Ever since BMW came up with the X6, SUV coupes offering a more stylistic approach to the traditional boxy off-roader have been hot property. Now at the New York Auto Show today (23 March) Mercedes-Benz gets in on the act with the GLC Coupe.
GL is Merc-speak for crossover and C is for C-class if it helps, and here at GRR we are still reeling a bit from the alphabet soup of so many renamed and new models from Mercedes in the past year or so.
More straightforward is its look – pretty much bang on with the concept that previewed it a year ago. We thought that looked good and reckon the production version has an elegant lines, neither too aggressive nor ‘off-roady’, confirming recent GL design successes such as the smaller GLA. The Coupe is 8cm longer and 4cm lower than the GLC sedan.
Mercedes says it’s the sportscar among its mid-size SUVs and helping substantiate that is sports suspension and more direct sports steering, continually adjustable damping, Dynamic Select modes including a Sport+ button, and height adjustable air suspension (as an option).
And the sportiest engine? That’s the twin turbo 367bhp V6 of the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe, an engine that is rapidly becoming a performance stalwart across the whole Mercedes range. With more dynamic styling and handling this version is credited with an impressive sub-5 second 0-62mph time, though that’s still to be confirmed.
There’s also to be a GLC 350 e-4Matic Coupe, which is a petrol/electric hybrid boasting 320hp, 0-62mph in 5.9sec (to be confirmed) and a zero emissions all-electric range of 18 miles.
Others available when ordering opens in June, with first UK deliveries from October, is diesel power between 170 and 204bhp, or petrol power up to 211hp. Merc says ‘most’ models come with 4Matic all-wheel drive and Merc’s impressive nine-speed automatic transmission is of course standard.
With its stretched glasshouse and dropping roofline, inviting interior and promise of fine drive, the GLC Coupe is a handsome newcomer – and GRR looks forward to pitting it against its rivals such as the BMW X4. Where would you put your money?