The GLC SUV's new look comes to the powered-up AMG range, along with a host of key upgrades, to see off the new BMW X3 M and X4 M.
Alex Misoyannis • Mercedes-AMG has facelifted its V8-powered GLC63 midsize performance SUV and SUV coupe, ahead of its debut at the New York motor show.
Powering the updated crossovers is the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine as the outgoing car, which produces an unchanged 350kW of power and 650Nm of torque in GLC63 guise, or 375kW and 700Nm in the top-spec GLC63 S model.
Drive is sent to the road through a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a variable AMG-tuned 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system, which can shuffle torque between the front and rear axles on the fly.
The benchmark 0-100km/h sprint is covered in just 4.0 seconds in the ‘base’ 63, or 3.8 seconds in the 63 S.
The 63 tops out at an electronically-limited 250km/h – which increases to 270km/h with the AMG Driver’s Package – while the S variant hits V-max at 280km/h.
An electronically-locking limited-slip rear differential is now standard across the range, while other available performance features include a tri-mode stability control system, AMG Ride Control+ adaptive air suspension and a variable performance exhaust.
Dynamic engine mounts are now standard on the flagship S variant.
A number of drive modes are available – Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual (and RACE on S models) – which vary a number of parameters, including the all-wheel-drive system’s torque split, the limited-slip differential, adaptive dampers, exhaust note and stability control system.
Hiding behind the large alloy wheels – which range from 19 to 21 inches in size – are a set of large performance brakes. The perforated units are clamped by six-piston front and single-piston rear calipers. Ceramic composite items can be ordered as an option.
Visually, the crossovers combine the new styling cues seen on the facelifted non-AMG GLC, with the race-inspired AMG elements of the outgoing GLC63.
Up front, the re-shaped LED headlights are separated by an AMG-badged ‘Panamericana’ grille – it sits above a restyled lower intake inspired by other models in the German brand’s performance range.
At the rear, the revised LED taillights from the standard GLC are joined by an aggressive rear diffuser, quad exhaust tips, a larger spoiler and AMG badging.
Inside, the interior of the hot SUVs closely resembles that of the more lukewarm models in the lineup, with a dashboard dominated by a 10.25-inch central touchscreen running Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system. In front of the driver there’s a 12.3-inch fully-digital instrument cluster, which sits behind a flat-bottomed steering wheel with inbuilt drive mode controls.
The infotainment system is bundled with a number of AMG-specific displays, including AMG Track Pace, an app that displays lap times, delta times, a map of the circuit you’re on and more.
Customers can also option AMG Performance bucket seats, which are available in a range of colours and materials.
The new Mercedes-AMG GLC63 range will make its public debut at this week’s New York motor show.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S is set to arrive on Australian shores in October this year.
The sole grade on offer in Australia will be the 375kW GLC63 S. It will be available in wagon and coupe bodystyles.