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[Behind the Wheel] 2019 Mercedes-AMG C 43 is back, sportier, more powerful

LUXEMBOURG -- Mercedes-Benz’s No.1 best-selling model worldwide, the new C-Class is back with a revamped design, engine and safety systems, three years after the release of the fifth generation.

Out of nearly 12,000 components that make up the car, some 6,500 parts have been replaced, making the latest face-lift the most extensive for the C-Class so far, amid increasing competition with rivals in BMW’s 3-Series, Audi S4 and Volvo S60. 

Mercedes-AMG C 43 coupe (Mercedes-Benz Korea)
Mercedes-AMG C 43 coupe (Mercedes-Benz Korea)
Members of the media had the opportunity to test ride the new Mercedes-AMG C 43 coupe over two days to and from Luxembourg airport and the Moselle region in Germany.

The biggest change in terms of exterior design is the grille and headlamps of the new C 43.

Compared to the previous singe horizontal bar, the twin blades crossing the grille with an AMG logo to the right makes for a younger and sportier look.

Finishing a simplified front design, standard light-emitting diode daytime lamps and optional multibeam LED headlamps are offered for the first time in the lineup.

While driving and gliding up curvy roads, the sharp and bright red two-door coupe profile blended well in the green hilly landscape of the Moselle region, surrounded by vineyards.

Behind the wheel, the new C 43 coupe offered a comfortable yet powerful driving experience that could be described as a level between the stiff C 43 cabriolet and familiar C300 sedan.

Powered by a 3.0 liter V6 biturbo engine, the new C 43 coupe quietly and quickly accelerated to 100 kilometers per hour from a standstill in less than five seconds.

Backed by the AMG Speedshift TCT 9G transmission, the coupe sped up smoothly to over 200 kilometers per hour on German roads, barely noticeable for the passenger that the vehicle had reached such high speeds.

The official maximum horsepower of the new C 43 coupe is 390, which has been increased by 23 horsepower from the previous model, the company explained.

The new C 43 produces up to 53 kilogram-meters of torque and a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour.

The new AMG steering wheel has a flattened bottom along with black and red leather interior, adding an extra touch to the freshened look.

The perforated grip was helpful in gripping the rather heavy steering wheel, but could be a downside in South Korea, where drivers are used to relatively lighter steering wheels.

The center display screen at the top of the console operated by a controller, placed in front of the arm rest, was another feature difficult to use.

Mercedes-Benz has been pushing forward with its controller-operated display rather than a finger touch screen for improved safety. 

Mercedes-Benz new 2019 C-Class lineup (Mercedes-Benz Korea)
Mercedes-Benz new 2019 C-Class lineup (Mercedes-Benz Korea)
According to the company, around every fifth vehicle Mercedes-Benz sells is C-Class, and the carmaker seems to be on the path to retaining it sales figure with the new lineup. 

By Kim Bo-gyung
Korea Herald correspondent 
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