The mildly facelifted look of the 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 hides a wealth of changes to the company’s second-hottest C-Class.
Slotting below the manic C63 model in the Mercedes-AMG ranks of fettled mid-size sedans, the C43 gets a sizeable power bump as part of the broader mid-life revamp of the C-Class range, plus there’s a bunch of new kit added.
The C43’s 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine now churns out 287kW of power at 6100rpm, an increase of 17kW. Peak torque is stable at 520Nm, and remains available from 2500-5000rpm. That little bump is a result of the C43 now adopting the same, larger turbochargers used on the bigger E43 model, but even so there is no change to the C43’s 0-100km/h time: the sedan jumps from 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds, while the Estate / wagon now runs the sprint in 4.8sec.
The C43’s 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine now churns out 287kW of power at 6100rpm.
Despite that, Mercedes-AMG claims it has tuned the software of the nine-speed automatic transmission for quicker shift times. The C43 model remains all-wheel drive (with the standard front to rear ratio of 31:69), and the company’s adaptive adjustable suspension has been tweaked for better cornering stability.
Fuel use on the new European cycle (NEDC) sees the sedan claim a maximum usage of 9.3L/100km and the wagon a maximum of 9.6L/100km – both of which are higher than Aussie models are claimed to use in their current guise: 8.2L/100km for the sedan and 8.3L/100km for the wagon.
Styling changes are relatively limited at a glance, but there are Benz’s new LED Multibeam headlights, a new twin-louvre grille in matt silver, and a revised front bumper with new aero flics and the company’s ‘air curtain’ side vent sections on the bumper that feed air over the wheels to help cool the brakes.
At the back there are now quad round tailpipe trims in high-gloss chrome (they are mounted to the bumper, not the muffler itself), the new C-Class tail-lights with the LED ‘C’ signature, and a new diffuser. There are new 18- and 19-inch wheels that have been revised for better aerodynamics – Aussies will see 19s standard.
Buyers can now also get an AMG styling package with a more aggressive front and rear bumpers, a lower spoiler lip at the front, wider side skirts and added flics (canards) at the rear.
The interior sees a new AMG flat-bottom steering wheel in nappa leather, with the E-Class-derived ‘Touch Control’ buttons on the wheel controlling the fully digital instrument cluster (which is new) and media system. New AMG menus are available on the driver info screen, including different display styles ‘Classic’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Supersport’.
More data is available to the driver, too: engine and transmission oil temperature and boost; the status of systems such as the powertrain, suspension, exhaust system, stability control; a G-force meter; a race timer with stopwatch for lap times; and engine data such as power and torque.
New AMG menus are available on the driver info screen, including different display styles.
The car carries over the ‘Dynamic Select’ drive programs ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’, ‘Sport+’ and ‘Individual’, plus there’s a fifth setting known as ‘Slippery’, designed for icy/snowy roads.
There’s a new media screen which is broader than the one used in the predecessor, a 10.25-inch unit with satellite navigation and smartphone mirroring tech. Plus Mercedes-Benz has added a bit from the S-Class, with the optional availability of ‘Energizing Comfort Control’, a system that can adjust the ‘mood’ of the car – changing ventilation, heating, music and lighting.
On the topic of heating and ventilation, the C43 now has the same seats used in the AMG GT C Roadster, meaning sporty leather numbers with adjustable bolstering, heating, cooling and the company’s neck-level (air scarf) heating.
“As the most successful model series for Mercedes-AMG, the C-Class family in all its facets has made a major contribution to our corporate success,” said Tobias Moers, chairman of Mercedes-AMG.
“One major component in this success story was the implementation of the 43-series models, which have thrilled our customers worldwide since the market launch in 2015.
“The high demand and positive feedback have encouraged us to sharpen up not only the appearance of the facelift, but also its performance, efficiency and dynamism in true AMG style,” he said.
Mercedes-Benz Australia has confirmed the C43 sedan and wagon models will arrive in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2018. Full pricing and specifications will be made available closer to launch.