Miami may be breathtakingly beautiful, but so is the 2019 AMG C 43 Cabriolet. With the top down, cruising the causeway to Miami Beach, this two-door, front-engine, all-wheel-drive sport sedan was a sure-fire reminder that life is good.
It really hustles too, thanks to its tweaked twin turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine that now delivers 385 hp (versus 362 hp from the outgoing model) and 384 pound-feet of torque.
The C 43’s V-6 is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. There are shorter shift times and the car can stay in gear longer and will not automatically shift up when the engine hits its peak. It can also scream like car alarm in Sport and Sport+ modes as it propels you from 0-60 mph in about 4.7 seconds.
AMG’s latest C 43 also packs a wailing exhaust system that can be controlled electronically if you prefer a softer note. Comfort sounds best if you want to keep a low profile in and around town.
The latest C 43 sports beefier bumpers, a twin-louver grille, LED headlights, taillights, and round twin tailpipes upgrades for 2019. They say 80 percent of its parts have been changed.
Also, the new model rolls on 18-inch AMG five-spoke wheels and the Ride Control sport suspension offers three-stage damping. So, from a driving dynamics standpoint, clearly the C 43 is one of the most captivating sport sedans you can buy today. It’s luxurious and packed with tech, too.
Inside are new touch-sensitive control buttons on the AMG performance steering wheel. The synthetic suede-like material looks cool, but made my palms sweat. The electric power steering is precise and responds admirably. In addition, legroom is decent up front, not so much in the back for rear passengers.
Another nicety is the Aircap that serves to reduce cabin turbulence when top is down, which makes it easy to carry on a conversation in the convertible while moving even at higher speeds. Operated by a push of a button, it employs an innovative wind deflector above the windshield that creates an airflow barrier around its passengers.
This C-Class’ tech game is strong, with standard goodies including attention assist, active brake assist, pre-safe, and adaptive braking technology. The latest navigation system is top notch and the graphics are better than the previous year’s. Other standard extras include two USB ports, an SD card reader, and Bluetooth.
Mercedes offers a few approaches to control what I see on the center stack. The easiest is via the rotary dial on the center console, but the touchpad just behind it is pretty useful as well. I also have the option of controlling the infotainment and vehicle functions via touchpads on the steering wheel.
The soft top is available in four flavors and the new exterior colors include Mojave Silver Metallic and exclusive for the coupe and cabriolet is Graphite Gray.
There are two optional packages to choose from that include an exterior Carbon-Fiber or a Night Package. The Burmester sound system is also worth the cost for its premium upgrade.
Overall, you can’t find a better drop-top chariot to carry you to your next vacation destination or for slugging through daily traffic blues. With EPA mileage of 19/26 mpg city/highway, pricing starts at around $64,000.
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.