Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters: Biturbo Mercedes-AMG GLC43 on its Way
Playboy-Spec Compact Benz SUV Due By Year’s End
The first-ever GLC-Class is getting a Mercedes-AMG variant, and from the looks of it, it’s going to be quite an impressive sporty SUV. The Mercedes-AMG GLC43 has a version of the company’s 3.0L twin-turbo V-6, making 362 hp and a massive 384 lb-ft, and the company’s fancy suspension and brake engineering make an appearance as well. We expect it to be the hottest fashion accessory next season, adorning the playboys of Miami and Venice Beach by year-end.
Mercedes claims the ‘roided-up GLC will hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, outpacing BMW’s hottest X3 and keeping up with Audi’s lovely SQ5, but curiously, the GLC43 is slower than its little brother, the compact GLA45. All of the above SUVs see nothing but taillight from the Porsche Macan Turbo.
One area the GLC43 ought to shine is in handling performance. It’s curious to say, given that AMG vehicles were once known for their ragged, muscle-car–like dynamics, but the GLC43’s retuned suspension ought to give it lovely manners on a twisty road. Leading the charge in that respect is the AMG’s redesigned four-link front axle, which has revised steering knuckles and more rigid componentry. Extra negative camber front and rear ought to give the GLC43 very sharp turn-in responses, and both axles’ elastokinematics (bushings, bearings, and other load-bearing joints) have been revised for extra rigidity, enhancing steering feel and control. Rear-biased 4Matic all-wheel drive will help as well.
In order to behave less like an AMG and more like a Mercedes when the need arises, the GLC43 is also equipped with Air Body Control, the company’s air suspension. Retuned for AMG duty, Air Body Control allows the driver to select one of three modes: Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus. Comfort mode ought to be just fine for daily driving over pockmarked city streets, while Sport Plus should be perfect for max-attack canyoneering.
Outside, the AMG distinguishes itself from the standard GLC with satin chrome and gloss-black trim bits. The radiator grille’s focal point is the large Mercedes-Benz star, surrounded by diamond-shaped chrome pins. An aggressive lower bumper with enlarged grille openings, extended side and rear ground effects, and a subtle rear spoiler look appropriately sporty without crossing over into Pep Boys accessory-rack territory.
Inside, aggressively bolstered high-back bucket seats look a bit out of place in an SUV, but nevertheless, they convey the GLC43’s intended mission well. A fat-rimmed steering wheel looks very comfortable, and the interior features the expected cadre of infotainment, convenience, and luxury features. The dials get AMG-specific typography and a checkered-flag motif, just in case the driver is ever unsure as to what he or she’s piloting.
Transforming the pleasant, but pedestrian, GLC into an AMG variant seems like it was surprisingly easy, given how tasteful and put-together the GLC43 should look and perform. We’ll know more by the end of the year, which is when Mercedes-AMG promises the GLC43 will be released.