When you see the AMG name applied to a Mercedes-Benz model, you know it will go about its business with more zeal than the same vehicle lacking that three-letter logo.
AMG stands for Aufrecht Melcher Großapach, the names of the founders and the town where they first set up shop. Over the years, AMG’s primary mission — and apparently now its only mission — has been to elevate the performance of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
After test driving this little guy for a week around Miami, I see what they mean. The C43 is pure joy on wheels.
New for 2018, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe and convertible get the complete AMG performance treatment in the C43 model. The C43, formerly the AMG C450, has a more classic profile and a new nine-speed automatic transmission with wonderfully quick shifts and smooth interactions.
Several welcome and nicely done changes were made to what drives the car. The C43 upgrades from the standard model’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder to a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder that outputs 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Not bad for a little guy.
On the road, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C43 handles well with a smart chassis and excellent options for suspension control. I was able to pull off 0-60 mph sprints in under five seconds.
In curves, the C43 pulls well with good response to driver controls. Everyday driving is equally rewarding when the ride is smoothed and the engine’s noise subdued for the comfort-oriented commute.
The new design of the C-Class sedans was introduced for the 2015 model year and now the coupe and convertible versions get their new look for 2018.
The steep body curves found in the previous generation coupe and convertible apparently did not tickle everyone’s fancy. Now, there is a slightly more contemporary and far more classic feel for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class convertible. The AMG models add performance tweaks, with some aero mods to the front and rear to go with their tighter-appearing stance.
The design and layout inside is also very well done. The seats are roomy and supportive but not overly snug, and offer a wide range of adjustability, plus heating and ventilation. There also is plenty of legroom plus moderate headroom under the droptop.
The leather upgrade adds a beautiful wood inlay for the dashboard that is made from one continuous piece. The cramped rear seating, while beautiful to look at, is largely for children or pets.
The multilayer top is a lovely piece of work, operating up or down at one touch of the switch, stowing under the tonneau when dropped, and automatically latching when raised. It also does a respectable job of keeping interior noise levels down.
On the infotainment front, as you would expect, there is a comprehensive array of technology and connectivity. The large screen is excellent, offering crisp quality and a smart menu system.
The EPA rates the 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG C43 Cabriolet at 23 mpg combined, with 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Pricing begins at $60,800, with my test model ringing in at $78,790 after delivery.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.