Tales of performance never get old with time and the 2017 Mercedes Benz C43 AMG seems fresh and tempting even as it awaits the arrival of an even deadlier successor today!
“What is the point in featuring a car that’s currently awaiting the debut of its next generation?”
“Obviously because it bears a badge, one that reads ‘AMG’; an alphabet cluster that has been raising massive adrenaline gushes in enthusiast veins since 1967!”
With the questioner chap dumbstruck, roads lacking bustles of any sort, the tiny analogue clock on the dash having its hour and minute ‘hands’ embrace the ‘2’ and ‘12’ graduations respectively, we settled ourselves on the comfortable sports seats (a wierd combo indeed) of the 2017 Mercedes Benz C43 AMG, and in sturdy confidence raised by the Racing red seatbelts with pretensioners. With AMG induced hormone mutations, I gave the Engine start/stop button a gentle push and had the car’s 367 horses spring into life. With traction turned off, sport Plus mode engaged, and gas down, the C43 began doing what it is best at- putting on a wide grin of joy on the driver’s face.
The C43 is essentially for those folks, who are in search of a car that has in it, the true AMG genes but is more manageable and pocket friendly than the monstrous C63 S AMG. Needless to say, the C43 is a more befitting car for the Indian roads as well.
The changes on the outside are minimal as has to be the case with an AMG sedan that has its roots in a normal car. Shut your eyes to those more flared front air dams and the chunkier wheel arches, and it’s almost a regular C Class that you get to ‘see’. Missing on the C43 are the brand’s trademark flared fenders and the AMG gills. The key beauty bits up front are the gorgeous diamond style grille familiar through the CLAs, and the bold AMG badging on it while the rear gets a purposeful boot-lip spoiler, AMG special quad mufflers, and a chrome badging on the boot to flaunt the flair.
STORY ON THE INSIDE
On the inside, it is again the air of a beefed up C class. The key point to say here is that the dual tone ‘classy’ cabin of the regular car has made way for a meaner-looking all black cockpit with hair raising bits like leather upholstery with red contrast stitching, comfortable sports seats (Unlike the hard racy seats of the C63) with catchy red seatbelts, aluminium inserts and racy pedals. I personally found the textured black (or may be grey!) plastics on the inside of much use in inducing in the driver’s mind, an air of seriousness that the car deserves.
Half an hour of midnight hooning and a mere 3 blocks off the previous fuel indication, the C43 finally stopped by the highways for a coffee and a cookie or two. The roads that used to be tight packed with growling engines and howling horns all along the day now seemed deserted and longing for the company of some rubber. But before I go burn some again, let me take some time telling those few of you more about this car, who are still ignorant of it.
The C43 does the 0-100 sprint as quick as in 5.0 seconds! Yes, you read it right. So what’s under the hood of this mad little machine? Well, essentially it is the same 3.0 litre twin turbo V6 mill from the E400 sedan, but with two strong turbines and in a sportier AMG spec state of tune, making it churn out as much as 367 Hp of power and 520 Nm of torque in this car! Aiding this beastly mill in the acceleration game is the carmaker’s signature 4MATIC four wheel drive system. The 9 speed automatic gearbox is in great harmony with the engine, but isn’t as alarmingly responsive as the engine itself is.
The driving experience, is , erm… a bit too much of a thing to be effectively expressed through wordings, no matter however fine one’s linguistic skills might be. You indeed need to drive one to get the right taste of this AMG, for now let me just tell you that this car ‘has driving modes for people of all sorts!’ . The ECO mode is the most pocket friendly and ‘noob friendly’ of the lot and returns economy figures that are pretty fair for a 3.0 litre V6. The ‘Comfort’ mode literally tames the inherent beast and moulds it to the convenience of the ones at the rear seats. The next two modes are the cream of this machine, SPORT and SPORT PLUS. SPORT mode lets the car dash to three digit speeds stunningly fast. Power comes in as low as 2000 RPM and you would find it difficult to believe that there are 2 turbos mated to this V6 if you have all those stories of turbo-lag cluttering your brains before getting behind the wheel. With razor sharp, well weighed steering, thrilling shift points and throttle response and the entire V6 let free to its wills, the SPORT PLUS mode is definitely not for the faint hearted. Besides these, the car also gets an INDIVIDUAL mode, where the driver can tune the car’s essentials like suspension, throttle, shifts, etc to fit perfectly into his/her style of driving and living with the car. Performance is strong throughout the powerband that extends from 2000 rpm to a redlining 6500 rpm. Things get even more beefy at the redline with surging power and hair raising V6 symphony, don’t expect it to be as loud and intimidating as the C63’s roar however.
Moments past, I was back in the driver’s seat and ahead of me was a straight stretch of asphalt that had a couple of twisties at the vision’s end then.
RIDE AND HANDLING
As said before, the C43 is equipped with a four wheel drive system , unlike its elder sibling which is rear wheel driven. However, the 4MATIC system is tuned in such a way that it can send upto 69 percent of the net power to the rear wheels, thus giving it a sporty rear bias to have that extra bit of fun that a car of this kind should never miss. The smart all wheel drive system along with the AMG special suspension setup makes 2017 Mercedes Benz C43 AMG stay glued to the tarmac even while enduring the toughest of corners with very nominal understeer.
The ‘sports-tuned’ steering may not seem to be as ‘brutal’ as it should be on a full grown sportscar, but offers great feel and feedback for sure. The AMG spec suspension hosts a dedicated AMG Ride Control system that offers the added advantage of selectable three-stage adaptive variable damping. All these combined, did make my heart swell with confidence while taking on the twisties mentioned before.
The brakes are of exceptional efficiency on the C43 and are way larger than the ones on the regular car. Sharp bites, faster shedding speeds and your confidence levels just rocket sky high while driving the C43 AMG.
Hours past and having had the most of fun ever possible with the car, I saw myself bidding a fairly dank adieu to the moonlit night. The vibrant sunrays entailed me as I sped ahead with the destination set to the nearest fuel station in the car’s navigation system, longing for a final refuel before returning this hot AMG. Midnight dates have never been this fast, and thrilling ever before I must say, and With the C43 AMG costing somewhere north of 80 lakhs, they have never been this expensive either…
In case you haven’t come across our Skoda Octavia facelift review yet, now is your chance to give it a try !