Mercedes Debuts Hot 2018 GLC63, Coupe AMG Variants in New York
Price, Packaging and Performance for All Tastes
It’s no secret that one of the pillars of success for the German premium brands in the last decade has been the rapid proliferation and constant improvement of their SUV lineups, now encompassing everything from reasonably priced compact crossovers, all the way up to six-digit luxo-liners. Although many decry the epidemic spawn of SUVs of all shapes and sizes as the death of performance, thankfully, Mercedes-AMG doesn’t share that sentiment and has instead bestowed the full-Monty performance treatment to its GLC SUV and the all-new GLC Coupe.
While Mercedes would surely like to talk about the run-of-the-mill GLC Coupe, we’re going to cut right to the good stuff and talk about the AMG models first. Rather than the run-of-the-mill GLC’s 2.0L I-4 turbo, the GLC63 and GLC63 Coupe essentially double displacement and output to a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V-8 producing a rousing 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Need even more fire-breathing horsepressure? Then step up to the GLS63 S Coupe, which serves up 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That copious power is routed through a nine-speed “Speedshift” transmission, employing a wet clutch in place of a conventional torque converter for even quicker response.
All that power is routed through a performance-tuned all-wheel-drive system employing a limited-slip rear differential, which is fully mechanical on the “regular” AMG models and electronic on the S Coupe. Depending on the driver’s mood, there are five selectable drive modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, and on an AMG model, the seldom-used “Eco.”
Setting the AMG models apart from their quotidian brethren are AMG’s “Panamericana” grille, inspired by the design of a jet wing and giving a good look at the multiple heat exchangers needed to keep the fire-breathing powertrain cool.
As expected for an AMG, there are multiple special trim and appearance packages, including the AMG Night package, which liberally applies the gloss-black treatment to the front bumper, side sill panels, exterior mirrors, and waistline trim strip. 19-inch staggered wheels and tires are standard, with 20- and 21-inch wheels and tires available. Pricing for the GLC63 models has not yet been announced but will surely be higher than the $55,825 for the V-6–powered AMG GLC43. The GLC63 models are scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. in early 2018. The non-AMG GLC Coupe models are at dealers now, starting at $46,875, including $925 destination.