After three years on the market, Mercedes-Benz sent the C43 AMG to Affalterbach's makeover academy. The junior varsity AMG C sedan flashes new shiny bits throughout, from the resculpted bumpers, to more brawn from the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, to an optional all-digital dashboard and driver assistance features from the big brother E-Class. And if old school AMG holdouts have a look in back they'll note the return of quad-oval tailpipes, which appears to be how AMG will differentiate V6 from V8 models.
Since this is AMG, we'll start with performance: larger turbos boost output to 385 hp, 23 hp more than before. Torque holds steady at 384 pound-feet, so to the 0 to 60 time of 4.6 seconds and the 130-mph electronically limited top speed. We don't have fuel economy numbers yet, but Mercedes says the engine's more efficient, and so are the wheels. The three available rims in 18- and 19-inch sizes have been "aerodynamically optimized" through hours in the wind tunnel to improve air flow around the wheels. AMG's 9-speed automatic manages gear changes, with new software tuning that enables faster shifts in all modes, multiple downshifts at one time, and it holding the chosen gear even when hitting the limiter. The AMG Dynamic Select driving modes add a fifth selection, Slippery, for wet and snowy conditions.