The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 fulfills a promise of spicing up the all-new W206 C-Class lineup with the brand’s typical array of performance-enhancing technology. But for those who mourn the loss of the outgoing C 43’s twin-turbocharged, 385-horsepower V6 engine, we have unsettling news: The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 will do without a blown V6. Instead, Mercedes-AMG has given the new C 43 the most potent series-production four-cylinder gas engine ever built.
2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 Powertrain Tech
The naturally-aspirated inline-six-cylinder from the E46 BMW M3 has gone down in history as one of the best gasoline mills ever. I can also attest to the smoothness and low-end torque delivery of the eighth-gen S130 Toyota Crown’s 1G-FE inline-six more than the 2.2-liter four-banger. The point is six pistons – whether inline or in a V configuration – are better than four, but the 2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 begs to differ.
To appease our indifferences against the humble four-banger, Mercedes-AMG gave the new C 43 a mild-hybrid version of its almighty M139 engine. With only four cylinders and 2.0-liters of displacement, the new C 43 has 402 horsepower and a healthy 369 lb-ft. of torque.
Meanwhile, the 48-volt mild-hybrid assist churns out 13 more horsepower at lower engine speeds when the need arises. Mercedes-AMG said the C 43’s engine is the world’s first to gain turbocharging via an electric exhaust-gas blower, technology derived from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team.
The turbocharger has a 1.6-inch thin electric motor between the turbine wheel (exhaust side) and the compressor wheel (intake side). Capable of spinning up to 17,500 rpm, the electric motor helps spin the turbo during off-boost scenarios, significantly improving engine response at any rpm.
In addition, the electric turbo enables more low-end torque at lower engine speeds. Combined with two-stage gasoline injection and NANOSLIDE internals (again, derived from F1 racing), the C43’s engine is no less of a hooligan when provoked.
How Fast Is The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43?
The new Mercedes-AMG C 43 Sedan goes from zero to 60 mph in approximately 4.6 seconds and has an electronically-limited 155 mph top speed (with the optional 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, it can reach 165 mph). The new C 43 has AMG Performance 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive with a rear-biased 31:69 torque distribution to mimic the shove of a rear-wheel drive architecture.
No manual transmission is available, but the C 43 has a standard nine-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT multi-clutch automatic gearbox with recalibrated software.
Three-Stage Front & Rear Axle Steering
The Mercedes-AMG C 43 has three-stage AMG parameter steering with a “variable steering geometry ratio.” The system can adapt to any selected drive mode to minimize the steering effort at low speeds while providing better feedback when going full-throttle.
Likewise, the Mercedes-AMG C 43 has rear-axle steering with a 2.5-degree maximum steering angle. The system turns the rear wheels opposite to the front wheels up to 37 mph, but it turns in the same direction above 37 mph. Essentially, rear-axle steering shortens the car’s wheelbase, helping improve high-speed handling and low-speed maneuverability while reducing the turning circle.
With an adaptive suspension and AMG Ride Control, the Mercedes-AMG C 43 promises to combine all the attributes of sport and luxury.
Styling & Tech Features
The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 has a bespoke radiator grille (with chrome vertical struts), an AMG front bumper (with air flics), new side sill panels, an updated rear bumper, and an AMG exhaust system with two round tailpipes. Inside, it has AMG seats wrapped in black MB-Tex and microfiber, contrast red stitching, red seatbelts, and a flat-bottom AMG steering wheel (in fine Nappa leather) with perforated grip areas and aluminum shift paddles.
Other standard equipment includes illuminated door sills with AMG lettering, sport pedals, and AMG floor mats. The brand’s MBUX infotainment system consists of a 12.3-inch digital cluster and an 11.9-inch center touchscreen. Tech features like a heads-up display and the AMG Track Pace data logger remain optional.
2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 Sedan Pricing
The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 Sedan starts at $59,000. If you have questions about new vehicle financing, this auto loans 101 guide will point you in the right direction.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.