► New Mercedes-AMG E43 4Matic revealed
► Twin-turbo 396bhp V6, 9spd auto, 4wd
► 0-62mph in 4.6sec, limited to 155mph
AMG, as is the case with its cars, doesn’t hang around; the new Mercedes-Benz E-class was only revealed in January 2016 yet a high-performance version - dubbed the E43 4Matic - has just been unveiled.
There’s no dull, downsized four-cylinder diesel under the bonnet, either; instead it features a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol V6. Mercedes-AMG claims it outputs 396bhp and 384lb ft, granting the E43 a suitably spritely 0-62mph time of 4.6sec. As you’d expect, it is however limited to 155mph. Until, that is, someone tweaks a few software settings.
Helping you make best use of the V6’s motive power is a nine-speed torque converter-based automatic transmission, which transmits drive to all four wheels via Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Satisfyingly, most of the torque is – in normal drive – deployed to the rear wheels, with a front-to-rear torque distribution of 31:69.
Tell me more about the E43’s underpinnings
Keeping the E43 headed in the right direction is a speed-sensitive, variable-ratio steering set-up that offers two weights – Comfort or Sport. These can be selected by the driver through the Mercedes’ performance mode selector, which also offers up a range of configurations for the steering, suspension, engine and transmission – ranging from Eco to Sport Plus.
Air suspension is standard but it’s been recalibrated to better suit the more sporting E43. Braking power is provided by drilled and ventilated 360mm front discs, clamped by four-piston calipers, while out the back you’ll find ventilated 360mm discs and single-piston calipers.
It sounds like the switchable Sport and Sport Plus modes served up by the AMG should prove suitably engaging; Mercedes says engaging these calibrations delivers a more responsive, linear throttle action, blipping between gearchanges and harder, faster shifts – which can be commanded via new wheel-mounted paddles. In manual mode the transmission won’t shift up when you hit the redline, either.
The idle gets bumped up in the more aggressive modes, allowing you to get the E43 off the line more promptly – but if steady-state cruising is required, the Mercedes packs a coasting mode to boost efficiency.
Any cosmetic tweaks?
In terms of visual changes, Mercedes-AMG has only carried out appropriately restrained revisions. The front bumper features larger openings to deliver more air to the E43’s cooling packs, and the grille differs from conventional E-classes.
The E43 also gets bespoke 19-in five-spoke wheels, chrome-plated exhaust tips and a standard-fit lip spoiler atop the boot lid. Inside there are similarly subtle upgrades, including red stitching, extended leather trim, a black headliner and red seatbelts. You get a plethora of AMG-specific instrumentation, too, adding to the high-performance feel.
What are the E43 4Matic’s technical specifications?
- Engine: twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol V6
- Power: 396bhp at 6100rpm
- Torque: 384lb ft between 2500-5000rpm
- Peak boost: 16psi
- Transmission: 9-speed automatic, awd
- Fuel consumption: 34mpg
- CO2 emissions: 189g/km
- Kerbweight: 1840kg (with fluids and driver)
- 0-62mph: 4.6sec
- Top speed: 155mph (electronically limited)
When will it be available?
The new Mercedes-AMG E43 4Matic will be on display at the 2016 New York motor show in late March, ahead of going on sale in September.
Official pricing is yet to be announced; the current E-class range starts at £35,935, rising to £47,425 for the top-spec E350d AMG Line – so you can expect the E43 to at least cost more than that.
A wide range of options will also be offered, including different wheels, AMG sports seats and nappa leather trim.
Read more of CAR’s 2016 New York motor show coverage here
Click here for CAR’s A-Z guide to the 2016 New York motor show