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2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan: The Performance-Oriented Prom Date

Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! The latest AMG-tweaked C-Class just came out, and the basics look good: Power is up by 23 horses to 385 horsepower, the torque curve is broadened, zero to 60 times equate with a top o’the line Camaro or Mustang, and a blown V6 heading to all four wheels. Hey, isn’t that just an Audi S4 from a few years back?

I kid, I kid!

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan is its own separate animal, not to be confused with other performance sedans. It is, in short, very much worth paying attention to. As far as Americans are concerned, this is about as small and performance-slanted as Mercedes is going to get. So if you like small and fast over big and fast and want something with a three-pointed star, this is your prom date.

Power & Performance

As with all Mercedes-Benz products, this thing is screwed together like panzer, swimming in tech features, safe as a bunker, and comfy as your couch. It’s all motivated down der Bahn by a 3.0-liter V6 engine putting out the aforementioned 385 horsepower and 384 lb-ft. of torque. That grunt happens in a comfortably broad 2,500 to 5,000 rpm band, making for a zero to 60 time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. Which is electronically limited. Electronically limited? What’s up with that?!

That glorious 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine is mated to an AMG-tuned 9-speed transmission with shorter shift times. “Defined ignition adjustments,” according to Mercedes-Benz, also provide faster gear shifts.

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The AMG-spec 4MATIC four-wheel drive system has a rear-biased torque distribution, with a front/rear axle split of 31 to 69 percent. This configuration provides for higher lateral acceleration and improved traction, according to Mercedes-Benz. The single-stage transfer case of the four-wheel drive system is flange-mounted to the transmission as a separate system. Photo: MBUSA.

Exterior Design

Since this is the sporty C-Class, the exterior is not as plane-Jane as lesser brethren. A distinguishing feature is the AMG radiator grille and sculpted front bumper with additional aero flics – like how the side air curtains in the front bumper help guide the airstream, for example. The rear is also sporty looking with two round tailpipes in high-gloss chrome, and a rear bumper with its own side air curtain and diffuser to improve airflow. If that’s not enough, there’s now an optional AMG Night Package that has a more “expressive front splitter,” a reworked spoiler lip, broader side skirt inserts, and other high-gloss black treatments.

Wheelin’ & Dealin’

Also new for this year are the aerodynamically-optimized AMG light-alloy wheels. You get your choice: The AMG wheel with five twin spokes painted in tremolite grey with a high-sheen finish, size 7.5″ x 18″ with 225/45 R 18 tires at the front, and 8.5″ x 18″ with 245/40 R 18 tires at the rear – or – a different aero-design with five twin spokes, painted with accents in tantalite grey – or – high-gloss black in size 7.5″ x 19″ with 225/40 R 19 tires at the front, and 8.5″ x 19″ with 255/35 R 19 tires at the rear.

Got all that? Good.

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The AMG Ride Control suspension is a hallmark of the new C43 Sedan. The basis is formed by the 4-link front axle and independent multi-link rear suspension. The AMG-specific kinematics and elastokinematics, with newly developed components, result in high camber stability when cornering. Further, the axial brake connection on the front axle allows for more precise handling. Photo: MBUSA.

Interior Treatments

Naturally the interior of the new Mercedes-AMG C43 has been reworked. Leather, DINAMICA microfiber, and aluminum are everywhere. Optional AMG Performance Seats provide lateral support along with heating and ventilation in three levels. The door center panels and dashboard are finished in MB-Tex with red topstitching. Aluminum sport pedals with black studs, trim elements in Natural Grain Black Ash Wood and Brushed Aluminum, the black roof liner, and the red seat belts finish off the sporty interior particulars.

More Options? Oh, you got options. Trim elements in Natural Grain Walnut Wood & Aluminum and Natural Grain Grey Oak Wood, if sir or madam would like. There is also the optional Dark Brown Linden Wood trim, an AMG trim in Carbon Fiber/Aluminum, and something called AMG Silver Fiber Glass. Upholstery options are equally as numerous.

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Standard on the new C43 Sedan is a 10.25-inch media display with a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels. Photo: MBUSA.

Share & Compare

And most interesting of all? The data logger. The AMG C43 now comes with an on-board system for recording performance data when driving on race tracks called AMG Track Pace. It provides a wealth of vehicle-specific data recorded ten times per second. The system allows you to slice and dice your performance on any given track (many are already pre-installed) and share your experiences and data with other AMG drivers via Facebook, YouTube or the AMG Private Lounge. No, seriously.

In Person & Availability

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan will be seen in the flesh at the Geneva International Motor Show until the 18th before arriving in U.S. dealerships by the end of this year.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Gallery

Photos & Source: MBUSA.