The automobile industry and consumers have come to know the C-Class as the "Baby Benz," even when past AMG treatments have bumped up performance. While the new C43 4Matic coupe that Mercedes-AMG will introduce at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show may still be in that class, its 270 kW (367 hp) V6 twin turbo make this C anything but a baby.

The German marque has given the C43 full AMG honors, making it a potentially worthy and less expensive alternative to its beefed up brother, the C63. With all of those horses comes a claimed torque of 520 Nm (384 lb-ft) and the ability to go from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds, which is about 0.8 seconds slower than the more well endowed C63 sporting a 375 kW (503 hp) power plant.

Mercedes' engineers have managed to reduce the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission shift times and created a Sport and Sport Plus mode that have a double-declutching function designed to offer more of a short shift feel to the driver. Gear shifting can be further modified with two different ignition adjustments – Eco and Comfort. An Individual mode that lets the driver personalize parameters rounds out the plethora of options available to the C43 driver in terms of transmission, ignition, steering and suspension settings.

A four-link front axle fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints give the C43 its rigidity and steering stability. Braking comes via 360 mm discs at the front and 320 mm at the rear.

Outside, Mercedes gives the C43 the AMG treatment with some specific stylized elements like the air intakes, diamond meshes, silver chrome trim and a rear apron with matt iridium silver diffuser insert.

The C43 interior is designed to accentuate the intended sports car feel with an easy-to-view instrument cluster, paddle shifters, and plenty of Artico man-made leather.

Mercedes says the C43 will be available by early April at a cost of £47,000 (US$65,500) or about £20,000 (US$28,000) less than its larger sibling. Considering the performance features of the smaller C43, the lower price could be worth the wait.

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