Hiding Its Rebellious, Brutal Nature With Comfort

A spin in the Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet is definitely enough to show you just how capable AMG is of making a satisfying car. Don’t think for a second that this is a brute you wouldn’t be able to tame. It is not. Actually, the impressions I gathered driving the AMG C43 Cabriolet are dramatically different than I ever imagined them to be. See, AMG always stands for brutality and uncompromised driving performance in my head. The C43, while definitely packing some of those virtues, isn’t like that. Set it in Comfort, lower the roof, let Barry White cuddle your eardrums, and you have yourself a cruiser worthy of the Cote d’Azur. That is actually where I drove it as part of the #blackchili Continental driving experience. Yup, we tested their new tires and basically enjoyed three days in luxury, but I snitched a short test drive of this beauty as well. I had to.

The AMG C43 is Fast

2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet - Driven Exterior
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Let me tell you right away; the AMG C43 Cabriolet is fast. Like, properly so. It is composed in the bends and can definitely put all of its 367 horsepower to the road with a lot of bang. While I could actually see the km/h numbers (we were in Europe, remember) climbing up that speedometer fast, and hear the V-6 roar, the C43 Cabriolet actually felt easy and just,... regular. This must have been AMG’s intention – to make the cool car fast without ever bothering you with all the work it had to do to accomplish the acceleration to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds.

This is a comfortable car. In Comfort, a bit wobbly too. Like an old, comfortable cabriolet cruise.

French roads and the Napoleon Route I actually drove on appreciate these traits.

Honestly, I expected it to be much harder and far firmer. Especially after hearing the roar of the V-6. I can safely say that this Affalterbach-tuned V-6 with, I guess, open valves in its exhaust can let out its roar in a way usually associated with V-8s. I am quite amazed. Regardless of all the pops on the downshift and the deep burble when idling, the roar released when putting all the 367 horsepower down is quite satisfying. I won’t even tell you what I did in tunnels. Boy, everyone hated me, but I didn’t care.

2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet - Driven Exterior
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This amazing sound most certainly tingled my nerve endings on the right foot, sometimes telling me that I should push this AMG. Interestingly enough, the comfortable interior (one of the best in the business for sure) did exactly the opposite - relaxed me. I was in a conundrum of sorts. Should I set the mode to Comfort or Sport+? Should I drive like I am on fire, or let the AMG adaptive chassis sort the bumps and all!? First world problems, obviously. I did less of the former and more of the latter. However, when I did the former, the AMG glided through the bends with serious speed. The 19-inch Continental ContiSport 5Ps made everything better.

Actually, the insulation from the road is so good I did not think too much about the tires at all.

So, how the heck do I know they made this experience better?

Well, for one, I pushed the car rather hard in a few bends and expected the front end to understeer a bit. It did not. At all. It kept the car so well planted I felt rather safe and wanted to continue pushing it, but a roadblock ahead saved me from breaking a few important laws in France. Like the law of common sense for one.

2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet - Driven Exterior
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The Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet is so comfortable and easy to drive fast that common sense does not work that well in it.

Before actually getting used to it, look down at that speedometer occasionally. You will definitely go faster than you should. It is just that easy, and it feels that safe.

The AMG C43 Can Be A Quiet Cabriolet

2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet - Driven Interior
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I am amazed by how well the wind noise is sorted inside. Despite being in a cabriolet with the freaking roof down, I honestly did not have to raise my voice to talk with my co-driver. A day after I drove the Tesla Model S with opened roof and it wasn’t pleasant.

The AMG C43 Cabriolet is quieter in the cabin with its roof down than the Tesla Model S is with its sunroof open.

I really felt that way. Kudos to you Mercedes. You made the aerodynamics right on this one.

Conclusion

2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet - Driven Exterior
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While I only had a driving stint of 50 or 60 miles, I could definitely feel what Mercedes-AMG wanted to achieve with a car like this. The speed is there, the sound is there, but so is the comfort. This basically tells you that the C43 Cabriolet will let you have fun, but also keep you in nice comfort when pushing that biturbo to sing a bit more than it should. Sure, the car felt a bit wobbly at times – in Comfort mode - but that is only due to softer damping. It actually was rather pleasant on the roads in France – a country that can definitely appreciate roofless cars.

Further reading

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Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet.

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