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New York show: Mercedes-AMG reveals full-fat GLC63

Great eight: When it goes on sale, the GLC63 S will be the only mid-size SUV on the market to pack a V8 under its hood.

3.8-second 0-100km/h dash for twin-turbo Mercedes-AMG V8 GLC63 S and S Coupe


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5 Apr 2017

MERCEDES-AMG has revealed its twin-turbo V8 GLC63 SUV and Coupe siblings ahead of its public debut at the New York motor show next week, before arriving in Australian showrooms at the end of this year.

When it arrives Down Under in about December, it will have a unique selling point as the only mid-size SUV on the market to sport an eight-cylinder engine under the bonnet, which gives it performance figures that would embarrass some two-door performance models.

The GLC63 will be offered in two states of tune – the base GLC63’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 shared with the AMG GT sportscar that delivers 350kW/650Nm, and can sprint to 100km/h from standstill in a claimed four seconds flat.

Meanwhile, the hotter GLC63 S takes power output up to 375kW/700Nm, and does the 0-100km/h dash in just 3.8s, making it faster to 100km/h than the likes of the BMW M5 (4.2s) and the all-new Audi RS5 Coupe (3.9s), while matching the time of the new 404kW/770Nm Porsche Panamera Turbo.

Both variants employ a nine-speed automatic transmission that was first used in the new E63, with power being sent to all four wheels through Mercedes’ Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system, which continuously computes ideal torque distribution across all four wheels and can switch from rear- to all-wheel drive when required.

Mercedes-Benz Australia senior manager public relations, product and corporate communications David McCarthy confirmed that Australia will be getting the hotter GLC63 S, but the base variant was still under consideration.

“It’s a little early (to say),” he said. “S definitely, but not sure about the other yet, because we haven’t even negotiated price yet.”“Either way we’re probably looking at December (for an Australian arrival).”

The GLC63 gets Mercedes’ three-chamber air suspension system, with a four-link design with independent wheel control and wheel suspension elements on the front axle, while the rear axle borrows the E63’s multi-link setup which the brand says provides the car with greater driving dynamics and steering precision.

Like other AMG models, the GLC63 can change spring and damper stiffness to three different levels to prioritise comfort or sportiness with the springs stiffening automatically in the event of sudden load changes, fast cornering, or heavy accelerating or braking.

Wheels are 19-inch, ten-spoke alloy rims painted titanium grey and they come standard shod in 235/55 R19 front and 255/5 R19 rear rubber, with 20- or 21-inch alloy wheels offered as an optional extra.

Traction and dynamic ability is enhanced by the inclusion of a mechanical limited-slip differential (LSD) on the rear axle for the GLC63, while the S gets an electronic LSD.

Stopping power comes courtesy of 390mm perforated and ventilated brake discs at front and rear.

Styling on both SUV and Coupe variants is typically AMG, with beefy lower air intakes and front splitter, quad-pipe exhaust and rear diffuser, however the GLC63 also gets the vertically-striped Panamerica grille, which was previously reserved for variants of the GT sportscar family but will be rolled out to other AMG models.

Four drive modes are able to be selected – Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, and Individual, while the S adds a fifth Race mode for flat out performance.

For those who feel that the sound of a 4.0-litre twin-turbo AMG-tuned V8 is not enough, a Performance exhaust system is available which boosts aural output at the press of a button.

Other options include a Night package which throws in a number of dark-tinted bodykit parts, a carbon-fibre package and the AMG Performance Studio interior package which adds performance front-row seats and trimmings of Nappa leather and carbon-fibre throughout the cabin.

Mercedes-AMG also announced it will be offering a special Edition 1 variant for launch, as was done for the C63 Coupe.

The Edition 1 includes the Night package, a number of yellow exterior details on the side sills, wheel rims and side mirrors, and interior enhancements such as black Nappa leather with yellow stitching, carbon-fibre/aluminium dash trim, and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Mr McCarthy confirmed that Australia would get a limited number of GLC63 Edition 1s, however exact numbers were yet to be confirmed.

Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers said the GLC63 presented a potent blend of dynamic ability and SUV practicality.

“It is no easy job designing an SUV to be highly sporty and dynamic while at the same time offering inherent extreme driving stability,” he said.

“This required us to put our heart and soul, along with our many years of SUV expertise, into the development of this vehicle.

“The result is an SUV that can be driven with high precision and agility and which, if required, is equally at home on a high-speed lap of the race track.”

The GLC63 will join the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 GLC43 as the other AMG-fettled model in the Mercedes mid-size SUV range when it arrives in December.

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