Mercedes-Benz introduced an affordable AMG range to its already extensive lineup of luxury cars.
Before reading further, it should be noted the term “affordable” is used loosely here as the cheapest model in the range sells for R858 400.
So, if you happen to find yourself in the tax bracket that Pravin Gordhan was recently keen to get to know better and have a cool million to drop on a performance orientated sedan, coupé or SUV, then Mercedes-AMG 43 range could be the answer to your needs.
The model is being pitched as an entry into the world of AMG and Dispatch Motoring was briefly introduced to the vehicles on a whirlwind trip to Zwartkops Raceway in Gauteng this week.
Not even having the opportunity to walk around the car, I was quickly thrust into the driver’s seat of a C43 AMG sedan and had to strap on my seatbelt in double-quick time before tackling a short course on a skid pan racing against a fellow-journalist. It was loads of fun.
From there we got to complete three hot laps around Zwartkops and by the time I was finished, I was grinning from ear to ear.
The AMG 43 4Matics are equipped with a 270-kW 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine with a permanent all-wheel-drive system and sophisticated suspension adopted from the Mercedes-AMG C 63.
The result is a vehicle that is loads of fun to drive.
The new sports models are available in the C-Class range as a sedan, coupé and cabriolet. Other models in the Mercedes-AMG 43 range include the GLC and GLC Coupé, the GLE and GLE Coupé and an SLC 43 roadster.
There are a number of features that differentiate the new AMG sports models from the rest.
These include AMG body styling and Biturbo badging on the front fenders, a Mer cedes-AMG logo on the front diamond grille and “AMG” and “C 43” badging on the boot lid.
Under the hood, the engines in the 43 series models are identified by the AMG logo on the red engine cover.
Other hallmarks of these derivatives include special transmission tuning with short er shift times, AMG-specific axle designs and suspensions, powerful brake components and various other interior and exterior features to show that you’re not driving a “standard” Benz.
Importantly, the C43 sedan and coupé sounded like an AMG.
Driving in Sport+ mode they emitted a healthy growl whenever the accelerator was floored thanks to a sports exhaust system that is included standard on the entire range.
The sedan, coupé and cabriolet models that I got to drive feature 4Matic which sees power distribution of 31% to the front axle and 69% to the rear axle for better handling and traction when accelerating.
4Matic is also available on the SUVs, including the GLC and GLC Coupé, GLE and GLE Coupé.
Driving modes across the range include Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual.
I didn’t really have time to explore the interior much, but leather upholstery contrasted with red top-stitching, red safety belts and black floor mats with red edging give the cabin a sporty, yet upmarket feel.
In addition, and as at January 1, all Mer cedes-Benz passenger cars feature the “Mer cedes me connect” service.
The system – which can be downloaded to your mobile phone via an app – assists with vehicle diagnostics, vehicle breakdown or accident.
In these cases, all relevant information is sent to a support centre, and where necessary, additional assistance measures are triggered.
This could include calling your local Mer cedes dealer to book a service appointment, or summoning roadside assistance or emergency services.
The C 43s come with Mercedes-Benz’s Premium
Drive 6-years/100000km maintenance plan. Prices are as follows:
lC 43 4M sedan R858400
lC 43 4M coupé R928100
lC 43 4M cabriolet R1050300
lSLC 43 roadster R1037400
lGLC 43 4MATIC R960400
lGLC 43 4MATIC Coupé R1070900
lGLE 43 4MATIC R1206700
l GLE 43 4MATIC Coupé R1297500