Having driven the Mercedes C43 AMG 4-MATIC Convertible to Clarens recently, which is the first open top member of the C-Class family, it certainly ticked a lot of boxes for me. It did not come without some challenges, in the form of a smaller boot, to obviously accommodate the top when it is down, and being a two door car, when having three people present could also become tedious. However, this was not the case at all, the boot area of 250-350L was big enough for luggage, for said amount of people, and the two-door option lends the C43 AMG an air of panache as well. To cap it all it has 4-MATIC, so handling was sublime through the various mountain roads we tackled, to get to the delightful little town of Clarens.
The C43 4-MATIC AMG is an impressive looking car indeed. Very sporty looking, with top up, or top down, it carries the distinctive AMG livery and has specific light-alloy wheels. The AMG design includes the front apron with sporty distinctive air intakes, diamond meshes, silver chrome trim, as well as the rear apron with matt iridium silver diffuser insert. The diamond radiator grille features chrome-plated pins, a louvre in high-gloss black and AMG lettering.
Below this, the silver chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules. The AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, really make the C43 AMG pop. Size 225/45 R 18 tyres on 7.5 x 18 light-alloy wheels are fitted at the front, while the rear axle comes with 245/40 R 18 tyres on 8.5 x 18 wheels. The C43 certainly had its admirers, and many people asked me about the car in Clarens.
The interior was very comfortable, and this was taking into account a four hour trip each way. Top class leather with AMG styling on the very comfortable seats with contrasting red seat belts, and there was sufficient, but not a lot of room in the back seat. My two ladies are fairly petite, and they were happy with the space.
The dash area has the circular signature Merc vents with a sporty and quite chunky steering wheel, and soft touches are everywhere.
The AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant information in a clearly arranged layout optimised for a dynamic driving style. An authentic sports car look and feel is provided by two tube-shaped round dials, 11.4 cm (4.5-inch) multifunction colour display, RACETIMER and 280 km/h scale in chequered-flag design.
We found the drive to be more quiet than expected, as you would expect some road noise with the soft top. The top came down efficiently and quickly, and of course offered an enjoyable style of driving if you like the open air.
Being a performance AMG model, you would expect the C43 AMG 4-MATIC to be quick, and it is in spades. To me it handled like a dream, without the huge torque that the C63 AMG has, it has plenty of power & the 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine delivers impressive performance with its 270 kW maximum power and peak torque of 520 Nm: sprinting from rest to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, its speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h.
With the 4-MATIC all wheel drive, the car never felt that it couldn’t handle the power delivery, and it was pin point around the mountain bends. I drove this car on the track at Zwartkops as well, and it handled with aplomb. The fuel consumption was good, not the 8.3 l/100km claimed by the manufacturer, but we got a creditable 9.1 L doing some good test driving over various speeds.
It comes with a 9-TRONIC Auto gear shift, which is smooth as silk. The drive modes of ECO, COMFORT, SPORT , SPORTPLUS & INDIVIDUAL, give you a range of different drive styles, and to be fair, I preferred comfort all the way. It gave the performance needed and the comfort we wanted. But if it was a growl that you wanted, flip a switch and you have a tiger in SPORT MODE. The paddles on the steering wheel give you a chance to keep the C43 AMG in the correct rev range for optimal performance.
Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC Cabriolet Facts.
Engine V6 biturbo
Displacement 2996 cc
Output 270 kW
at 5500-6000 r/min
Peak torque 520 Nm
at 2000-4200 r/min
Fuel consumption, NEDC combined 8.4-8.3 l/100 km
CO2 emissions 194 g/km
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 4.8 sec
Top speed 250 km/h*
Mercedes-AMG C 43 Cabriolet R1.050,300
As with all Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars the Mercedes-AMG C 43 Cabriolet comes standard with the 6-years/100 000 km PremiumDrive maintenance plan.
Personally, even though I enjoyed the option of the soft top, I would buy the hard top as I have a better appreciation of a car with more dampening. However, I drove a competitor model a week after the C43 AMG, and the latter was streets ahead.