In 1998, if you were growing out of your boy racer faze and becoming a man that was still looking for driving excitement to go with his morning coffee, then your options were slim. Entry level luxury sedans were still in their infancy and BMW had utter dominance in the segment. The E36 M3 models were the enthusiast’s weapon of choice and they also offered luxury coupled with everyday drivability.
Other manufacturers such as Audi began to use displacement as their weapon of choice and the horsepower wars began. It started with each manufacturer utilizing the specialties of their in house tuning shops more and more, but it has progressed to epic proportions today. Consider that most of these small sedans have changed little in overall size and the “performance” models of the 1990s were powered by small and efficient engines pushing under or just above 300hp. Today, 300hp in a sports sedan would be laughed right off the autobahn by cars pushing at least 400hp with V8s or twin turbo V6s.
Nonetheless, this was the beginning and Mercedes was poised to take things to a new level. A new engine had been developed for use in theML , CLK , and S-class models as an entry-level V8. It was the 4.3-liter model that was coded 430 on the badges of the vehicles. Before it even made an appearance in those other models for standard duty, AMG was able to get their hands on it and make some major improvements. The beast that emerged would be forced into the C43 AMG in order to take on the other German brands.
Hit the jump for more details on the 1998 Mercedes C43 AMG.