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Car and Driver: AMG Sport Is Dead, Models to Become Mercedes-AMGs

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2016 Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG 4MATICA few weeks ago, we were a bit surprised to learn that the AMG version of Mercedes’ new SLC-class roadster—it replaces the SLK-class—would be powered by the engine found in the AMG Sport models of the C- and GLE-classes, the C450 AMG and GLE450 AMG. (AMG Sport was launched to neatly split the difference between regular Mercedes vehicles and full-bore AMGs.) AMG hadn’t offered a six-banger in many years, and the twin-turbocharged V-6, while an impressive powerplant, doesn’t adhere to Affalterbach’s “One Man, One Engine” gospel, whereby one technician assembles a complete engine from start to finish.

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But the Mercedes-AMG SLC43 won’t be an exception—it actually sets a precedent, as the AMG Sport models will be rechristened and moved into the AMG lineup proper. The Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG will become the Mercedes-AMG C43, and a Mercedes-AMG E43 will launch later this year. Further models will follow.

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We think the move is legit. The current AMG Sports already feature a lot of AMG-developed technology, and we’re not just talking about badges, red stitching, and carbon-fiber décor; they also get actual chassis upgrades. And if you’ve ever heard an AMG Sport model performing a full-throttle redline shift and the accompanying exhaust crackle, it’s clear that these machines mean serious business.

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About the “43” moniker for the 3.0-liter V-6: While it would be nice if it had any relationship whatsoever to engine displacement, Benz believes it aligns nicely with the 63 badging used for the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 models. Plus, there was a C43 in AMG’s history. So if you aspire to own an AMG, you will have a lot more choices soon.

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2016 Detroit Auto Show Full Coverage

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