Sepang 11 May 2017 – In conjunction with 50 years of AMG, Mercedes Benz Malaysia has introduced a new AMG 43 Series range of models. The AMG 43 Series has been developed to ‘bridge’ the gap between the AMG 45 Series, which is based on the Mercedes-Benz compact models with 4-cylinder, 2.0 litre turbocharged drive trains and the more powerful AMG 63 Series which is based on the V8, 4.0 litre bi-turbo engines. Thus it is no coincidence that the drive train of the AMG 43 Series is based on a 3.0 litre V6 bi-turbo engine, fitted in the traditional front engine-rear drive configuration; however, 4MATIC (all-wheel Drive) is standard in most of the line-up.
Interestingly, we note that if a straight 4 has a capacity of 2.0 litres and a V8 (which is basically two of these 4-cylinder engines placed in a V configuration) is 4.0 litres, and now a V6 (which is three cylinders placed in a V configuration) is 3.0 litres, it seems like one common 0.5 litre cylinder multiplied four, six or eight times. I wouldn’t be surprised if the pistons, connecting rods, most of the main and con-rod bearings, plus even the shape of each combustion chamber is the same – the advantage is having common parts that give some economies of scale in production costing, and also ease of stocking parts.
The idea of having a ‘middle-of- the-road’ range however, is simple, but it is nothing short of brilliant, and now Mercedes-Benz is able to offer more AMG models in a range that is more affordable, and even perhaps more appealing to some.
The AMG 43 Series engine is designed for performance by the AMG experts. It develops an enormous 270 kW (367 hp) and 520 Nm of torque. AMG’s engine control units make the power plant extremely spirited, giving 0 to 100 sprinting capabilities of between 4.6 to 4.9 seconds. For the AMG E43 4Matic, the power is further tweaked to 295kW (401 hp) while torque is maintained at 520Nm. This I presume is to give a little more grunt to move the larger and heavier E Class body.
All the AMG 43 Series models are mated to 9G-Tronic (9-speed) transmissions which allow for multiple downshifts for fast sprints and a double declutching function in ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus modes, complete with the ‘brupp-brupp’ blipping of the engine. In manual mode, the transmission accords more control as the auto up-shift is disabled – you can bounce on the rev-limiter of you so wish. As an added bonus, the transmission also features a ‘coasting’ function which helps to save fuel. All models of the AMG 43 Series, with the exception of the SLC 43 are equipped with 4Matic (All-wheel- drive).
The AMG 43 Series features AMG Ride Control – this is sports suspension with AMG-specific components that feature continuous damper adjustments – the user can select three damping levels – “Comfort”, Sport” and “Sport Plus” – all via a button on the centre console. Some of the models are also available with damper height control.
Here are the AMG 43 Series models at a glance:-
1. AMG E 43 4MATIC – 4-Door E Class Derivative with 401 hp and 520Nm torque, 4.6 seconds 0 – 100 km/h acceleration, priced at RM658,888.00.
2. AMG SLC 43 – Roadster, 270 kW (367 hp), 520 Nm torque, 4.7 seconds 0 – 100 km/h acceleration, rear wheel drive only, Priced at RM 570,888.00.
3. AMG C 43 4MATIC – 4-Door C Class derivative, 270 kW (367 hp), 520 Nm torque, 4.7 seconds 0 – 100 km/h acceleration, priced at RM499,888.00.
4. AMG C 43 4MATIC Coupe – 2-door C Class Coupe derivative, 270 kW (367 hp), 520 Nm torque, 4.7 seconds 0 – 100 km/h acceleration, priced at RM 548,888.00.
5. AMG GLC 43 4MATIC – GLC SUV derivative, 270 kW (367 hp) 520 Nm torque, 4.9 seconds 0 – 100 km/h acceleration, priced at RM538,888.00.
6. AMG GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe – GLC SUV Coupe derivative, 270 kW (367 hp) 520 Nm torque, 4.9 seconds 0 – 100 km/h acceleration, priced at RM580,888.00.
The members of the media who attended the launch were given a short stint (1 lap on the South Circuit of SIC) of just under 3.0 kilometres – my first impressions are they are great cars, very well balanced, and very refined, maybe too refined for some. They all handled very well, and the systems are so good they even make an average driver look good. The 4MATIC all-wheel drive takes out the uncertainties in the corners, and helps tremendously in the agility and driving dynamics.
The pricing level of the AMG 43 Series seems to have been very well thought out – the price range is placed in between the AMG 45 Series and the AMG 63 Series – and while it offers an upgrade from the 45 Series users, it is also a more affordable alternative for those who find the AMG 63 Series a little too heavy on the pocketbook. I would say that Mercedes-Benz have got another winner in the stable.