2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 revealed with four-cylinder power, in Australia next year


The first of the new Mercedes-AMG C-Class models has debuted, with a 300kW four-cylinder and Formula One turbo technology.

The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 – the first AMG-badged performance version of the new-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan – has been revealed, ahead of first Australian showroom arrivals in the first half of next year.

Headlining the new C43 is what’s under the bonnet, where Mercedes-AMG has ditched the prior generation’s 3.0-litre turbo V6 in favour of the A45 S hot hatch’s 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder, with mild-hybrid assistance.

If you’re holding your breath for six or eight cylinders in the full-strength C63 due in the next 12 months, exhale – it’s set to gain a higher-output turbo four-cylinder with a full plug-in hybrid system, for a kilowatt power output expected to begin with a four.

Like the SL43 roadster revealed in recent weeks, the C43’s 2.0-litre engine benefits from Mercedes-AMG’s F1-derived electric turbocharging technology, which slots an electric motor into the turbo to spin it up when exhaust gases are insufficient to do it on their own, such as at low speeds.

Mercedes-AMG says this “significantly improves the response directly from idle speed, as “even when the driver takes [their] foot off the accelerator or brakes, the technology is able to maintain boost pressure at all times”.

With the aid of a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, outputs are rated at 300kW and 500Nm – up 13kW over the outgoing V6-engined C43, but down 20Nm, packaged into a body seemingly around 30kg heavier (1765kg kerb) than the car it replaces.

The car sends drive to all four wheels through a nine-speed multi-clutch automatic transmission, for a claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds in the sedan – or 4.7s in the not-for-Australia wagon – towards a top speed of 265km/h with the optional AMG Driver’s Package.

Under the skin, performance highlights include five drive modes (Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual), adaptive dampers, variable sports steering, a sports exhaust, and rear-axle steering, which can rotate the rear wheels by up to 2.5 degrees in the opposite direction to the fronts, or 0.7 degrees in the same direction.

Filling the arches are 18-, 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels, hiding 370mm brake discs with four-piston calipers up front, and 320mm discs at the rear with single-piston calipers.

Styling differences between the C43 and standard C-Class AMG Line models include a unique grille pattern, subtly-revised lower front air intakes, new rear diffuser and side sills, and four exhaust tips.

Inside, highlights include AMG sports seats with Artico faux leather and suede, ‘standard’ genuine leather or nappa leather upholstery, a nappa leather sports steering wheel with drive mode buttons, aluminium shift paddles, and AMG pedals and floor mats.

There are also AMG-specific displays for the infotainment system and head-up display, plus an AMG Track Pace function for recording lap times.

The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 sedan is due in Australian showrooms in the first half of next year. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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