Mercedes-Benz has just unveiled their new 2017 C-Class convertibles, bringing the open air to their mid-size offerings. For North America, we will get two versions, both mild and wild.
Here in the states we will get both the C300 and a high-performance Mercedes-AMG C43. The C300 comes with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo, and the C43 a 362 horsepower twin-turbo V6. For brevity and entertainment purposes we’re just looking at the more exciting C43 here today.
The AMG version here has larger but not huge 18-inch wheels painted in the latest fad of black – you can option 19-inch wheels though in various other styles. Unique styling touches as expected also include an AMG front fascia and grille treatment and at the rear the same with big chrome exhaust tips.
Inside is a sportier look with red seat belts and Mercedes MB-Tex upholstery with accent stitching, sport seats, and a flat bottom steering wheel. The non-leather material covers everything including the dash. MB-Tex is vinyl, not leather let me say again. For what this car will cost, hopefully you can option the real thing.
As expected though, the soft top is fully automatic, made of fabric and can be had in a number of colors. Mercedes says with its multiple layers offers great thermal protection and quiet when its up. It can be put down or raised at speeds up to 31 mph.
When it comes to motivation, they chose not to go for the big 503 horsepower monster V8 of the AMG C63 Coupe. Instead the convertible gets a more civilized 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6, which comes standard with a sport tuned 9-speed automatic.
The engine will rev high and does have a nice tone to it which is good as its 362 horsepower comes at about 6,000 rpm. Torque of 384 pound-feet comes on does come on nicely though starting at about 2,000 rpm.
Its nine-speed autobox has the AMG Sport Plus mode for near true manual shifting. The powertrain will push the C43 from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds says Mercedes, and it will have a top speed of 155 mph.
Sadly though, 4MATIC all-wheel drive is a mandatory standard here. While it does bias more power to the rear wheels for good feel, one has to wonder how much snappier the car would feel with just rear-wheel drive. At least it will feel more civilized under full steam.
The C43 Convertible gets a standard sport suspension with adaptive variable damping they call AMG Ride Control. That sure sounds better than Magic Body Control of a few years back. None the less you can set it in three different modes from mild to wild. There’s also a drive mode control with five modes in case you needed them.
Pricing hasn’t yet been announced for the 2017 C400 or the C43, but expect a premium shopping experience similar to that of the BMW 4 Series drop tops. They arrive in U.S. dealerships this coming fall.