The Mercedes-AMG C43 saloon has become more fun to drive after a slew of upgrades
Power performer The Mercedes-AMG C43 sports a revised front apron and additional flics and side air curtains, which combine with the rear apron and more pronounced rear diffuser to improve airflow under and around the car. PHOTO: MERCEDES

The updated Mercedes-AMG C43 makes just 23 more horsepower, while its torque output stays the same.

The figures do not quite add up because the car feels faster, even more composed on the go and a whole lot of fun to drive.
Compared with its predecessor, power has increased by 23hp to 390hp and maximum torque, which is the more crucial statistic, remains unchanged at 520Nm.
So how is it that during the 189km drive from Luxembourg Airport to the Moselle region in Germany, the car felt swifter in almost every instance and more of a hoot to drive?
The answer lies in all the little enhancements made to the car.
While the 3-litre bi-turbo V6 engine has been carried over, it now sports larger turbochargers and a reworked quad-pipe exhaust system for better flow. The engine's maximum charge pressure has also been increased from 0.95 bar to 1.1 bar. More boost means more performance.
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SPECS / MERCEDES-AMG C43 SALOON
Price: To be announced
Engine: 2,996cc 24-valve V6 turbocharged
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic with manual select
Power: 390hp at 6,100rpm
Torque: 520Nm at 2,500-5,000rpm
0-100kmh: 4.7 seconds
Top speed: 250kmh (electronically limited)
Fuel consumption: 9.3 litres/100km
Agent: Cycle & Carriage
The nine-speed automatic transmission is carried over from the previous model, but its programming has been tweaked to enable faster gear changes, especially when Sport or Sport Plus is selected via the AMG Dynamic Select's toggle switch located at the centre console.
Indeed, during the numerous occasions when the situation called for it - be it overtaking a line of slower vehicles or blasting down a clear stretch of the autobahn - the gearbox responded with a textbook lesson on changing gears.
Whether you used the paddle shifters or left the transmission to select the gears automatically, the gear changes were always rapid and direct.
Toggling the AMG Dynamic Select (to Sport, Sport Plus or Comfort) alters the performance of the engine, suspension and steering. If you are a driving aficionado, you will enjoy matching the Dynamic mode to the type of road you are on or the mood you are in.
If you need immediate performance, the "M" button is there. Depress it and you have the transmission at your command. Gear shifts will occur only when you pull at either paddle shifter.
During up-changes, a flashing red arrow on the fully digital 12-inch instrument display lets you know when it is the optimum moment to flick the paddle shifter so you can play Lewis Hamilton. Every down-change is accompanied by a dramatic blip of the throttle.
Put pedal to metal and the C43 saloon will complete the zero-to-100kmh dash in 4.7 seconds. Mercedes-AMG claims this is 0.1 of a second quicker than before.
Keep your foot planted on the accelerator pedal and you will hit the electronically limited top speed of 250kmh with ease. Right up to that instance, the engine feels like it is capable of even more.
The car is also pretty handy in the twisty stuff.
The AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel-drive feels better than before. With a rear-biased torque distribution of 31 per cent front and 69 per cent rear, the car accelerates out of bends smoothly and with superb traction, as long as you are judicious with the amount of throttle pressure.
If you do get it wrong, the army of electronic stability and traction control gizmos will ensure that both car and driver stay out of harm's way.
The updated C43 sports a revised front apron with additional flics and side air curtains, which combine with the rear apron and more pronounced rear diffuser to improve airflow under and around the car.
The redesigned front end also makes the car even more recognisable as a member of the Mercedes-AMG family.
Rounding out the minor restyle are the AMG light-alloy wheels and the AMG steering wheel.
The alloy wheels feature outer rings and spokes that have been aerodynamically optimised in a wind tunnel.
The flat-bottomed steering, with its grippy shape, heavily contoured rim and flattened thumb placements at the 10 and two o'clock positions, is a joy to hold and use.
You can also control the instrument cluster and multimedia system via the new touch control buttons on the steering wheel.
The C43's ride is on the firm side when Comfort is selected. It does not toss the occupants about, but they can definitely feel - and hear - road imperfections.
The slew of updates to the Mercedes-AMG C43 saloon has made it even more competent than before and honed its ability to leave a silly grin on the driver's face.
The figures do not quite add up because the car feels faster, even more composed on the go and a whole lot of fun to drive.

Compared with its predecessor, power has increased by 23hp to 390hp and maximum torque, which is the more crucial statistic, remains unchanged at 520Nm.

So how is it that during the 189km drive from Luxembourg Airport to the Moselle region in Germany, the car felt swifter in almost every instance and more of a hoot to drive?

The answer lies in all the little enhancements made to the car.

While the 3-litre bi-turbo V6 engine has been carried over, it now sports larger turbochargers and a reworked quad-pipe exhaust system for better flow. The engine's maximum charge pressure has also been increased from 0.95 bar to 1.1 bar. More boost means more performance.

The nine-speed automatic transmission is carried over from the previous model, but its programming has been tweaked to enable faster gear changes, especially when Sport or Sport Plus is selected via the AMG Dynamic Select's toggle switch located at the centre console.

Indeed, during the numerous occasions when the situation called for it - be it overtaking a line of slower vehicles or blasting down a clear stretch of the autobahn - the gearbox responded with a textbook lesson on changing gears.

Whether you used the paddle shifters or left the transmission to select the gears automatically, the gear changes were always rapid and direct.

Toggling the AMG Dynamic Select (to Sport, Sport Plus or Comfort) alters the performance of the engine, suspension and steering. If you are a driving aficionado, you will enjoy matching the Dynamic mode to the type of road you are on or the mood you are in.

If you need immediate performance, the "M" button is there. Depress it and you have the transmission at your command. Gear shifts will occur only when you pull at either paddle shifter.

During up-changes, a flashing red arrow on the fully digital 12-inch instrument display lets you know when it is the optimum moment to flick the paddle shifter so you can play Lewis Hamilton. Every down-change is accompanied by a dramatic blip of the throttle.

Put pedal to metal and the C43 saloon will complete the zero-to-100kmh dash in 4.7 seconds. Mercedes-AMG claims this is 0.1 of a second quicker than before.

Keep your foot planted on the accelerator pedal and you will hit the electronically limited top speed of 250kmh with ease. Right up to that instance, the engine feels like it is capable of even more.

The car is also pretty handy in the twisty stuff.

The AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel-drive feels better than before. With a rear-biased torque distribution of 31 per cent front and 69 per cent rear, the car accelerates out of bends smoothly and with superb traction, as long as you are judicious with the amount of throttle pressure.

If you do get it wrong, the army of electronic stability and traction control gizmos will ensure that both car and driver stay out of harm's way.

The updated C43 sports a revised front apron with additional flics and side air curtains, which combine with the rear apron and more pronounced rear diffuser to improve airflow under and around the car.

The redesigned front end also makes the car even more recognisable as a member of the Mercedes-AMG family.

Rounding out the minor restyle are the AMG light-alloy wheels and the AMG steering wheel.

The alloy wheels feature outer rings and spokes that have been aerodynamically optimised in a wind tunnel.

The flat-bottomed steering, with its grippy shape, heavily contoured rim and flattened thumb placements at the 10 and two o'clock positions, is a joy to hold and use.

You can also control the instrument cluster and multimedia system via the new touch control buttons on the steering wheel.

The C43's ride is on the firm side when Comfort is selected. It does not toss the occupants about, but they can definitely feel - and hear - road imperfections.

The slew of updates to the Mercedes-AMG C43 saloon has made it even more competent than before and honed its ability to leave a silly grin on the driver's face.