Mercedes-Benz continues the gradual reduction in the volume of its displacements by unveiling the AMG C 43 version of its latest generation C-Class sedan from which it amputates two cylinders. The model thus loses its biturbo V6 to afford a new turbocharged four-cylinder even more powerful than the mechanics it replaces.
Named M139l, this engine prepared by the high-performance subsidiary AMG embeds a technology used in Formula 1 for years: an electrically assisted turbocharger.
This breakthrough, unheard of in the world of production automobiles, adds an electric motor on the shaft connecting the turbine (driven by exhaust gases) to the compressor (which compresses air to boost power). This has the effect of preventing a loss of power while the engine is running at low rpm. A starter-alternator backs it up, providing an additional 13 hp for short periods of time. The result: 402 hp and 369 lb-ft, a gain of 17 hp, but a slight loss of 15 lb-ft compared to the V6.
Everything is combined with a nine-speed multiple-clutch transmission and an all-wheel drive that favors the rear axle to ensure the dynamic character of this C 43. It is also located halfway between the standard version and the AMG C 63 variant which has not yet been unveiled under this vintage. The dynamic damping with three levels of adjustment as well as the rear steering are part of the sports arsenal of the sedan.
One thing is certain, European luxury brands will keep these thermal engine-powered sports compacts alive for as long as possible, a tradition that refuses to die.