Mercedes-AMGs have always been about their engines, and having pulled the wraps off their first high-performance interpretation of the W206 C-Class - surprise surprise - it’s powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder.
More specifically, the 2022 C 43 4Matic for 2022 is now also a mild-hybrid, using a 48-volt electrical architecture to deliver some efficiency and performance gains which we’ll get into shortly.
An important addition here is, as the recent SL 43, the use of a turbocharger that uses an electric motor to artificially spool up, eliminating turbo lag and vastly improving responsiveness.
Over the W205-based car it replaces, power has actually risen to 410PS (+20PS) with the electric-starter generator able to spool the turbo for a brief overboost to an additional 14PS, though peak torque is lower at 500Nm (-20Nm).
With that precedent set, it’s pretty much a certainty that four-cylinders are about as much as we can expect for the forthcoming C 63, following the A 35 and A 45 duo that brought true supercar pace to the A-Class platform.
Like the unit found in the newest entry-level Mercedes-AMG SL, the engine found in the new 2022 C 43 is but a modified version M139 that premiered in the A 45, tweaked to feature that electric turbocharger and a longitudinal layout.
As ever with any fast Merc, it delivers its fury to all four wheels via the 4Matic permanent AWD system with a 31:61 front/rear torque split and an MCT 9-speed automatic transmission.
Affalterbach’s fabled engine works division seemed to have had to severely cut back on producing some of the most beloved V8 and V12 engines of the modern era, now relegated to partially hand assembling performance derivatives of Mercedes-Benz’s engines based on the widely used M270 four-pot.
All we know is that the optional Driver’s Package will raise top speed, most likely through a software update to disable the electronic limiter, to 265km/h from the standard 250km/h.
They’ve tried to give it some added vigour with a modified sports exhaust but have insultingly paired that with something called the AMG Real Performance Sound package to blast synthesised engine notes into the cabin via the sound system.
We can already sense some of the magic being sapped. And this sense of paradise lost will only deepen when the C 63 inevitably arrives with an even more boosted version of that same 2.0-litre engine, probably as a plug-in hybrid.
Given the added power via more aggressive turbocharging and weight advantages of a smaller engine, we’re very sure the all-new 2022 C 43 4Matic would spank the older model on pretty much every metric despite AMG so far not releasing any numbers to back this up just yet.
The 2022 C 43, more encouragingly, has been treated to a revised front-axle with bespoke steering knuckles and load-bearing joints, double-wishbone front suspension, multi-link rear suspension, and adaptive dampers with AMG Ride Control.
Even better, AMG has tuned the C-Class’ all-wheel steering system to further enhance the car’s direction changing abilities with a maximum of 2.5 degrees of steering angle to the rear wheels, which as standard are 18-inch alloys but can be specified up to 20-inch.
On the styling front, the 2022 C 43 more closely resembles the C 300 AMG-Line than any C 63, as has been the case before. Subtle changes include the Panamericana front grille with vertical louvres and unique front and rear bumper, beefier side sills, and chromed tailpipes.
Inside, again, the usual AMG visual touches are found in abundance such as a flat-bottomed steering wheel, sports seats, and plenty of badges. The graphics displayed on the MBUX displays do also have AMG-specific interface themes and menus.
The 2022 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic is available in both a sedan (W206) and wagon (S206) body styles and there’s a decent chance that, like the previous generation car, could be offered in Malaysia as a locally assembled AMG model.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.