It's not everyday that you get your hands on a car that's brilliantly set up for the race track. The Mercedes Benz C43 AMG is one such car. It is also one of the more relatively affordable and value-for-money AMG cars from Mercedes. It is priced at Rs. 74.35 lakh ex-showroom, which is nearly Rs. 20 lakh cheaper than it's bigger cousin the Mercedes C63 AMG.
What makes the Mercedes Benz C43 AMG is that it is really run to drive on the track, with just enough power and without the wicked tantrums that the Mercedes Benz C63 AMG has. In other words, if you mash your right foot to the floor, the C43 AMG is a lot more forgiving, while the C63 AMG just wants to shake you loose like an angry stallion.
So, on December 14, 2016, at the invitation of Mercedes Benz, we landed up at the Buddh International Circuit for the launch of the C43 AMG. This car comes with a twin-turbo V6, 3-litre petrol engine that puts out a reasonably healthy 367 bhp of power and a decidedly locomotive 520 Nm of torque.
Power goes to all four wheels through a 9-Gtronic (9-speed) dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifts. Although it has an AWD set up it has a definite rear bias - 69% of power goes to the rear wheels, while 31% trickles through the front, just enough to keep you planted on the track and to take you around the bend like it is on rails. Braking duties come from massive ventilated AMG discs on all four wheels.
The car has multiple drive modes - Eco (for when you want to limp to the petrol pump), Comfort (for everyday driving), Sport and Sport Plus, as well as a custom setting. We sampled the comfort mode on our first lap on the BIC and Sport Plus in the next to see how different these modes are. No, it does not play with suspension settings, but only the engine map. And the exhaust flaps also open up for much better acoustics. It can do 0-100 kmph in 4.7 seconds.
Now at the Buddh Circuit, we were to drive in a convoy around the 5.127 km track, with two drivers in each car. After two laps, we had to come into the pits for a driver change, and then head out for another two laps. That was really too little time to enjoy the car, but we did have some fun with it. I just wish the others in our convoy were a little faster, as that would have allowed us to really feel the car. This drive seemed really too tame for it. But I guess, we will leave that for another day. Here's a video of our drive on the track: