Sprint Review: Mercedes-AMG E43 4Matic

One hot new car, lots of details in short paragraphs.

What you need to know: Mercedes-Benz appears to be bored or smoking something. What was once a respected maker of dreary sofas on wheels has become a bunch of swivel-eyed scientists producing fashionable street racers. They also made merry with their badges, none of which describe what’s left in the tin.

AMG has become Mercedes-AMG and their boot lid letters were swapped from left to right. Why? Heaven knows. The same goes for their numbering system – the 45 is a 2 litre, every 63 is actually a 4-litre (or 5.5) and this new 43 has a 3-litre engine. I counted many groups or things on this Obsidian Black test car and never got to 43.

More facts: Anyway. Last week I was impressed by the BMW 540i’s comfort and this week the Mercedes-AMG E43 blew me away with its agility and muscle; concreting my belief that Bee-Emm and Merc have swapped places. The “4Matic” in its name means that power is sent to all four wheels.

We loved: Besides its four-corner stability and cutting-edge tech, this car’s 2,996cc bi-turbo petrol V6 chucks its 295kW (401hp) or 520Nm at you through five drive modes and a superb nine-speed automatic gearbox. Leave it in “Comfort” to float along quietly or pick “Sport/Plus” to carve up corners with surprising dexterity.

Given the beans, the smooth gearbox gets rather stroppy and this V6 reminded me of the trumpeting Nissan GT-R. It sounds glorious! We couldn’t get the Race Start function to activate but still recorded 0-100 in 4.71 at sea level while 100-0 took 37.8 meters. The seats and lights are outstanding; and I have no idea what the stereo sounds like.

We hated: The E43’s big 20-inch wheels robbed an otherwise comfy car of low-speed ride quality but for most people it should be tolerable. The manufacturer claims 8.4L/100km but that’s the usual fabrication you’ll never achieve. Somewhere in all those bewildering instrumentation options, I once saw 12L/100km.

Who should buy one: Fans of fast sedans, step closer please! At around 1.2 million bucks, this is quite an exclusive owner’s club but one that spoils its members with amazing performance and excellent dynamics. If I owned one, I’d swap the badges around and make it an E32 – like the legendary AMG V6 from years ago…

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FULL SPECLIST

Engine:                        3-liter V6 turbo-petrol
Transmission:          9-speed Auto, AWD
Max. Power:              295kW
Max. Torque:             520Nm
Avg cons.:                   12-ish L/100km (claimed 8.4)
0-100km/h:              4.71 (claimed = 4.6)
Top Speed:                 250km/h (claimed)
List Price:                   Starting at N$1,200,000


Performance:

0-10km/h: 0,24 seconds
0-20km/h: 0,57 seconds
0-30km/h: 0,98 seconds
0-40km/h: 1,39 seconds
0-50km/h: 1,81 seconds
0-60km/h: 2,22 seconds
0-70km/h: 2,76 seconds
0-80km/h: 3,34 seconds
0-90km/h: 3,98 seconds
0-100km/h: 4,71 seconds
0-110km/h: 5,53 seconds
0-120km/h: 6,39 seconds
0-130km/h: 7,40 seconds
0-140km/h: 8,52 seconds
0-150km/h: 9,68 seconds
0-160km/h: 10,96 seconds

0-100m: 5,52 seconds @ 109,87km/h
0-200m: 8,39 seconds @ 139,14km/h
0-300m: 10,80 seconds @ 158,89km/h
0-400m: 12,97 seconds @ 172,57km/h

100-0km/h: 2,83 seconds @ 37,80 meters (once-off)

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0-10mph: 0,43 seconds
0-20mph: 1,07 seconds
0-30mph: 1,75 seconds
0-40mph: 2,46 seconds
0-50mph: 3,36 seconds
0-60mph: 4,46 seconds
0-70mph: 5,73 seconds
0-80mph: 7,27 seconds
0-90mph: 9,06 seconds
0-100mph: 11,12 seconds

1/4 mile: 13,02 seconds @ 107,39 mph

Maximum acceleration G-force: 0,90G

Altitude: 60m

All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box

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