Mercedes-Benz's local arm is adamant the new AMG C43 won't cannibalise the sales of other Mercedes-Benz variants, not least of all the AMG C63 flagship.
"We think the AMG C43 is for buyers who want something that looks a bit special but not the performance or expense of an AMG C63," said Jerry Stamoulis, Manager for Public Relations and Product Communications.
"Don't forget that this is all-wheel drive for starters and I don't think we've sold many cars to AMG C43 customers before."
Above and Top: 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe
While featuring all-wheel drive underpinnings, the AMG C43 doesn't feature launch control for example, so it's clear that Mercedes-Benz has deliberately avoided positioning the C43 as an outright performance vehicle. The C43 is still a rapid coupe though, despite not being all about performance.
"An AMG C63 customer wouldn't step down to a AMG C43," Stamoulis told CarAdvice.
"They might have stepped down from a more expensive performance car outside the brand perhaps, but AMG C43 buyers could likely be new to Mercedes-Benz altogether or someone moving up from a C250 as well."
Above: 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 wagon
The theory of a buyer upgrading from a more affordable Mercedes-Benz product makes a lot of sense too. "There is definitely something in that," Stamoulis said. "We think the C250 owner would look to the C43 AMG as a possible upgrade, simply because of how strong C250 sales have been with [the] AMG bodykit."
Stamoulis explained that some 60 per cent of all C250 orders are enhanced with the AMG bodykit. "Those customers won't mind the look and a little more power," he said. "The AMG C43 is an Ideal upgrade option for them, and further to that, we also see a new customer to Mercedes-Benz who we haven’t previously been talking to.
Is the AMG C43 a 'legitimate' AMG product then? "We certainly think is it yes," Stamoulis said. "It’s still as legitimate as a fully-fledged AMG.
"This C43 AMG is designed and engineered in Affalterbach, it's just not built there." It follows then, that the AMG C43's engine is not the traditional one man, one engine situation.
"That's right, and there needs to be the differentiation between the AMG C43 and the AMG C63 as well," Stamoulis said.
"There are some key elements for those who really want a little more performance though. They can get the performance pack which gives you the exhaust and the C63 seats, but we’re not sure yet how popular that option will be."