Mercedes-AMG is expanding the GT 4-Door lineup toward the bottom by launching an entry-level model named 43 for the 2021 model year. It's been available overseas since 2018, but it's never been sold in America before.
It takes an eagle-eyed car spotter (or someone with access to the DMV's registration documents) to tell the 43 apart from the 53, which is the next model up in the hierarchy. They're so similar that the press images released by Mercedes-AMG (pictured above) to accompany the 43 announcement show the 53. We checked, and that's intentional; a spokesperson told us the two cars are nearly identical except for the badges. It's the same story inside, where both sedans offer a slanted center console that reminds us of the GT coupe's and four seats.
The biggest and most noteworthy difference between the two GTs is found in the engine bay. In AMG-speak, the 43 emblem denotes a 3.0-liter straight-six that generates 382 horsepower between 5,500 and 6,100 rpm and 369 pound-feet of torque over a broad band that stretches from 1,800 to 4,500 rpm. Called EQ Boost, the 48-volt mild hybrid system increases those figures by up to 21 and 184, respectively, while a nine-speed automatic transmission sends the full output to the four wheels via AMG's 4Matic+ variable all-wheel drive system. Zero to 60 mph takes 4.8 seconds, a figure which makes the 43 about half a second slower than the 429-horsepower 53. Fuel economy figures will be published closer to its on-sale date.
Close the hood, and the 43 is again closely related to the 53. It comes standard with six-piston brake calipers, an adaptive suspension, a surround-sound system developed by Burmester, a power-operated rear spoiler, and the touchscreen-based MBUX infotainment system. Extra-cost options include numerous alloy wheel designs, an executive rear-seat package, and an upgraded sound system also made by Burmester.
Mercedes-AMG priced the GT 43 4-Door at $90,950 including a mandatory $1,050 destination charge. Deliveries will start in late 2020. In comparison, the GT 53 — which is the current entry-level model — carries a base price of $100,990 while the range-topping GT 63 S starts at $163,250. Both of these figures include destination.
Looking ahead, the GT 4-Door range will grow in the opposite direction when AMG releases a 73-badged model powered by an 805-horsepower plug-in hybrid drivetrain built around a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine. It will offer an electric range of about 31 miles. It's expected to make its global debut within the next 12 months.