Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG: Future classic

By: Rob Blackbourn

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Uncle Phil gives some sound advice on buying a used Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG

Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG: Future classic
Future classic: Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG


Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG

The Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG was the first model assembled from scratch in-house at AMG’s Affalterbach plant after Daimler-Benz purchased the business. Prior to that AMG had always started with finished cars which had to be stripped back before being transformed.

The C43 was also the first C-Class to have a lusty V8 power-plant shoehorned into its engine compartment.

All major castings of the AMG-massaged 4.3-litre fuel-injected engine are alloy – most aluminium, some magnesium. The 12 valves on each head are operated by single overhead camshafts. In AMG tune it produces around 228kW (306hp) max power at 5850rpm with peak torque of 410Nm (302lb-ft) at 3250rpm.

With no ostentatious display of ‘go-fast’ paraphernalia, save for subtly-kitted front and rear bumpers and side skirts, dual tailpipes, and not forgetting the AMG badge, the C43 is quite a sleeper. Which can be handy at times for enthusiastic drivers who like to avoid attracting attention.

There’s no question though that you do get a clue about its potential from its impressively purposeful stance.

The C43 is still no slouch compared with today’s performance cars. Published road test figures for its 0-100km/h time range from 5.7 – 6.5secs.

The car’s collectability can be based on a number of factors. Beyond the undoubted status of its three-pointed-star heritage and its serious AMG performance credentials, there’s its relative rarity – the total build was only 1536 units.

The lovely navy-blue 2000 model we photographed belongs to our own Uncle Phil.

He explained that his is the very last of its model here, one of a final batch of three imported into Australia. It features E55 brakes and the upgraded Tiptronic five-speed auto transmission.

When asked what makes his C43 special, Phil replied, "The sound and feel when it starts up, like any AMG, the way it erupts. They don’t just start up. They erupt."

Anything else Phil?

"The C43 is just right for a driver who wants a quality car that’s fun to drive, that can also carry a family of four comfortably and has a decent boot.

"I love the driving experience in the C43. It makes you feel really involved, like part of the car.

"And I reckon mine would still be faster to 100mph (161km/h) than a BMW M3!"

Phil’s believes that prices have bottomed out and will now begin to climb. So it’s a nice time to invest.

He also suggests that buyers should only go for a C43 with full service records. Best avoided are early examples that were used for track days. Another of Phil’s tips is to check the condition of the front rotors. If they’re near minimum thickness they are costly to replace. Thanks Phil.



More reviews:

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> Driven: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black

> Driven: Mercedes-Benz W124


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