2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 Sedan First Review
Unveiled last spring at the New York Auto Show, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 Sedan cranks up the performance of its sophisticated midsize luxury sedan. Although this bolder 4-door isn’t due in U.S. showrooms until early next year, we went to Germany to sample several in Euro trim on their home turf. Packing its own more-potent version of the AMG-massaged Mercedes 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 also used in the C43 Coupe/Cabriolet along with a host of AMG cosmetic and functional upgrades, the E43 Sedan proved to be engaging and exhilarating.
The AMG formula brings larger turbochargers, increased maximum boost – to 16 psi – and revised software for the V6's engine management system. Compared to the force-fed six in the C43, which makes 362 horses and 284 lb-ft of torque, the E43 moves the figures up to 396 and 386, with the latter peaking at 2,500 rpm and holding steady to 5,000 revs. Here too, the engine is backed by an AMG-massaged 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic that snaps off quicker, cleaner shifts on its own or via steering-wheel-mounted paddles.
0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds
While not as intense as the V8-powered AMG E63 that’s still down the road a ways, flooring the accelerator in the E43 Sedan will definitely get your attention. Thrust rolls on quickly and smoothly, bringing up 60 mph in a mere 4.5 ticks. Top speed in European trim is electronically limited to 155 mph, although maximum velocity will be held to 130 mph here in the U.S.
The new E43 Sedan also includes an AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel drive system. To complement its enthusiast-focused nature, the E43 features a more pronounced 31/69-percent front/rear torque bias that enhances handling, giving it a bit more stick when cornering and improving traction under hard acceleration. To further leverage that potential, the E43 Sedan also rides on an AMG Sport Suspension based on M-B’s Air Body Control system. This setup automatically dials in the best settings for each wheel as well as self-leveling that lowers the ride height at speed to improve the car’s aero profile. Rounding out the upgrades are lightweight AMG 19-inch alloys wrapped in 245/40 front and 275/35 rear performance tires, a speed-sensitive variable-ratio sport steering setup and upgraded fade-resistant brakes with cross-drilled and vented discs.
Our drive encompassed everything from congested urban streets to meandering two-lane roads to no-limit autobahn running. The E43 Sedan felt equally at home in each. Abetted by AMG Dynamic Select tech that can tailor throttle response, shift programming, steering feel and suspension tuning in Eco/Comfort/Sport/Sport+ and Individual modes, the E43 comes across as confident, capable and well-balanced no matter how it’s being driven while retaining ride refinement that belies its overt sporting character. Even the engine’s auto Start/Stop in Eco mode were nearly transparent.
Styled for speed
Like all AMG exercises, the new E43 Sedan also features its own selection of signature cues. More aggressive front and rear fascia treatments plus new side sills add tasteful edge to the exterior while the cabin reflects a similar sporty character that starts with highly supportive and highly adjustable AMG Sport Seats done in black M-B Tex with red stitching. A flat-bottom, multifunction AMG sport steering wheel overlooks the large dual-screen configurable displays with AMG-specific graphics while the center console also carries unique switchgear to control various dynamic functions.
Pricing for the 2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 Sedan won’t be released until closer to its actual on-sale date. However, the sticker for this natural rival to players like the Audi S6, BMW 550i and Lexus GS F is expected to start in the low- to mid-$70K range.
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