Following the launch of the new C-Class, Mercedes-AMG has come out with a high-performance variant, the C 32 AMG, which will go on sale in Europe early next year. The compact sports sedan has impressive technical credentials: equipped with a compressor-type supercharger, the 3.2-litre V6 engine generates 260 kW/354 hp and 450 Nm of torque… numbers which outclass BMW’s latest M3 (252 kW/343 hp, 365 Nm).
The C 32 AMG replaces the successful eight-cylinder C 43 AMG and C 55 AMG models, of which a total of 4200 were made. Together with the C 36 AMG, the very first model built entirely by AMG, a total of some 9000 sports versions of the C-Class rolled out of the AMG facilities between 1994 and May 2000. Mercedes-AMG expects strong demand for the new model and aims to build about 3500 units annually.
The C 32 AMG is claimed to ‘open up a new dimension of high-torque performance’. Generating its maximum torque of 450 Nm at 4400 rpm, this supercharged V6 is distinctly apart from all current competitors in the medium sports segment. But the peak torque is only part of the story: over 400 Nm are available from just 2300 rpm and remain on tap right up to 6100 rpm. But while its output is higher than the M3, factory performance claims of 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds are identical to the BMW M3. As for top speed, electronic limitation to 250 km/h conceals the true capability.
The C 32 AMG delivers its formidable power via a 5-speed automatic transmission with tip selector. Specially enhanced shift points make for faster selection in all speed ranges. The specially tuned chassis provides sporty handling with a high level of comfort. Major differences compared with the suspension set-up on the new C 320 include retuned spring-damper units all round and a body which is approximately 30 mm lower at the front and rear axles. Precise road contact is taken care of by 17-inch AMG light alloy wheels (7.5 inches wide at the front and 8.5 inches wide at the rear). The new C 32 AMG is fitted with 225/45R17 tires at the front and 245/40R17 rubber at the rear, while the newly-developed AMG braking system has 345 x 30 mm internally-ventilated perforated disk brakes at the front and 300 x 22 mm internally-ventilated disk brakes at the rear.
The striking AMG styling has the usual visual cues which clearly link the new C 32 AMG with all the other high-performance automobiles produced by Mercedes-AMG. The powerful sweep of the front air dam with its integral fog lights, the special side-skirt panels and the muscular rear apron leave no doubt as to the dynamic qualities. There’s also a distinctive rear muffler with the characteristic AMG “dual oval” chrome tailpipe tuned to produce ‘an unmistakably sporty engine sound’.
Inside, the exclusive, stylish cabin’s high-grade appointments include a special AMG instrument cluster with a speedometer calibrated up to 300 km/h, an ergonomically-optimized AMG sports steering wheel in leather and AMG sports seats (upholstered in exclusive nappa leather as standard) which are specially shaped to provide optimum lateral support.
“As far as the direct competition is concerned, the C 32 AMG will be the benchmark for some time to come,” declared Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Head of the managerial board of Mercedes-AMG.