Earlier this month, Mercedes-AMG became the first manufacturer to use electric turbos in a road car with the SL43 roadster. Now, the innovative powerplant has made its way to their compact performance sedan, the C43.
Design-wise, the new C43 wears the signature AMG Panamericana grille in its front fascia and has a more aggressive front bumper to separate it from the standard C-Class models. Over at the back, the quad-exhaust design sets the C43 AMG apart from the C-Class AMG-line variants that are sporting twin tip exhausts.
The interior is largely similar to the standard C-Class models, except of course for the AMG bits such as the flat-bottom steering wheel, the sport pedals, and red contrast stitching. There's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster for the driver, and an 11.9-inch touchscreen display in at the middle for the infotainment system and vehicle controls.
As mentioned earlier, the old 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 is gone. The all-new C43 has the SL43 AMG's 2.0-liter, four-cylinder M139 engine with electric turbos, but has more power at 408 PS and 500 Nm of torque. Like the AMG roadster, the powerplant is complemented by a 48-volt hybrid system that gives an extra 14 horsepower on short bursts.
Basically, the electric turbocharger technology is derived from Mercedes-AMG's Formula One program. A 1.6-inch thin electric motor is integrated into the turbocharger shaft, which essentially reduces turbo lag by accelerating the turbine before exhaust gases take over.
The SL43 is rear-wheel driven, but the C43's 9-speed multi-clutch automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels via the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Torque-split is at 31% on the front wheels, and 69% at the back. In addition, the C43's has Sport, Sport+, Comfort, and Individual drive mode functions to go along with the mode called “Race Start”, which is effectively a form of launch control.
Mercedes says the C43 could reach 100 km/h from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds, and its top speed is limited to 250 km/h. However, when you swap out the standard 18-inch wheels for the optional 19 or 20-inch wheels, the C43 would then top 265 km/h.
The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 will arrive at U.S. dealerships later this year and will be offered in both Saloon and Estate variants.