STUTTGART, Germany – Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance-car lineup reaches 50 models with the unveiling of the new GLC63 4Matic+ and GLC63 4Matic+ Coupe.
Both make their public debut at next week’s 2017 New York auto show.
The powered-up, all-wheel-drive-equipped duo take direct aim at the Porsche Macan Turbo and BMW X4 M40i, running a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V-8 gasoline engine that, in a move mirroring that of the C63 4Matic and C63 4Matic Estate, offers the choice of a standard 469 hp or a gutsier 503 hp in a pair of range-topping “S” models.
The performance leader among the AMG newcomers, the 503-hp GLC63 4Matic+ S Coupe is claimed to be Mercedes-Benz’s fastest-accelerating SUV with an official 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of just 3.7 seconds.
This makes it 0.4 seconds closer to the traditional performance benchmark than the 577-hp twin-turbo 5.5L V-8-powered GLE63 4Matic S Coupe, until now the German automaker’s quickest-accelerating SUV with a claimed 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds.
The new AMG models fall short of claiming the fastest-accelerating road-going SUV crown, however. That distinction rests with the all-electric Telsa Model X P100D, whose dual electric motors top 700 hp and are claimed to dispatch it from 0-60 mph in an official 2.9 seconds.
Confirmed for U.S. delivery in early 2018, the GLC63 4matic+ and GLC63 4Matic+ Coupe are the latest Mercedes-Benz models to sport AMG’s new Panamericana grille first introduced on the GT R as part of a series of exterior styling elements that help visually differentiate them from lesser GLC and GLC Coupe models, including AMG’s own GLC43 and GLC43 Coupe.
The distinctive grille, housing vertical slats and Mercedes-Benz’s signature 3-pointed star, is incorporated in a front bumper closely resembling that worn by the recently introduced E63 4Matic+ and E63 4Matic+ Estate with large air ducts and a prominent splitter element that directs cooling air to the engine bay and front brakes.
Other exterior styling changes over the standard GLC and GLC coupe include wider black plastic flares within the wheel arches, painted brake calipers, “V8 Turbo” badges along the flanks, wider sills underneath the doors, a subtle tailgate-mounted lip spoiler on the GLC63 4Matic+ Coupe and a new rear bumper housing an integrated diffuser element and four trapezoidal-shaped chromed exhaust pipes.
Upgrades to the interior of the new AMG models largely mirror those seen on the C63 4Matic and C63 4Matic Estate, which will be produced alongside the GLC63 4Matic+ and GLC63 4Matic+ Coupe at Mercedes-Benz’s plant in Bremen, Germany. They include unique instrument graphics, a flat-bottom steering wheel, AMG sport seats and various AMG-specific controls within the center console.
Power for AMG’s latest SUV models hails from the same version of the twin-turbo 4.0L V-8 gasoline engine used by the C63 4Matic and C63 4Matic estate. In standard guise it is tuned to deliver 469 hp and 479 lb.-ft. (650 Nm) of torque. With added turbocharger boost pressure, it provides an additional 34 hp and 37 lb.-ft. (50 Nm), boosting the output of the headlining GLC63 4Matic+ S and GLC63 4matic+ S Coupe to 503 hp and 516 lb.-ft. (700 Nm).
By comparison, the twin-turbo 3.6L V-6 gasoline engine powering the Porsche Macan Turbo develops 434 hp and 442 lb.-ft. (599 Nm) when fitted with an optional Performance Package, while the turbocharged 3.0L inline 6-cyl. gasoline engine of the BMW X3 M40i kicks out 355 hp and 343 lb.-ft. (465 Nm).
But while the C63 4Matic and C63 4Matic Estate employ a 7-speed version of AMG’s Speedshift MCT gearbox, the new GLC63 4Matic+ and GLC63 4Matic+ Coupe come standard with the newer 9-speed variant of the wet-clutch-equipped transmission launched late last year on the E63 4matic+ and E63 4Matic+ Estate.
The new AMG pairing also adopts the latest version of the Mercedes-Benz performance division’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Introduced on the E63 4Matic+ and E63 4Matic+ Estate, the new setup, which for now remains exclusive to AMG models, uses an electromechanically controlled clutch to connect the permanently driven rear axle with the front axle and provide a fully variable apportioning of drive relative to prevailing grip and traction levels.
Following the lead of other recent new AMG models, the GLC63 4Matic+ and GLC63 4Matic+ Coupe also receive a so-called Dynamic Select system that provides standard models with Comfort, Eco, Sport and Sport Plus driving modes. The top-of-the-line “S” models also receive a fifth mode: Race. Besides providing variable properties for the throttle and gearbox mapping, the Dynamic Select system also gives the new AMG models a coasting function on a trailing throttle at speeds between 37 mph (60 km/h) and 100 mph (161 km/h) in Eco mode for added fuel savings.
The new range-topping GLC63 4matic+ S Coupe comprehensively out-accelerates the most powerful GLC model to date, the recently introduced 367-hp turbocharged 3.0L V-6-powered GLC43 4matic Coupe, with a 0-60 mph sprint of 3.7 seconds vs. 4.9 seconds. By comparison, Porsche claims a 0-62 mph time of 4.4 seconds for the Macan Turbo optioned with the new Performance Package, while BMW’s X3 M40i boasts a 0-62 mph time of 4.9 seconds.
As with its rivals, Mercedes-AMG confirms a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h) for all four variants of its two new GLC-based models.
Underpinning the GLC63 4Matic+and GLC63 4Matic+ Coupe is a suspension system that combines the 4-link arrangement from the C63 4Matic and C63 4Matic Estate at the front with the multilink setup from the E63 4Matic+ and E63 4Matic+ Estate at the rear – the latter featuring a wider track and greater negative camber than other GLC and GLC Coupe models. Also included is an AMG-tuned version of Mercedes-Benz’s 3-chamber Air Body Control system offering three levels of damping stiffness: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus.
As with other recent new AMG models, the GLC63 4Matic+ and GLC63 4Matic+ Coupe will be available at launch with a limited Edition1 equipment package. Included are various features from the otherwise available Night Package, which brings high-gloss black and yellow embellishments to the exterior in combination with interior styling comprising black nappa leather with yellow stitching for the seats, door panels and center console.