Mercedes-Benz isn’t quite done making revisions to its naming system. The midlevel AMG Sport moniker that was introduced about a year ago will be phased out in the coming months, a new report finds, and the cars that briefly wore it will join the Mercedes-AMG sub-brand.
The first 43-badged Mercedes-AMG model will be the range-topping version of the 2017 SLC. Shortly after its launch, the C450 AMG Sport (pictured) and the GLE450 AMG Sport will be re-christened Mercedes-AMG C43 and Mercedes-AMG GLE43, respectively. Still with us?
An E43 based on the all-new 2017 E-Class that was introduced recently at the Detroit Auto Show will join the lineup a little later in the production run, and Mercedes hasn’t ruled out launching a GLC43 before the end of the year. Ultimately, the company aims to offer a 43-badged version of nearly every Mercedes-AMG model with the notably exception of the GT. The 43 cars get a chassis tuned by AMG and a long list of sport-focused upgrades inside and out, but they’re not as hardcore — and not as expensive — as the full-blown AMG models.
The new name won’t be accompanied by major mechanical changes, meaning the C and the GLE will carry on with a 3.0-liter V6 engine that’s both twin-turbocharged and direct-injected. The six-cylinder makes 367 horsepower from 5,500 to 6,00 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque over a wide band that stretches from 2,000 all the way up to 4,200 rpm. It spins all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
To put those figures into perspective, the six offers about 140 fewer ponies than the 4.0-liter V8 that powers the full-blown C63 and GLE63 models. Another key difference is that the 63’s engine is hand-built in a dedicated factory by the same mechanic from start to finish, while the V6 is manufactured on a regular assembly line.
We expect that the first 43-badged Mercedes-AMG models will land in showrooms this summer in time for the 2017 model year, though it’s important to note that Mercedes hasn’t officially commented on the matter. If the rumor is accurate, the current AMG Sport models will have spent about a year on the market, so they’re certain to become sought-after classics in a few decades’ time.