Driving Me Crazy: 2019 AMG C43 Coupe

John and Laurie Wiles Automotive, Pinehurst, NC, Technology, Westchester County, NY Leave a Comment

Driving Me Crazy automotive review Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

While this car is designated as a 2019 AMG C43 Coupe, most of us would say it was a Mercedes Coupe. After reviewing the specifications, I had some questions. As most of us tend to do these days, I went the Internet to search for some answers.

While the Internet is often a pain, the fact that there is more information at your fingertips than you could possibly imagine always astounds me. I typed in “What does AMG mean?” and here’s what I got:

“AMG® is short for Aufecht, Melcher, and Großaspach, the division of Mercedes-Benz that produces performance vehicles. AMG® Stands for Engineer Hans Werner Aufrecht (A), and Engineer Erhard Melcher (M) who were partners, while Aufrecht’s birthplace of Großaspach (G) supplied the third letter in the company name. AMG® Is therefore named after the most important engineers in the company’s history; this division creates vehicles with advanced engines, aerodynamic bodies, and high-speed capabilities. Most of the vehicles it produces are similar to standard Mercedes-Benz models, but have greater capabilities. Whenever Mercedes-Benz launches a new line of vehicles, the AMG® team collaborates heavily with its designers. They pay close attention to the standard car’s performance characteristics, and develop a plan to incorporate AMG® engines and other technologies. They take into account longitudinal and lateral dynamics, driver comfort, and exterior aesthetics, making sure that enhancing the horsepower does not undermine any of these aspects. They then alter all features that need to be changed to accommodate the new performance characteristics. The engineers pay particular attention to the drivetrain, axles, brakes, dampers, and body, all of which are essential for both safety and efficiency.

This ensures that every element of the vehicle works well with all of the others, providing a smooth, consistent ride at even the highest speeds.”


2019 AMG C 43 Coupe – Brilliant Blue Metallic,

The car that Laurie and I test-drove is a step above ‘the best or nothing at all’ and a real beauty as far as form, function, AND performance. How’s that for a complete Mercedes/AMG package!

Yes, this really is a new design and performance model of Mercedes’ C class models, and ours was a coupe. We don’t often get Mercedes to evaluate, let alone the AMG versions, and the time I took to research our C43 Coupe really paid off.

There seems to be a number of advantages of the AMG models over Mercedes’ traditional line, including:

Enhanced Engines. Other than 6-cylinder engines, all Mercedes engines are manufactured by AMG® and each is handcrafted and assembled. This process contributes to higher horsepower and torque. For example, 2019 AMG C43 Coupe’s 457 hp allows you to accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 4.2 seconds. By contrast, the standard version of this model is 186 hp and takes 9.8 seconds to go the same distance. Not a big difference in normal driving conditions but it may make a difference in a difficult situation where you are passing, or being passed by, another vehicle.

Improved Interiors. To improve the interior of a Mercedes is like saying you wish you could improve the clarity of a diamond from “f” to “flawless.” You can’t. Mercedes, like Cadillac and others of that ilk, is the top-of-the-line in automotive design, inside and out, which is why they carry such a hefty price tag. This 2019 AMG C43 Coupe, however, is designed with a “sportier aesthetic,” perhaps to keep up with the competition which, in coupes and some sedans, seems to be leaning toward a younger buyer — and when we say younger, we mean, younger than us, say “thirty-somethings” into forties. They sculpted, comfortable bucket seats and alcantara — and just in case you didn’t know what ‘alcanrtara’ is (I didn’t), it is a suede-like material Mercedes uses for seat upholstery and, interestingly, also for interior trim and wrapping the steering wheel. Developed in the 1970s as a durable, long-lasting synthetic alternative to leather, it surely gets the seal of approval from the ASPCA and other “not tested on animal” advocates. What’s more, it’s likely to not crack or require the care and maintenance of leather, so it’s win-win.

Exterior Optimization. The exterior design of the car is sportier, as well, notably the larger rims which give the overall appearance of the car a certain energy. The suspension is noticeably smoother as a result of a closer fit between the transmission and the engine over standard models. This produces that varoom, varoom that distinguishes high-performance vehicles.

A number of upgrades are available, such as wheel alloys, and though this does not radically impact performance, you can customize your car to be more sporty.

The base MSRP of the Mercedes C43 coupe is $57,450. Though expensive for any base model car, with Mercedes you get a lot of bang for your buck. The car we test-drove was a Cardinal Red Metallic paint job that added $1,080 to the base price, plus a string of optional equipment that included some safety measures which we believe should be standard equipment. To us, at least, if a safety feature can save even one life, it should be the moral duty of all automotive manufactures to include that feature as standard equipment, not as an option — because saving a life should never be an option, but a responsibility. All told, the total price for our tricked out C43 coupe was $74,410. Does Mercedes hold its own in the resale market? Surprisingly, no, but that has more to do with the tsunamic of improvements and advancements in automotive design. Remember ash trays and smokers windows? I rest my point. Look at Mercedes and any other premium luxury car as an investment because properly maintained and garaged, the one you buy can last your lifetime.

Our AMG C43 Coupe was powered by a 3.0L V6 Biturbo engine, designed with two turbochargers that compress the intake charge, one on each side of the manifold (also known as parallel twin-turbos.) How does this differ from a twin turbo? A twin turbo is timed in sequence whereby one emits low rpm torque and another high, and more powerful, torque. The biturbo system has turbos of identical size that are timed in a parallel sequence. This may sound like Physics IV to you — it sure does to us — but even a glimmer of understanding is better than none at all, especially when it comes to the cars you and we drive.

There’s a lot of  oomph in a 3.0 L, V6 with 385 hp engine, as we’ve discussed, but remember, that kind of power and responsiveness requires you to do your part, too, as a proficient and responsible driver. This car is like a thoroughbred horse: it will do what you tell it to providing you handle the reins softly and don’t dig in your heels. But, say you want to really give your Mercedes free rein and take off — Mercedes Speedshift TCT 9 speed transmission and the AMG Performance 4- Matic will let you take off and have a fast, fun, and enjoyable ride.

We’ve made our point about what we think should be standard equipment (we indicate these with an asterisk *). These “extras” that add up to a sticker price of $23,000 over MSRP price: C43 19” wheels, an inch larger than standard; a 12.3- inch Digital Instrument Cluster, which is 2-inches larger than standard (remember, these measurements are taken on the diagonal); $2,500 AMG Performance Seats; a $2,300 Multimedia Package; $1,090 Parking Assistance Package* and $1,800 Driver Assistance Package* (includes Active Distance Assist*, Active Steering Assist*, Evasive Steering Assist*, Active Lane Change Assist*, Active Blind Spot Assist*, Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function*, Active Emergency Stop Assist*, and Route Based Speed Adaptation*.)

Mercedes, like Cadillac, Jaguar, Porsche, BMW, among a few others, is a measure of success in life. Got the money to buy one without mortgaging your house? Want a car that’s totally reliable and actually makes you look good behind the wheel? Check out the AMG C43 coupe. It very may well be what you are looking for.

John and Laurie WilesDriving Me Crazy: 2019 AMG C43 Coupe

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