A convertible brings its driver and passengers closer to everything around them. Suddenly, you’re very much aware of the scent of a freshly-cut lawn and driving next to the ocean brings a bracing whiff of salt-tinged air. In an AMG, a lowered convertible top also brings one that much closer to a glorious bundle of engine noise.
Stuffed under the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic Cabriolet’s prodigious snout is a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6, making 362 horsepower and 384 lb.-ft of torque. That power is funneled through a nine-speed automatic to all four wheels via the Mercedes 4Matic system, facilitating razor-sharp throttle responses and rifle-quick gear changes.
Equipped with the optional AMG Driver’s Package and a lowered convertible roof, the C43’s exhaust bark during a 2-3 upshift sounds like Chewbacca on a bad fur day. When Bryan Adams released his Waking Up The Neighbours album in 1991, he surely was foreshadowing this car.
It looks the part, too. The Selenite Grey Magno paint is a beautiful matte finish which looks like a million bucks, except it only costs $2500. An AMG-specific silver chin spoiler defiantly sticks out like a spoilt child’s bottom lip, paired with an enormous chrome grille, give this C43 the trousers to match its 362 horsepower mouth.
Inside, its red leather seats are equipped with Airscarf, a device that blows warm air onto the neck of front seat passengers and is possibly the best invention for a car since gasoline. It, and the quilted, cranberry-hued leather, is worth every penny of the $1990 option price.
A convertible top – whether it is on a Mazda MX-5, Volkswagen Eos, or this AMG Mercedes – advertises a bit of theatre while letting in one’s driving environs and a healthy dose of fresh air. It is, quite simply, O₂ cool.
All this comes at a cost, naturally, with the C43’s base price of $68,800 plus freight ballooning to an eye-watering $85,380 once all its options are tallied. Some of them, such as the ‘comfort’ front seats are frippery that should be standard equipment. After all, this author feels that comfort in any machine costing north of eighty thousand dollars ought to be, y’know, an unavoidable part of the deal.
Is Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic Cabriolet logical? No. Is it necessary? Absolutely not. However, when the valet asks “Which car is yours?”, no one has ever regretted saying “Why, my dear man, it’s that big grey Mercedes.” Especially when it’s a convertible.