Mercedes-Benz has always been a pioneer in automotive innovation, and its latest offering is no exception. The Mercedes-AMG GLC SUV, which can now be ordered as a performance hybrid, combines the best of both worlds: a sports car's power and agility with an SUV's efficiency and practicality.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC SUV is available in two models: the GLC 43 4MATIC and the GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE. Both models feature a distinctive AMG design, with a vertical-louvered radiator grille, LED high-performance headlamps, AMG body styling, and 20- or 21-inch alloy wheels. The interior is equally sporty and luxurious, with heated power-adjustable front seats, an MBUX multimedia system, an AMG performance steering wheel, and a head-up display.
The GLC 43 4MATIC is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric turbocharger that produces 416 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and a 4MATIC all-wheel drive system that distributes power between the front and rear axles. The GLC 43 4MATIC also features a belt-driven starter generator that acts as a mild hybrid, providing a temporary power boost of 13 horsepower and aiding in gliding and recuperation.
The GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE is the first performance hybrid SUV from Mercedes-AMG, and it boasts an impressive system output of 671 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid system consists of a 4.0-liter V8 engine with twin turbochargers that generate 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, and an electric motor on the rear axle adds another 201 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The electric motor also enables all-electric driving under certain conditions, with a range to be announced. The hybrid system is connected to a nine-speed wet-clutch transmission and an AMG performance fully variable 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system that can send power to any wheel as needed.
The GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE also features an electric exhaust gas turbocharger that uses an electric motor on the turbo shaft to spool up the compressor wheel before the exhaust gases arrive, virtually eliminating turbo lag. The turbocharger is significantly larger than the one in the GLC 43 4MATIC and runs off of a 400-volt electrical architecture. The hybrid system is powered by a high-performance 400-volt 6.1 kWh battery that is located above the rear axle and has an innovative direct cooling system.
Both models are equipped with an AMG-specific suspension system that includes adaptive dampers, active roll stabilization, and rear-wheel steering. The braking system is also upgraded, with larger discs and red calipers with AMG lettering. The driving dynamics can be adjusted via the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT system, which offers six modes: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race, and Individual.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC SUV is fast, fun to drive, and safe and smart. It comes with a range of standard driver-assistance features, such as blind-spot monitoring, automated emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree camera system. It also offers optional features such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, cross-traffic alert, and evasive steering assist.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC SUV is expected to arrive in U.S. dealerships in early or late 2024, depending on the model. The pricing has not been announced yet, but it is likely to be higher than the standard GLC-class SUV, which starts at $44,250 for the base model. However, for those who are looking for a performance hybrid SUV that offers unparalleled power and luxury on every road and every drive, the Mercedes-AMG GLC SUV may be worth the premium.