There comes a time in every man’s life when he yearns for a two-door car. Whether you are in the grip of a midlife crisis or millennial FOMO, you will want to rock a coupé at some point – and what is better than the all-new Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupé?
The model has been refreshed for 2019. Revised and improved, but still very much a product of the base car’s DNA, the new C43 Coupé is a stunning specimen. With only the wings and the long bonnet in common with its forbears, the 2019 version has a striking front section, starting with its diamond radiator grille and lines that flow seamlessly to the bold and powerful-looking rear.
The grille’s new double- wing design is much closer in appearance to the AMG C63’s, the new front bumper is more aggressive, and the rear features a pronounced diffuser element. Its suspension is also 15mm lower while its dropping line extends further past the rear wheel arch, giving it a sportier disposition. A high beltline and frameless doors add a loungey character to the vehicle.
The new cabin design is just as striking as the exterior. Super comfy seats in high-quality leather, plenty of legroom, and glossy as well as shiny surfaces are just some of the elements that allow this model to live up to the brand name. In terms of technology, the Burmester sound system provides a listening experience almost on par with that of a concert hall.
There is a 10.3-inch central infotainment screen, a newly available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a new steering wheel that features touch-sensitive switches on its spokes. The driver-assistance systems are elevated nearly to the level of the S-class, with steering assist and the ability to perform lane changes with the touch of the turn-signal stalk.
Since this is an AMG, it is more powerful than the old C43, putting out 390hp (23hp more than the old model). However, the torque remains the same, 520Nm available between 2500 to 5000rpm. With AMG’s nine-speed torque converter auto sending drive to all four wheels, the C43 Coupé can complete the dash to triple figures in 4.7 seconds. Acceleration, whether from a standstill or on the move, is effortless while the steering, with added weight thanks to Sport+, feels razor-sharp and pinpoint accurate. So, despite it being more of a luxury sports car, it still packs a punch and lets you hit the open road with ease.
Get this car a little off the beaten path, and you will certainly start to notice the ride quality. Even though this is the entry-level AMG in the C-Class coupé line-up, it is still much firmer than the C 300. If you are looking for a classic, soft Mercedes ride, go for C 300 Coupé, but if you are looking for a machine that is a lot steadier and stronger, C43 Coupé is the answer. The drive is direct, shifts are snappy whether going up or down, and its directness is great, too.
Despite having less heft, the car does not feel light on its feet when taking corners and changing lanes. It is stable and powerful with good understeering and capable of offering a good drive in the city while being an excellent cruiser.
Overall, the latest iteration of the C43 Coupé is a lovely car with great features and design. It is perfect for those who have never owned a coupé. It’s also a perfect introduction for those looking to ascend into the higher echelons of Mercedes’s more refined pieces. More importantly, it can more than hold its own against its competitors’ higher range models because of its versatility and power.
This story first appeared in the November ’19 issue of Men’s Folio.