|Mercedes-Benz C 43 AMG 1998|
The C 43 AMG was launched in 1997 and it followed on from the straight-six C 36 AMG. That first AMG W202, C-Class was good enough with its 280hp straight-six; but its replacement was undeniably altogether more special. Not least because the W202 marked a step change in the relationship between AMG and Mercedes-Benz, being the first car assembled from scratch (as opposed to upgraded) at the former's factory in Affalterbach. It was also the first Mercedes-Benz C-Class powered by the M113, V8 engine. Just as with what seems like all AMGs, the C 43 explodes into life with an infectious V8 roar with all that power, allied with a maximum torque output of 302lb/ft, hitting a 0-60mph time of 5.7 seconds. Limited to 155mph, Mercedes-Benz unofficially claimed it could hit 168mph when de-restricted and unlike the old C 36, the C 43's five-speed auto is snappy and responsive thanks to AMG modifications. Setting off, it feels slightly aloof and inert at low speeds but once you crank things up, the noise that accompanies this surging acceleration is epic; a thread that seems common to all V8 AMGs.