG C43 in a convertible.
“Our new product line continues to expand at a fast pace and, with the C43 Cabriolet, we are offering a younger target group yet another alternative to discover the fascinating world of AMG,” he said.
The Mercedes-AMG C43 features a 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo, making 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft. of torque. It’s mated to a new 9G-TRONIC, 9-speed automatic transmission. 4MATIC all-wheel drive handles power distribution with a rear-biased 31 to 69 percent, front to rear axle split. The 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo had its boost pressure tweaked for better power, torque, and overall dynamics. A special coating in the cylinder liners known as Nanoslide reduces friction and cuts down on wear and tear. Interestingly enough, the same tactic is used on the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One engines.
The mantra behind the 9G-TRONIC, 9-speed automatic transmission was shorter is better. With precise software applications, AMG developers managed to substantially reduce shift time. Drivers will find the ability to downshift multiple gears at once makes for shorter and quicker bursts of speed.
The double-declutching function in “Sport” and “Sport Plus” modes provide a most thrilling ride. While “Eco” and “Comfort” do settle things down a bit, ignition adjustments create faster shifts in those two modes. A “Manual” mode is activated by a center console button. It does not shift up when the engine speed reaches redline.
AMG DYNAMIC SELECT and the 9G-TRONIC are a perfect match. The 5 different drive modes are an extension of the transmission’s capabilities, depending on driver preference. These modes uniquely modify several key parameters in the engine and steering, among others.
For example, the ECO start/stop and ‘sailing’ function help sip fuel in “Eco” mode. When the accelerator is released between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce things to an idle while further resistance is mitigated by engine overrun.
On the opposite side of the coin, “Sport Plus” is where true AMG dynamics come out. Faster and more audible gear changes result from a calculated delay in both ignition timing and fuel injection.
With all that speed, stopping is essential and the Mercedes-AMG C43 employs a large braking system to do it. Internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated at the front with a diameter of 14.2″ and 12.6″ at the rear, handle the job.
In addition, the Mercedes-AMG C43 has a new front axle, steering knuckles, and load-bearing joints on the spring link. Elastokinematic technology, taken from the Mercedes-AMG C63, is utilized on both the front and rear.
Similar to the transmission, the Mercedes-AMG C43 offers custom suspension patterns too, be it for more spirited or casual driving. With AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension, the four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints, all of which are very rigid.
Negative camber on the front axle and multi-link rear axle enhance overall lateral dynamics.
The Mercedes-AMG C43 leaves very little doubt about its roots. A pronounced front and rear apron, diamond style grille, 5-spoke, high-gloss wheels, chrome tailpipes, and brand-specific lettering decorate this newest member of the AMG family. The optional Night Package adds high-gloss black front apron trim and two black tailpipes, among other accents.
Inside, the steering wheel is wrapped in black leather with red stitching. The MB-Tex/DINAMICA microfiber is used on the upper edges of the body, armrests, door center panels, and the center console. The light tone, aluminum trim pieces outline the instrument panel and doors. An AMG instrument cluster completes the ambiance inside.
Look for the Mercedes-AMG C43 coupe and convertible to appear this fall. Pricing has not been announced as of this writing.
*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.