A few weeks ago, Mercedes-Benz announced a mid-cycle refresh for the base C-Class sedan, but not for the AMG variants. It seemed Mercedes was holding back somewhat as they announced today a refreshed version of the C43 will debut this week at the Geneva Motor Show.
Being an AMG model, let's begin with performance. The twin-turbo 3.0L V6 comes with larger turbos that boost horsepower to 385 - up 23 from last year's model. Torque remains at 384 pound-feet. A nine-speed automatic transmission routes power to all four-wheels via Mercedes-AMG’s rear-biased 4Matic AWD system. No improvement in the C43's performance figures - the run to 60 mph still takes 4.6 seconds.
Like the standard C-Class, the C43's exterior sees some minor changes with new bumpers, lighting, and 18-inch wheels. A set of 19-inch wheels are optional. The interior comes with a new steering wheel featuring touch control buttons, and a larger 10.25-inch screen for the COMAND infotainment system.
No word on pricing, but the 2019 C43 arrives at Mercedes-Benz's dealers later this year.
Press Release is on Page 2
The new 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
- Enhanced performance and a design update for the bestseller
Mar 5, 2018 – Affalterbach: With four body variants globally (three available in the US market), three output levels and two drive types, the C-Class is the most versatile and most successful model series from Mercedes-AMG. Extensive measures now make the entry-level 2019 C43 Sedan even more attractive. The AMG radiator grille in a twin-louver design, powerfully sculpted front bumper and the new rear bumper with round twin tailpipe trim elements visibly enhance the new C43 Sedan and give it an even more distinct positioning. The interior benefits from an optional fully digital cockpit with unmistakable AMG displays and the new-generation of AMG steering wheels. The AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo now delivers 385 hp. Together with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission and rear-biased AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the engine combines agile driving dynamics with comfort on long journeys.
"As the most successful model series for Mercedes-AMG, the C-Class family in all its facets has made a major contribution to our corporate success. One major component in this success story was the implementation of the 43-series of models, which have thrilled our customers worldwide since the market launch in 2015. The high demand and positive feedback have encouraged us to sharpen up not only the appearance of the facelift, but also its performance, efficiency and sportiness in true AMG style," says Tobias Moers, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
For this the AMG development engineers have increased the output of the 3.0-liter V6 engine by 23 hp to 385 hp. The peak torque of 384 lb-ft is available from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. This package guarantees impressive performance figures: the new C43 Sedan accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds (est.). The top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph.
Sporty and distinctive: the exterior design
The exterior of the C43 Sedan is considerably more expressive, even more strongly identifying the new model as a member of the family. New distinguishing features include the AMG radiator grille with twin louver in matt iridium silver and the powerfully sculpted front bumper with additional flics. The side air curtains in the front bumper help with optimum guidance of the front airstream. The attachment on the cross fins plus the trim element on the front splitter are finished in silver chrome.
The rear view also conveys a sporty impression with two round twin tailpipe trim elements in high-gloss chrome. The rear bumper with side air curtain and the significantly more expressive diffuser improve air flow characteristics at the rear. The spoiler lip on the trunk lid is painted in the vehicle color.
The optional AMG Night Package creates highlights which are even sportier: a more expressive front splitter, the standard-fit spoiler lip, broader side skirt inserts and flics in the rear bumper are finished in high-gloss black.
Enhanced for aerodynamic efficiency: new AMG wheels
When viewed from the side, eye-catching features include the sporty side skirts plus new, aerodynamically optimized AMG light-alloy wheels. Their specifically designed outer aero rings and spoke geometry which has been optimized in the wind tunnel help to improve air flow around the wheels and thus increase aerodynamic efficiency. As part of this the developers aimed for the optimum combination of aerodynamics, weight and brake cooling, together with maximum performance and reduced fuel consumption.
There is a choice of three aerodynamically optimized rim designs for the C43 Sedan: the standard specification includes the AMG wheel with five twin spokes painted in tremolite grey with a high-sheen finish, in size 7.5" x 18" with 225/45 R 18 tires at the front, and 8.5" x 18" with 245/40 R 18 tires at the rear. As an option there is another aerodynamic design with five twin spokes, painted with accents in tantalite grey or high- gloss black with a high-sheen finish, in size 7.5" x 19" with 225/40 R 19 tires at the front, and 8.5" x 19" with 255/35 R 19 tires at the rear.
