All the boys at my house get excited when they see an AMG-badged Mercedes-Benz in our driveway. They immediately hit me up for the keys so they can peek inside.
These performance-tuned automobiles are known for their track-worthy driving dynamics, blistering acceleration and, frankly, their lofty price tags. But you get what you pay for in this world, and in the case of today's tester, a Cardinal Red Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG coupe, what you get is plenty.
Our tester, made available from the manufacturer for a one-week test drive, features a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine that makes 385 horsepower. The lusty exhaust note and eye-catching red paint made me doubly cautious to not attract the attention of local law enforcement.
The C43 AMG coupe is a rocket, capable of completing the zero-to-60 mph dash in just 4.1 seconds, according to Car and Driver. The company estimates 4.5 seconds, but either way full-throttle acceleration will slam your shoulders into the $2,500 performance seats. The nine-speed automatic transmission is silky smooth, and the all-wheel-drive system seems to add a second layer of gravity to this road-hugging machine, which weighs a tick under two tons.
* Model: Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG coupe
* Exterior color: Cardinal Red Metallic
* Interior color: Black with red stitching
* Engine: 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V-6
* Horsepower: 385
* Transmission: nine-speed automatic
* Fuel economy: 27 mpg highway, 19 mpg city
* Local Dealer: Mercedes-Benz at Long of Chattanooga
* Price (as tested): $74,410
Mercedes-Benz products are available locally at Long of Chattanooga at 6039 International Drive. Late this week the local dealership had seven C-class automobiles in digital inventory.
WHAT IS IT?
Our tester is a luxury sport coupe that gets the legendary Mercedes-Benz AMG make-over. The C43 comes in three configurations: sedan, coupe and convertible. Pick the sedan for practicality, the coupe for design panache and the convertible for sunny-day fun.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Our tester, which includes a host of pricey options, rings up at $74,410. With some restraint, though, you can get into a C43 AMG for thousands less. Base MSRP prices for the three C43 AMGs are: sedan ($56,245), coupe ($58,445) and cabriolet ($64,645). All C43 AMGs come with standard all-wheel drive.
WHAT WE LIKED
Some of our favorite features of the C43 AMG include the buttery 9-speed transmission, the sticky all-wheel-drive system, the sport suspension, the 19-inch black twin-spoke wheels, and the surround-view parking assist feature.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Like most sports coupes, the ride of the C43 AMG is a bit brittle. But if you're looking for a plush ride, Mercedes-Benz has a host of gentler horses in the stable.
The cabin of the C43 AMG feels like the cockpit of a fighter jet. Circular gauges are highly-legible and all the switch-gear is intuitive. The auto allows you to dial-in any of three driving modes, comfort, sport and sport-plus. Chances are you will never test the limits of this car on a public road, but it's nice to know that you can unleash the twin-turbo V-6, and its 385 horsepower, at will.
The Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Coupe is a performance car with enough interior comfort and style to be an enjoyable daily driver.
Online: In the market for a new vehicle? To access hundreds of Mark Kennedy's Chattanooga Test Drive columns visit www.timesfreepress.com/testdrive.
Contact Mark Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.