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2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 Brings F1 Tech to the Masses (Who Can Afford a Mercedes)

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Mercedes’ F1 team may be going through a relatively hellish season this year, but that hasn’t stopped the automaker’s AMG performance division from borrowing some F1-derived technology for its new C43 sedan (technically it first appeared on the new Mercedes-AMG SL43). And, before you get worried, it won’t cause your C43 to porpoise on straights; instead, it’s what Mercedes says is the first mass-market electric exhaust-gas turbocharger.

Related: ​​2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Honey, I Shrunk the S-Class

The C43’s hand-built 2.0-liter longitudinal inline four-cylinder engine is rated at 402 horsepower and 369 pounds-feet of torque, propelling the sedan from 0-60 mph in a manufacturer-estimated 4.6 seconds (interestingly, that’s 0.1 second slower than the estimate for the previous-generation C43). The 48-volt mild-hybrid engine includes the aforementioned electric exhaust-gas turbocharger, which uses a small electric motor powered by the electrical system to spool the turbocharger until the exhaust gas can take over. Mercedes says this improves turbocharger response and allows for higher torque at lower rpms.

The AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is rear-biased, sending 31% of power to the front wheels and 69% to the rear, aiming to strike a nice balance between all-weather traction and performance. Power from the turbocharged engine is sent to all four wheels via a standard nine-speed automatic transmission.

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The C43 comes with a host of other enhancements, including a standard AMG Ride Control suspension with active damping, as well as performance brakes and exhaust. Buyers can opt for an AMG Track Pace data-logging system to log lap times and other data. Off the track, the C43 also comes standard with four-wheel steering that improves low-speed agility at speeds up to 37 mph.

To distinguish itself from a regular C-Class sedan, the C43 gets AMG-specific styling including vertical grille slats, aggressive front and rear bumper styling, side sills and dual round exhaust tips.

The 2021 C43 sedan was about $13,000 more expensive than an AWD C300 sedan. If that pricing pattern holds, expect this new one to start in the high $50,000 to low $60,000 range; the 2022 C300 AWD has a $46,600 starting price (including $1,050 destination). That should make the C43 one of the more affordable AMG performance vehicles and likely the most-affordable car from Affalterbach. Actual pricing should be available closer to the 2023 C43’s anticipated on-sale date sometime in late 2022.

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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and Cars.com in 2013, and he became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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