GRR

Mercedes GLC 63 AMG revealed

04th April 2017
Bob Murray

We don’t know what it is that the good folks at Mercedes-AMG are on, but whatever it is, we want some of it. Their push for performance seemingly knows no bounds. An AMG GT sports car in an SUV’s body? Step right this way… 

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Yes, they have stuffed their fantastic V8 into the front of Mercedes’ mid-size all-wheel drive family wagon, the GLC. Along with plenty more specific AMG stuff from other full-fat AMGs. Along with, for heaven’s sake, a Race mode…

A Discovery Sport-sized SUV with AMG’s magic number 63 next to it was always going to hold plenty of allure, and so it seems. On paper at least the new GLC 63 4Matic, available in both saloon and coupe forms, rewrites the rulebook in the sporty SUV class, one already hardly lacking in high-performance drivers’ cars.

For starters, it’s unique in the class for having a V8, unless you include the SVR Range Rover Sport but at £100k or so that’s really a different proposition. AMG doesn’t want you to miss the fact that it’s a V8, either. Flaps in the exhaust can deliver standard V8 burble, extra burble or, as an option, a super burble to really scare the horses. 

The thunder is not without its lightning. The 4.0-litre biturbo unit, already familiar from a host of other AMGs, delivers 476ps (469bhp) in standard form and 510ps (503bhp) in S guise.

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And to save you looking it up that’s 200 horses more than the most powerful BMW X4, 150 up on the Audi SQ5, and 130 more than the top Jag F-Pace and Land Rover Velar (for now, at least). Oh and it’s 70bhp to the good over the current class pacesetter, the Porsche Macan Turbo in Performance Pack guise.

The Porsche does the 0-62mph sprint in 4.4 seconds so what will the new AMG, with probably similar circa 2,000kg weight, manage it in? Merc-AMG is not saying at the moment, but it’s going to be quick. The GLC in AMG-lite 43 form with 367bhp already does it in 4.9 seconds…

Like the rest of the AMG 63 models the newcomer gets specific AMG developed hardware – most notably AMG’s multi-link rear axle and wider track – along with a raft of Merc’s latest technology. This includes multi-chamber air suspension, continuously variable adaptive dampers, nine-speed Speedshift automatic and the latest smart all-wheel drive system from the AMG E-class. Traction out of corners is courtesy of a limited slip diff – mechanical in the base car, electronic in the S – rather than any individual wheel-braking. 

AMG Dynamic Select drive programmes offer what Mercedes say is the widest range of personalisation in the sector, ranging from Eco – complete with a fancy electronic version of the old 4x4’s free-wheeling hubs! – through the usual Comfort and Sport to the new Race mode where all parameters are configured for maximum performance for track driving, though what the differences are over Sport+ mode we are not sure. Presumably, AMG is not expecting people to actually race them…? 

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The new extra-wide body, with its roof-top lip spoiler, new sills and filled-out wheelarches – is fronted by the Panamericana-style grille previously used only on the AMG GT sports car. The sporting intent is plain to see. 

AMG’s favoured yellow and black colourways dominate the first Edition 1 models with which the GLC 63 is launching, in both saloon and coupe body styles. The yellow stripes – shown on the Edition 1 coupe in our pictures – aren’t obligatory. 

A new class champion? Maybe. But one thing for sure, it’s not going to have it all its own way in this class for very long. 550bhp Jaguar SVR F-Pace anyone? It’s coming. 

Mercedes-AMG is promising first deliveries in September 2017, at prices to be confirmed. The AMG GLC43, one rung down AMG’s performance ladder, is £51k before options, and the top Macan from Porsche is circa £70k – so a number between the two is probably about right.

  • mercedes-amg

  • AMG

  • GLC

  • GLC 63

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