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Future models - Mercedes-AMG - GLC43

Four-pot power for Mercedes-AMG GLC

Two versions of mid-size performance SUV expected to arrive in Australia mid next year

21 Jul 2023

TWO versions of the high performance, mid-size Mercedes-AMG GLC wagon are on the way here in Q2 2024 with ‘coupe’ versions undoubtedly in the pipeline.


The boosted ‘Benz AMG SUVs will be available in GLC43 4Matic and GLC63 S E-Performance variants with an as yet unknown price and according to Mercedes-AMG they deliver more power, more equipment and more driving pleasure.


Guesstimating the AMG GLC’s pricing places it up against tasty morsels including the potent Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio at $153,500, BMW’s X3 and X4 M Competition models at $178,000 and $185,00 apiece, Porsche’s Macan GTS at $143,200 and even the Maserati Grecale Trofeo at $165,000 – all plus on-road costs.


They are all glamorous nameplates with high output powertrains of varying configuration but all with ICE in the mix.


Mercedes-Benz itself has potent, fully electric EQB and EQC models in there too if a buyer wants to go BEVing.


Both new models run AMG’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder M139L engine, (‘L’ for longitudinal installation) the only production engine in the world to date that has forced induction with an electric exhaust gas turbocharger.


The system is a direct derivative of the technology used by Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ F1 Team and is a new form of turbocharging that guarantees spontaneous response across the entire rev range.


In the “entry level” GLC43 4Matic model it produces some 310kW and 500Nm with an additional 10kW of boost in the lower speed range from a belt-driven starter-generator. It clocks a 0-100km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds.


As the name suggests, the model uses AMG Performance 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution and standard rear axle steering in conjunction with an AMG Speedshift MCT 9G transmission with wet start-off clutch.


Keeping it resolutely tracking true is AMG Ride Control suspension with adaptive damping.


Stepping up to the big bopper, the GLC63 S E-Performance hybrid powertrain is a “technical masterpiece” says AMG as it combines the specialist maker’s 2.0-litre turbo engine (with a bigger turbo for 350kW) and a 150kW Electric Drive Unit (EDU) on the rear axle for what AMG calls “an exhilarating driving experience with high efficiency”.


The same powertrain architecture is already used in other Mercedes-AMG models.


The independent hybrid config’ (petrol engine front, electric at the rear) gives a balanced weight distribution with benefits to driving dynamics and handling. Immediate response is delivered by the electric drive on the rear axle providing a fast torque build-up and rapid power delivery.


The electric motor boosts power and torque depending on the drive program and driving conditions and can provide either a comfortable or a performance-oriented driving experience. If a driver chooses, electric-only mode is also possible.


Taking a leaf out of Formula 1, the electric powertrain and the high-performance 400v battery are in-house AMG developments. The battery is specifically designed for fast power output and draw with innovative direct cooling of the cells.


The combined system output is a whopping 500kW while the combined maximum system torque is an even more whopping 1020Nm. It clocks a 0-100km/h sprint in 3.5 seconds.


Like the 43, the 63 also uses AMG’s fully variable Performance 4Matic + all-wheel drive for benefits to the vehicle’s dynamics.


The new models boast AMG-specific details on the outside and inside.


The exterior look includes an AMG‑specific grille with vertical struts and AMG front apron with flics, sporty air intakes and chrome-plated trim elements. Flics, large inlets and air curtains direct the airflow specifically to various functions.


Other integrated elements include side sill panels, a diffuser-look rear apron on the 43 or additional diffuser board on the 63 and two twin tailpipe trims, round on the 43, trapezoidal on the 63.


Inside are AMG seats in man-made leather combined with Microcut microfibre with distinctive graphics and upholstery.


Optional embossed Nappa leather is available for non-vegans. AMG Performance seats are optional.


The cabin is characterised by the AMG sports D-cut steering wheel equipped with aluminium gearshift paddles. It is fitted with two round AMG buttons that allow fast operation of various dynamic driving functions.


The overall ambience creates a sporty-luxurious atmosphere added to by sports pedals, floor mats and illuminated door sill panels all with AMG branding.


Both vehicles use the MBUX infotainment system that includes a track data logger.


The high-performance battery in the 63 offers a capacity of 6.1kWh, 80kW continuous power and 150kW peak power for ten seconds. Charging is via recuperation or the installed 3.7kW on-board charger with alternating current at a charging station, wall box or household socket.


The battery is designed for fast power delivery and draw, not for the longest possible range. The electric range is 12km.


Both vehicles are equipped with high performance AMG active (adaptive) chassis components and large braking systems with AMG Dynamic Select multi modes available to tailor the vehicle’s driver feel and dynamic calibration. And both feature the requisite sporty exhaust note.


“The Mercedes-AMG GLC SUV is an absolute success with our customers,” said Mercedes-AMG head of G-Class and Maybach business units, Michael Schiebe.


“Our two versions with different characters for the sporty-urban lifestyle are superior all-rounders and precisely tailored to individual customer wishes. With the E-Performance drive in the GLC 63 S, we are also launching the first performance hybrid SUV.


“The all-wheel-drive system, the active rear-axle steering, and the quick-shifting transmission enhance the emotionally appealing hallmark AMG driving experience.”


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