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We’ve been spying on the Mercedes-AMG C43 successor for more than two years, but it looks like there's still some testing that needs to be done. Nürburgring "resident" Automotive Mike has spotted the sports sedan being pushed hard on the Nordschleife ahead of a potential world debut in the coming months. The easiest way to tell it's the "AMG Lite" version is by the smaller trunk lid spoiler and round shape of the quad exhaust tips.

Because of the disguise, it's hard to tell whether the C63 will have wider fenders than the C43, although logic tells us the range-topper is going to have beefier tracks. The sound you're hearing doesn't come from a V6 anymore since all C-Class W206 flavors are four-cylinder-only. The same holds true for its SUV equivalent, the GLC, with the only exception being the 400d with its six-cylinder diesel. In other words, the AMGs will be strictly a four-cylinder affair.

While AMG has been eager to talk about the new C63 with its longitudinally-mounted M139 engine and electric motor, the peeps from Affalterbach have been tight-lipped about the C43. We don't even know whether it'll retain its name since there's a rumor about switching to the "C53" moniker. Regardless of how it's going to be called, it too should get the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine from the “45” AMG models.

It pushes out a healthy 416 hp in the CLA45 S, which oddly enough, is already more than the 385 hp available from the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 of the C43. To respect the pecking order, surely AMG wants the next-gen C-Class AMG base model to outpunch the lesser compact models to deserve its premium. If we were to make an educated guess, the prototype undergoing last-minute testing at the 'Ring had roughly 430-450 hp to create a considerable gap compared to the "45" cars.

Some form of electrification could be implemented to keep the regulators happy by lowering emissions. It will have a positive impact on overall power as well, but at the expense of weight since a hybrid setup will add bulk. The 2023 AMG C43/53 is likely to be automatic- and all-wheel-drive-only. Speaking of 4Matic, the flagship C63 will get an all-paw system for the first time since it used to send power only to the rear axle.

The C43/C53 should be revealed before the C63, so the premiere could take place sooner rather than later.

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