Sporty look with model-specific details: interior design
The interior reinforces the dynamic caliber of the new C43 Sedan with numerous individual details. Sporty materials such as leather, DINAMICA microfiber and aluminum in a high-quality finish continue the theme of the expressive exterior in the interior.
The optional AMG Performance Seats provide optimum lateral support when adopting a dynamic driving style thanks to the special design of the seat side bolsters of the seat cushion and backrest. The AMG Performance Seats with integrated head restraints emphasize the sporty character of the cockpit. For the first time in the C43 Sedan, the AMG Performance Seats can not only be heated, but is now ventilated in three levels in conjunction with leather upholstery.
The upholstery in MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber in black with red topstitching equally underscores the dynamic driving character of the C43 Sedan. Matching the seat design, the door center panels and dashboard are finished in MB-Tex with red topstitching. Aluminum sports pedals with black studs, trim elements in Natural Grain Black Ash Wood and Brushed Aluminum, the black roof liner and the red seat belts create further sporty highlights.
Comprehensive individualization options
As an option there is a comprehensive choice of individualization options. New features include trim elements in Natural Grain Walnut Wood & Aluminum and Natural Grain Grey Oak Wood. On top of these there is the familiar Dark Brown Linden Wood trim and AMG trim in Carbon Fiber / Aluminum and AMG Silver Fiber Glass. In terms of upholstery, as an option there is leather in black, black with red topstitching, cranberry red / black and also as a new highlight saddle brown / black.
A fine combination available from the designo range comes with diamond quilting in saddle brown / black and platinum white pearl / black, which can likewise be combined with the AMG Performance Seats.
Interior with innovative display concept and operating system
Whether with touchpad and Controller, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel or via voice entry, the operating system of the C43 Sedan is just as versatile as it is flexible. All options are aimed at enabling the control tasks to be carried out as conveniently, quickly and appropriately to the situation as possible in this sporty environment.
Just as flexible is the display of the optional, fully digital instrument cluster with 12.3-inch screen diagonal, which brings the vehicle functions directly to life with the three AMG-specific display styles of "Classic," "Sport" or "Supersport."
A host of additional AMG information
Via the specific AMG menu, the driver is able to call up a host of additional information to make the driving experience even sportier:
- Warm-up: engine and transmission oil temperature plus charge pressure as Boost display
- Setup: current status of systems such as the drive system, suspension, exhaust system, ESP® and transmission
- G-Force: display of current g-forces in a coordinate system and ability to save maximum values
- Race Timer: manual stopwatch for lap times and color display of fastest and slowest laps, plus average speed and distance
- Engine Data: engine torque / rated output in a bar chart plus charge pressure as Boost display
In addition, there is a digital display of the current speed and the currently engaged gear. The manual transmission mode is marked with a yellow "M."
The visualizations in the central media display likewise enable further vehicle functions to be experienced even better, for example, with animated presentation of the driving assistance, vehicle and communication systems. Standard fitment on the new C43 Sedan is a 10.25-inch media display with a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels.
New generation of AMG steering wheels
Extremely sporty design, a grippy shape with a heavily contoured rim and intuitive operation are the key attributes of the new AMG steering wheel in nappa leather, which comes as standard equipment. It has a flattened bottom section and is perforated in the grip area. The galvanized steering wheel gearshift paddles support a sporty driving style with manual gear shifting. As an option it is also available in nappa leather / DINAMICA microfiber and in nappa leather with trim in black piano lacquer.
The built-in Touch Control buttons are a new feature. These can be used to control the functions of the instrument cluster (left) and the multimedia system (right) by means of horizontal and vertical swiping movements of the finger. As in the S-Class, the settings for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and cruise control are made in the left control panels. The control panels on the right are used to activate the voice control and telephone, and to regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the multimedia system.
Well-proven and powerful: the AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine
The AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine boasts a high power output combined with low fuel consumption and emissions. The high power output is in part courtesy of separate, larger turbochargers (max. charge pressure 16 psi). Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers are especially spontaneous in their response. The AMG power unit can be identified by the engine cover with red aluminum insert and AMG lettering.
AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission with shorter shift times
The C43 Sedan makes use of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission, which the Mercedes-AMG developers have tuned specifically for a dynamic driving experience. This has a model-specific software application to achieve very short shift times.
