Mercedes-AMG reveals the new C43 4Matic – the first model to receive a newly developed mild-hybrid version of the automaker’s 2.0L gasoline 4-cyl. featuring a 48V electric architecture and electric turbocharging.
Set for North American sale later this year, the sedan from Mercedes-Benz’s performance division has been comprehensively re-engineered for the introduction of the new engine, drawing on the changes already brought to the sixth-generation C-Class launched last year.
The longitudinally mounted unit replaces the turbocharged 3.0L V-6 used by earlier C43 4Matic models.
With an electric turbocharger replacing the exhaust-gas turbocharger used in the 4-cyl. AMG engine up to now, as well as a newly configured belt-driven starter-generator to boost power momentarily under full throttle, the powerplant develops a claimed 201 hp/L, lifting the output of the 2023-model-year C43 4Matic 40 hp beyond its predecessor to 402 hp. Torque decreases 15 lb.-ft. (20 Nm) to 369 lb.-ft. (500 Nm).
The reworked AMG powerplant is based on Mercedes-Benz’s standard M270 engine, as used across the automaker’s lineup. It is assembled partially by hand at the company’s Affalterbach headquarters on the outskirts of Stuttgart in Germany.
Drive is channeled through a 9-speed MCT automatic gearbox featuring a Race Start function as well as an AMG-specific version of Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system with a 31:69 distribution of drive front to rear.
Mercedes-AMG is yet to make any acceleration claims, though it says the 155-mph (250 km/h) top speed of the 3,890-lb. (1,765-kg) C43 4Matic can be increased to 165 mph (266 km/h) with an optional Driver’s Package.
To give the model a characteristic AMG sound, the C43 4Matic receives a newly developed exhaust system. Buyers also can specify an optional AMG Real Performance Sound package that uses a synthesizer to enhance the exhaust note via the audio system.
The chassis of the standard C-Class has been extensively upgraded in the transformation to C43 4Matic. Included is a revised front axle with model-specific steering knuckles and load-bearing joints. The AMG Ride Control suspension, with a combination of double wishbones up front and multilinks at the rear, receives adaptive damping as standard.
Also included as standard on the C43 4Matic is a new AMG-tuned version of the C-Class’s rear-axle steering system. It provides a maximum 2.5-degree steering angle to the rear wheels, depending on the drive mode.
Brakes are upgraded to 14.6-in. steel discs with 4-piston calipers up front, and 12.6-in. steel discs with single-piston floating calipers at the rear.
The C43 4Matic is differentiated from the C-Class by several traditional AMG styling touches. They include a Panamericana-style grille with vertical louvers, a model-specific bumper, beefier side sills and a reworked rear bumper with a diffuser and chrome tailpipes. The new model rolls on standard 18-in. wheels but can be specified with optional 19- and 20-in. wheels.
Inside (pictured, above), there are AMG-specific digital graphics for the instrument and infotainment displays, a leather-wrapped AMG Performance flat-bottom steering wheel, AMG sport seats trimmed in artificial leather and microfiber, AMG pedals and red seatbelts among other trim changes.