You feel the power and you hear the rousing soundtrack. But you also feel the heft and the size.
Welcome to the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe, a muscle-bound two-door which makes you go, “Yeah, I like it, but…”.
The “but” in this case stems from the car’s obvious weightiness.
The C43 Coupe’s steering wheel is very substantial, with one of the least assistance among modern cars (including all-out sports cars).
It is not necessarily a bad thing – especially when you are going fast – but it certainly reinforces the impression of heft.
And it is not just an impression. A quick comparison of technical specifications reveals that the AMG-fettered car is up to 170kg heavier than the C-Class sedan.
That is a lot of additional weight. The C43 Coupe’s suspension deals with the mass confidently, with a clear bias for comfort.
But body movements are inescapable, with the amount of rocking motions you would seldom associate with a premium compact, much less a low-slung one.
The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is slightly longer than the sedan and sits closer to the tarmac.
But its width and wheelbase are identical to the sedan’s. You thus sit closer to the floor because of the lower ceiling.
Along with a smaller glass area, you feel like you are encased in a lot of car. Its compactness is thus not apparent.
But the awesomeness is, with 390hp and 520Nm pouring out of a bi-turbo 3-litre V6, the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is a prize fighter with a deadly arsenal.
The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is best appreciated on open roads, but still fairly enjoyable as a daily commute here. Its abundance of low-end torque is well spread across the nine cogs in its transmission.
Driven leisurely, the C43 Coupe feels like a slightly pumped up Merc, differentiated only by a soft exhaust drone.
For maximum fun, select Sport+ mode. This amplifies everything which makes the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe special – its hair-raising sound and its unbridled fury.
Hard acceleration brings speed and speed is accompanied by a chest-rattling percussion of a hundred drums. It is loud, raw and a bit mad.
Downshifts bring with them a different tune, made by a band of miniature lightsabers being switched on at the same time – within the confines of a steel pipe.
Oh, what a song this would be if played in a convertible, through a tunnel.
You have to be committed in Sport+ though. This mode is not for the faint-hearted.
The slightest deviation in throttle pressure has a consequence, which is not always pleasant.
It is thus better to drive the C43 Coupe with paddles in this mode because the interval between automatic gear changes are wide and you may well find yourself in the wrong gear in a crucial moment, say, just before or after a corner.
Yeah, I like it, but…
Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe 4Matic 3.0 (A)
ENGINE 2996cc, 24-valves, V6, twin-turbocharged
MAX POWER 390hp at 6100rpm
MAX TORQUE 520Nm at 2500-5000rpm
GEARBOX 9-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 4.7 seconds
TOP SPEED 250km/h (governed)
FUEL CONSUMPTION 10.5km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE $347,888 (after $20k VES surcharge)
AGENT Cycle & Carriage