The multiple downshift function allows more spontaneous bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in "Sport" and "Sport+" drive programs makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gear shifts in the other modes. In all modes moving off occurs in first gear in order to always guarantee a dynamic driving experience.
"Manual" mode can be selected using a separate button in the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected drive program, and the driver can now change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.
Characteristics at the touch of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
With the proven DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport+" and "Individual," the characteristics of the C43 Sedan can be customized at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. This modifies key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The suspension set-ups can also be selected specifically on demand.
The fifth mode "Slippery" is new, and is identified by means of the snowflake symbol. The moderate and even power delivery is specially programmed for slippery or snow-covered road conditions.
Rear-biased and agile: AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive
The standard-specification AMG Performance 4MATIC four-wheel drive features rear-biased torque distribution with a front/rear axle split of 31 to 69 percent. This configuration provides for enhanced driving dynamics and higher lateral acceleration on the road as well as improved traction when accelerating. The single-stage transfer case of the four-wheel drive system is flange-mounted to the transmission as a separate system.
This configuration makes it easier to modify the torque split for each particular model, allowing even more individual characteristics for the respective model series. Its compact design means that it does not entail any space restrictions for passengers or luggage.
With adaptive adjustable damping: AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension
With its adjustable, electronically controlled damping system, the AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension of the C43 Sedan provides both sporty driving dynamics and brand-typical comfort on long journeys. The basis for this is formed by the 4-link front axle and independent multilink rear suspension. The AMG-specific kinematics and elastokinematics with newly developed components result in very high camber stability when cornering at speed. The axial brake connection on the front axle supports the agile and precise handling.
The adaptive adjustable damping comes as standard. This fully automatic, electronically controlled system adjusts the damping at each wheel to the current requirements. This improves driving safety and ride comfort. The damping is adjusted individually for each wheel, and depends on the driving style, the road surface and the selected suspension setting. The ideal operating point can be selected at all times on the basis of a broad scope of information relating to acceleration or vehicle speed, for example. Via a switch on the center console, the driver can select between three different sets of damper characteristics, namely "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport+," and thus individually influence the driving experience — from highly comfortable to sportily taut.
Direct and with clear feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering
The electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering has a variable ratio. It impresses with its precise, authentic feedback. The steering servo assistance is reduced at high speeds and continuously increases at lower speeds. This means that comparatively little steering force is required at low speeds, and that the best possible control over the vehicle is maintained at high speeds. The steering servo assistance depends on the selected suspension setting. In "Sport" mode, more feedback is conveyed about the driving conditions.
Data logger for use on the race track: AMG TRACK PACE
As the virtual race engineer for recording data when driving on closed-off race tracks, AMG TRACK PACE provides a significantly extended and even more precise scope of functions. TRACK PACE can be ordered as an option for the COMAND Online infotainment system.
When this function is activated, a wealth of vehicle-specific data (e.g. speed, acceleration) are recorded ten times per second while driving. On top of this there are displays of lap and sector times and also the respective difference for a reference time. Because specific display elements light up in green or red, the driver is able to see at a glance, without reading numbers, whether he/she is currently faster or slower than the best time.
After fast laps on the racetrack, driving skills can be analyzed and improved on the basis of the data. In addition, acceleration and deceleration values (e.g. 0-60 mph, ¼ mile, 60-0 mph) can be measured and saved. Thanks to a new developed algorithm which determines the vehicle position as precisely as possible, TRACK PACE even detects when the circuit is departed from or shortened. Alongside GPS data, the sensors available in the vehicle (acceleration, gyroscope, steering angle, wheel speeds) are used. The points of data are displayed on the multimedia display, in the instrument cluster and on the head-up display. Known race tracks, for example the Nürburgring, are already stored.
Furthermore, it is also possible to record your own circuits. The map display can be switched from 2D to 3D and updated online. A suitable iPhone app can also be connected via WiFi. Customers can use it to share their experiences and data from the race track with other AMG drivers via Facebook, YouTube or the AMG Private Lounge.
The 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan will make its debut at the Geneva International Motorshow before arriving in US dealerships by the end of the year.
Technical data at a glance
Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo
385 hp at 6,100 rpm
384 lb-ft at 2,500-5,000 rpm
AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution (31 / 69)
AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission
Acceleration 0-60 mph
4.6 s (est.)
130 mph (electronically limited)