The Top 5 AMG C43 Performance Upgrades. The Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC (W205) made a victorious comeback to the Mercedes-Benz range in 2016 after an almost two-decade absence. It had a new design, a new engine, and much improved technology, in addition to the iconic AMG C43 Performance of its predecessor. It rapidly drew accolades from critics and fans alike, who described it as sophisticated but incredibly fun.
The 2016-2021 C43 replaced the old 4.3L M113 E43 engine with a high-performance derivative of the Mercedes M276 engine, the DE 30 LA. The DE 30 is a strong 3.0L V6 with sequential twin turbos and direct injection. The DE 30 produced 385hp and 385tq from the plant towards the conclusion of the W205 C43’s run in 2021.
Still, the AMG C43 feels a little underpowered out of the box, and the DE 30 LA begs for more power to be unleashed. This article will cover the best performance improvements for the Mercedes-AMG C43 from 2016 to 2021. We’ll concentrate on engine modifications that will improve the DE 30’s performance and reliability. The engine is capable of creating a tremendous amount of power, which we will demonstrate to you. Let’s take a look at the top 5 AMG C43 performance improvements.
The Top 5 AMG C43 Performance Upgrades
Some of the top Mercedes C43 AMG mods include:
- Upgrade to Dual Intake
- Injection of Water and Methanol
- DE 30 LA Power Limits M276
The Mercedes-AMG C43 responds extremely well to performance enhancements. The M276 DE 30 LA’s only major question is how much power the internals can realistically manage. It has forged pistons but cast connecting rods in an aluminum block. As a result, the rods are the engine’s weakest link.
In truth, there is no magic quantity of horsepower or torque that the C43 can handle. Overall engine longevity is determined by setup, calibration, and, most importantly, responsible driving. Adequate feeding and cooling will be the most important concerns for those seeking to push their cars into the upper horsepower ranges.
Having stated that, 500whp/wtq is commonly regarded as the upper limit for connecting rods. Most tuners agree that the M276: DE 30 LA can handle that much consistently, but anything more is asking for trouble. Fully manufactured blocks and totally forged internals are required for those serious about creating huge horsepower.
1) Performance Tuning for the AMG C43
ECU tuning will provide the most bang for your buck when it comes to enhancing the AMG C43. It is our top pick for the top five greatest AMG C43 performance enhancements, and it truly brings the car to life. Tuning boosts performance by boosting boost pressure, improving air-to-fuel ratios for power, and advancing ignition timing. A few pounds of boost and a couple of degrees of timing can drastically change an engine’s power output.
M276: DE LA 30 Tuning Advantages
- + 90-120 horsepower (75-100 kW)
- + 100-125wtq (120-150tq)
- Enhanced turbo responsiveness
- broader power band
- Reliability while installing further mods
With only tinkering, you can easily add 90-120hp (75whp-100whp) and 120-150tq (100wtq-125wtq) to a perfectly stock car. Tunes can also help adjust for other automotive changes like as intakes, exhausts, and alternate fueling. They will not only make the car more responsive to other upgrades, but they will also make the engine run safer after they have been installed.
Aside from increased peak power, tuning also provides a wider overall power band and significantly improved turbo responsiveness. After tuning, the C43 pulls longer and harder, and it is much faster off the line and out of corners. For some tuners, tuning also allows for live data logging and monitoring, allowing you to see how your car performs after it has been tuned.
Recommendations for Mercedes-AMG C43 Tuning
There are a few solid tuning options for the AMG C43, including flash tuning and piggyback tuning. Piggyback tunes link to the ECU and override it with fresh calibrations, whereas flash tuning connects to the ECU and flashes a new tune to replace the present ECU calibration. Dealers can usually identify flash tuning, however piggyback tuners can usually be removed without leaving a trace.
