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After a gruelling morning meeting contacts on the Awali Golf Club course, a mixture of a terrible playing performance and the beating sun had left me hot and bothered.
What I really needed was a cool breeze and to feel the wind rushing through my hair … so what better way than by taking the new Mercedes AMG C43 Coupé out for a spin.
I spent a day behind the wheel of this beautiful beast, and it didn’t disappoint. The roof came down, the V6 engine roared into life and more than 360bhp powered me down Bahrain’s roads.
The latest version has spiffed up the exterior a touch. I love the bevelled appeal along the sides, and the logo grille announces your arrival with style. The coupe’s sleek, tapered rear suggests a thrilling ride before the drive itself proves it with ease.
Inside, I was pampered by the usual Mercedes fine details, with comfy leather and stylish accents. The C43 does have a good-sized screen for media options, climate control and other settings, even though I still occasionally get confused by the spaceship-like mouse/touchpad hybrid which accompanies it.
I must admit, the various knobs and control sticks that have popped up over the years seem more fanciful than functional, and often I had to take my eyes off the road to figure out what I was pressing or doing.
Elsewhere, the three-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel with the flattened bottom section and heavily perforated grip areas is incredibly satisfying to hold and turn, while the manual gear paddles are smooth to use while in manual mode.
The AMG C43 also comes with sporty seats that not only look sporty and stylish but they also offer optimum lateral support perfect for long rides and sharp turns.
My favourite switch was the Dynamic Select controller, which is the window to a world of different driving options; Comfort, Eco, Speed, Speed+ and Individual, as well as the 9G-tronic plus automatic transmission.
Now, the sensible option would be to put the car in Comfort mode so I could enjoy the smoothest ride, or even Eco to minimise fuel usage and be environmentally-friendly.
However, I have no shame in admitting that the vast majority of my time with the car (basically all of it except testing the difference in acceleration in the other modes) was spent in Speed+. This setting is just glorious, with the engine at a constant purr and even a gentle tap of the throttle sends it in a furious rage.
With the roof down, which can be achieved by holding down a button between the front seats for about 10 seconds, blasting down the highway on a beautiful winter’s day was one of my favourite test driving experiences ever.
When it comes to the drive itself, the C43 can simply show off. A solid, sporty, quick ride, with all the comfort and driving ease we’ve come to expect from the German maker. I liked the handling in the turns, loved the acceleration even more so, and even admired the confidence-boosting feel of its stops. It was comforting to know that after hammering the throttle to test out the acceleration, it could pretty much stop on a dime at a light touch of the brake pedal.
Al Haddad Motors is now offering an exclusive deal on the AMG C 43 Coupé, which includes service select, Supagard protection, window tinting and more.
The starting price for this unbeatable offer is BD33,664. For more information, visit the Mercedes showroom in Tubli, call 17785454 or visit www.bahrain.mercedesbenzme.com