Mercedes-AMG is currently boasting envious growth, moving more than 23,000 units last year — that’s 33.3% more than in 2015. To continue this sales trend, and to create an offering between base Mercedes-Benz cars and the much-more costly V8-powered AMGs, Mercedes-AMG is introducing a new entry-level engine into its lineup: a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6. Unlike all previous vehicles with an AMG badge on its trunk, this “43” engine is not hand built by lab coat-wearing geniuses at AMG’s headquarters in Affalterbach. Instead, it is a mass-produced engine tweaked and modified by AMG. While some enthusiasts will moan, it is best to see how these powerplants perform before pre-judging their ability to represent the beloved brand.
This engine will be inserted into a wide swathe of the AMG line-up (for now, 9 vehicles): from the nimble footed SLC roadster to the stout midsize GLE SUV. That’s a big range in weight and functionality, so how the 43 engine behaves in each vehicle will differ. To experience the full 43 range, Mercedes-AMG invited us to a house in Point Dume, where the sweeping Pacific Coast Highway and famous twisting canyons of Malibu would offer ideal opportunities to test each vehicle’s strengths and weaknesses. We decided to focus on the C-Class of vehicles (Sedan, Coupe and Cabriolet) to see how the V6 powerplant performed in each.