AMR Performance and Eurocharged are our top flash tuning alternatives. They both provide stock maps as well as custom tuning possibilities. AMR and Eurocharged are the two most well-known e-tuners in the community, with Eurocharged standing out in particular. Their tunes provide comparable gains and can both be used with most custom setups.
The JB4 Tuner is our preferred piggyback tuning choice. JB4 is a popular tuner in the BMW and Audi-VW communities, and their Mercedes-Benz lineup is impressive. The JB4 costs around half the price of custom tuning options and includes access to an app that can monitor 40 distinct engine parameters in real time. It may be fitted on a base car as well as many various upgraded installations.
2) Performance Intake Upgrade for the AMG C43
The intake system is the third item on our list of the top 5 finest AMG C43 performance improvements. Intakes can be a contentious change for many new cars, as most OEM intakes actually flow rather nicely. The stock intake for the C43 flows well enough for stock power levels, but on higher powerful builds, it becomes a choke point.
Advantages of C43 Dual Intake Upgrade
- throttle and turbo response have been improved.
- increased airflow in comparison to stock
- Aesthetics of the engine bay have been improved.
An intake alone on the DE 30 LA will produce 10-20whp/wtq, and it will produce even more with a tuning. Furthermore, the Mercedes-AMG C43 will benefit from improved throttle and turbo responsiveness. Because of the greater airflow, the turbo will spool a little faster, resulting in an earlier peak output and a wider power band.
It also significantly improves the appearance of the C43 engine bay. The stock intake looks cheap and adds nothing to the overall aspect under the hood, whereas aftermarket intakes add a sleek but aggressive appearance. Furthermore, K&N style cone filters on aftermarket intakes provide significantly better flow characteristics than OEM panel filters.
Recommendations for Mercedes-AMG C43 Dual Intakes
We recommend three intakes for the M276: DE 30 LA from Logos Engineering Motorworks, BMS, and ModalWorks. They all provide comparable performance benefits, but their designs and pricing are quite different.
The BMS V3 Dual Intake system is the least expensive yet most common alternative. It keeps the OEM location of the filters and has a lot of space, but the design prevents it from keeping the complete OEM scoop. Unfortunately, this means that it may struggle to draw in cooler air from outside the engine bay.
The Logos Engineering Motorworks intake relocates the filters to the front of the engine compartment and has the least amount of pipework, allowing air to enter the turbos as quickly as possible. The ModalWorks intake retains the OEM location of the filters while replacing the original scoops with enhanced carbon fiber ones, allowing access to cool air from the outside of the hood. The ModalWorks is by far the most expensive, but it also has the best-looking design.
3) Mercedes M276 Downpipe Modifications
Another outstanding performance addition for the Mercedes-Benz AMG C43 is downpipes. They link to the turbos and are one of the most important components of an exhaust system. Pipe upgrades will improve performance, dependability, and sound (when tuned), making them a clear pick for one of our top 5 AMG C43 performance upgrades.
Advantages of Downpipe Upgrade
- +10 to 25whp/wtq
- Boosted turbo and engine sounds
- Enhanced scavenging
- Backpressure has been reduced.
- EGTs have been reduced.
Unfortunately, the stock downpipes are restrictive and create a lot of backpressure. This lowers exhaust scavenging and raises EGTs, suffocating performance on consecutive runs. Aftermarket downpipes alleviate this problem by increasing flow and decreasing backpressure.
Power improvements with downpipes are roughly 10-20whp/wtq, and they require tuning on this platform. C43s can actually lose power if not tuned since the engine will not compensate for the reduced backpressure. Upgraded downpipes, on the other hand, allow tunes to run more boost, resulting in more power.
Recommendations for Mercedes-AMG Downpipe Upgrades
The most important aspect when choosing downpipes for the AMG C43 is whether they are catless or catted. Catless downpipes provide the best performance, but they are not street legal and are best suited for racing. Catted downpipes, on the other hand, provide comparable performance, eliminate the horrible catless odours, and are emissions compliant.
