The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 has just been unveiled as a potent version of the recently-unveiled C-Class, but do note that this isn’t the replacement for the C63 that was powered by a twin-turbo V8 just yet. Instead, this replaces the previous-generation C43 that used to come with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6.
For this iteration, the 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 now comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid architecture. Part of this architecture is an electric turbocharger that has the ability to instantly spool when more power is needed, thus significantly reducing turbo lag. The mild-hybrid powertrain also provides the C43 with an additional 14 hp under hard acceleration, along with a “sailing” function on highways under light throttle applications.
With this powertrain, the C43 actually makes more horsepower than the previous V6-powered model, producing 402 hp (+17 hp), though torque is lower at 480 Nm (-40 Nm). This is sent through a nine-speed automatic, and it lets this all-wheel drive (AWD) sports sedan and wagon sprint from 0-100 kph in just 4.6 seconds.
While there’s no denying the fact that this four-cylinder engine puts out impressive figures, will it be enough to offset the fact that it now doesn’t come with a soundtrack to match its six-cylinder rivals from BMW and Audi? Mercedes says that the C43’s Adaptive Exhaust System adjusts its sound depending on the selected drive mode, engine speed, and engine load. If that won’t be enough for you, Mercedes will offer you the AMG Real Performance Sound system, which basically pumps in engine noise through the cabin electronically.
As for handling, the 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 comes wih AMG steel springs with adaptive dampers as stadard. As mentioned, this sports sedan and wagon is AWD, and it has a 31:69 front:rear split, making it very rear-biased. In addition, the C43 comes with rear-wheel steering as standard.
Of course, if you’re packing this much performance in a compact luxury sedan (and wagon), you definitely want the world to know you’re driving a much more special version of the C-Class. Setting the C43 apart from the standard model are its exterior details that include AMG’s signature Panamericana grille, sportier front and rear bumpers, bigger alloy wheels with various design choices, quad-exhaust pipes, and a “Turbo Electrified” badge at its side, showcasing the car’s electric turbocharger.
Inside, the 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 comes as standard with AMG sports seats wrapped in Artico faux leather and microfiber, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and a dashboard that’s wrapped in Artico faux leather. The car’s two digital screens for the MBUX infotainment system come with AMG-specific displays, such as an AMG Track Pace data logger that measures lap times, speed, acceleration, and G-forces, just to name a few. Finally, the interior of the C43 comes with various red elements, along with the option to add carbon fiber inlays.
The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 is expected to go on sale later this year in North America and Europe before eventually being launched elsewhere around the world.