Mercedes-Benz Launches GLC Coupe in New York
Fastback Compact Crossover Squares Off With BMW X4
Mercedes-Benz is going X4 hunting with the all-new GLC Coupe crossover. The latest iteration of the SUV/coupe craze is on full display at the 2016 New York International Auto Show this week.
It’s not surprising to see Mercedes enter this segment; after all, the company invented the “four-door coupe” theme with the original CLS-Class. Arriving on the scene one model year later than the standard GLC, the GLC Coupe offers sleeker styling than other like-bodied SUVs, and we think its rear haunches look much more elegant than its GLE Coupe big brother, which looks a bit like a turtle when viewed in profile. With thin taillamps emphasizing the vehicle’s width, the GLC Coupe’s best angle could be the rear three-quarter, with a squat, planted stance emphasizing the crossover’s on-road performance mettle.
The fastback GLC takes most of its bones from the regular GLC-Class SUV, including the standard 2.0L turbocharged I-4 and optional 3.0L twin-turbo V-6. Those engines, powering the GLC300 Coupe and AMG GLC43 Coupe respectively, port over unchanged from the GLC-Class.
That means 241 hp at 5,500 rpm and 273 lb-ft from 1,300 to 4,000 rpm for the GLC300. That should be ample motivating force for the coupe, which will weigh about the same as the conventional GLC. The 300 will compete very closely with BMW’s base X4, although all-wheel drive is standard on the Mercedes, while BMW charges extra for it. Porsche’s base Macan, with its recently introduced 2.0L turbo four, will also be a competitor. Unlike those two, the GLC300 comes equipped with off-road suspension settings, and if the regular GLC is any indicator, the Coupe will be surprisingly adept in muddy, wintry, and rocky situations.
The AMG-branded GLC43 Coupe will compete with the BMW X4 M40i. Both vehicles feature 3.0L six-cylinder engines with forced induction, although the X4’s turbocharged I-6 makes somewhat less power and torque than the GLC43’s V-6. The Mercedes-AMG motor makes 362 hp and 384 lb-ft, which is an impressive number for a small SUV. We expect the GLC43 to accelerate to 60 mph as quickly as its Audi SQ5, BMW X4, and Porsche Macan S competition. Mercedes quotes sub–4.0-second times.
As with any Mercedes, expect both the GLC300 and GLC43 Coupe to be available with a wide variety of safety and convenience options. Sumptuous leather or economical MB-Tex upholstery cover the interior, which is modern and attractive (just as it is in the GLC). Pricing has yet to be announced, but there will be a premium for the GLC Coupe’s less practical, prettier design. Plan on paying a few grand extra for the honor of bumping your head every time you sit up straight in the back seat.
The attractive GLC Coupe will go on sale early in 2017.