Weistec Engineering downpipes are our cat-free recommended. They are extremely popular in the community and receive high praise for their excellent quality, fitment, and performance. The Logos Engineering Motorworks super high flow cat downpipes are our catted suggestion. They provide comparable performance to Weistecs while being emissions compliant with 200 cell cats.
4) Water-Methanol Injection (WMI) C43
Water-methanol injection kits are the next item on our list of the top 5 greatest AMG C43 performance modifications. These kits are a bit more involved than our previous recommendations, but what they lack in complexity, they make up for in performance and durability.
Advantages of M276 Water-Methanol Injection
- Detonation protection has been improved.
- Boosted fuel octane rating
- Charge air temperatures have been reduced.
These injection kits function by pumping a 50/50 solution of water and methanol into the intercooler charge pipes. This serves two purposes: it not only lowers the temperature of the air entering the engine, but it also raises the octane rating of the fuel. Water-meth injection can significantly reduce IATs while increasing octane ratings by up to 20 points.
Proper tuning is essential for getting the most out of water-methanol kits. Even without tuning, they provide greater detonation protection. Methanol’s drastically reduced charge air temperatures sufficiently lower cylinder pressures through cooling, lowering EGTs and the likelihood of possible detonation events. This decreases engine wear and tear, increasing engine longevity.
Recommendations for Mercedes-AMG C43 Water-Methanol Injection Kit
Weistec Performance is our go-to source for water-meth kits for the M276: DE 30 LA. Everything needed for straight bolt-on installation is included in their kit, including silicone charge pipes with integrated injector ports. It features its own controller with a MAP sensor that gradually raises injection volume together with boost for optimal performance.
5) C43 AMG Intercooler Upgrade
Our final suggestion for enhancing your AMG C43 is to replace the intercooler. The C43 employs a water-to-air intercooler, which cools the air traveling past it with water and coolant. The OEM unit is adequate for stock power levels and modest builds, but anyone living in hotter regions or considering larger builds should seriously consider an upgrade.
Advantages of an Upgraded Intercooler
- Lower intake temperatures
- Pressure drop is reduced.
- WMI integration is optional for convenience.
The larger core allows for more cooling while maintaining a lower pressure drop. Pressure drop occurs when boost loses compression on its way from the turbo to the engine, and the greater the pressure drop, the greater the performance decline. The greater the pressure drop, the harder your turbo has to work to provide enough boost, increasing wear and increasing intake and exhaust gas temperatures.
Recommendations for Mercedes-AMG C43 Intercooler Upgrades
The Wagner Tuning Performance Intercooler Kit is our first intercooler recommendation. It has 133% larger exterior core capacity than the original unit and significantly enhances cooling. It also comes with a 75mm charge pipe, which is about twice the size of the stock model.
The Logos Engineering Motorworks High Performance Intercooler Kit is our second recommendation. The Logos core is 5% larger than the Wagner Tuning unit and is entirely based on the factory intercooler design. It includes a 52mm charge pipe and excellent cooling capabilities.
Both units include WMI integration ports. This allows for easy integration for any serious builds that want to use both modifications without adding unwanted complexity to the engine bay.
Summary of the 5 Best Mercedes-AMG C43 Performance Upgrades
The M276: DE 30 LA engine found in the Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC (W205) is a powerful unit that can easily handle some performance improvements. The standard block and internals are noted for their outstanding engineering and can withstand a lot of power before needing to be replaced. These cars can easily handle 120whp/wtq boosts without breaking a sweat.
In this post, we looked at the five finest AMG C43 performance enhancements, and they are all worthwhile changes. Tuning provides the biggest bang for your buck in terms of horsepower and torque, but we recognize that not everyone wants to change the factory ECU settings. Intakes and downpipes are excellent ways to boost flow into and out of the engine, which not only increases power but also improves reliability. Finally, water-methanol injection kits are excellent enhancements that combine improved performance with better dependability.