By Otsile Kadiege
The boffins at Mercedes-AMG got their hands on the second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLC. Like the new AMG C-Class range, the potent duo are no longer powered by a 3.0 litre V6 and a 4.0 litre Bi-Turbo V8. Instead they’re both powered by a 2.0 litre four-cylinder sourced from the new C 43 4Matic and C 63 S E Performance.
At the heart of the new Mercedes-AMG GLC models is the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine know at Mercedes-AMG as the M139l (l meaning longitudinal) engine. Not only was it developed entirely at the company’s Affalterbach site, but it is also installed there in accordance with the “One Man, One Engine” principle.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4Matic has a rated output of 310 kW at 6750 rpm while the maximum torque of 500 Nm is available at 5000 rpm. Depending on the situation, the system also briefly provides an additional boost of 10 kW by the belt-driven starter generator (BSG). The GLC43 4Matic accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed which is electronically limited to 250 km/h.
In the GLC63 S E Performance, the M139l engine produces 350 kW at 6725 rpm. The maximum combustion engine torque of 545 Nm is available at 5250-5500 rpm. In the performance hybrid, the 2.0-litre engine is combined with a permanently excited synchronous electric motor, a high-performance battery developed in Affalterbach and the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system. The system output of 500 kW and the maximum system torque of 1020 Nm enable impressive driving performance: Acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h takes just 3.5 seconds and only ends at an electronically governed 275 km/h. The power is transmitted in both Mercedes-AMG GLC models via the AMG Speedshift MCT 9G transmission (MCT = Multi-Clutch Transmission), in which a wet start-off clutch replaces the torque converter.
The 150 kW electric motor is positioned at the rear axle, where it is integrated with an electrically shifted two-speed transmission and the electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential in a compact electric drive unit (EDU). The lightweight high-performance battery is also located in the rear above the rear axle.
Other bits and bobs fitted to the duo include AMG Ride Control suspension with Adaptive Damping System, a three-stage AMG speed-sensitive steering and standard rear-axle steering, AMG sports braking system and AMG exhaust system with sporty engine sound, and a standard active rear-axle steering.
Exterior design and styling
On the outside, numerous AMG-specific details underscore the dynamic character of the new Mercedes-AMG GLC variants. Highlights include the AMG- specific radiator grille with vertical struts and the AMG front apron with flics, sporty air intakes and chrome-plated trim element. Flics, large inlets and air curtains direct the airflow specifically to the various functions. Harmoniously integrated side sill panels, the diffuser-look rear apron (GLC43) or additional diffuser board (GLC63 S) and the two twin tailpipe trims (round on the GLC43, trapezoidal on the GLC63 S) round off the design.
The AMG Exterior Night Package I includes the painted exterior mirror housings in high-gloss black, the inlays in the AMG side sill trims, the shoulder-line trim strip, the window surrounds and the trim strip in the rear bumper. Added to this are heat-insulating dark-tinted glass from the B-pillar and the two black chrome-plated twin tailpipe trims of the AMG exhaust system.
With the AMG Night Package Exterior II, dark chrome is added: the fins of the radiator grille in dark chrome as well as the model badges on the wings and on the rear, including the star at the rear.
The AMG Carbon Exterior Package I includes elements in high-quality visible carbon for the A-wing of the AMG front apron, the inserts of the AMG side sill panels and the trim strip in the AMG rear apron. The AMG Styling Package makes the GLC43 look even sportier: The front splitter in high-gloss black with flics on the sides and the rear diffuser with diffuser board are visual borrowings from motorsport. Furthermore, there are additional flics for the air outlets in the rear apron in high-gloss black.
Interior design and tech
Inside, the Mercedes-AMG GLC models get AMG seats in Artico man-made leather/Microcut AMG microfibre with distinctive graphics and upholstery. Optional leather and nappa leather upholstery with embossed AMG crest in the front head restraints is available. The AMG Performance seats are also available as an option.
The AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather (GLC43) or nappa leather/Microcut microfibre (GLC63 S) is also fitted as standard. It is flattened at the bottom, perforated in the grip area and equipped with silver-coloured aluminium gearshift paddles. The two round AMG steering wheel buttons allow fast and unerring operation of various dynamic driving functions and of the AMG Dynamic Select drive programs. The sporty-luxurious atmosphere is rounded off by AMG sports pedals, AMG floor mats and illuminated door sill panels with AMG lettering.
On the tech side of things, both AMG models get the brand’s MBUX infotainment system includes various AMG-specific displays and functions. These include special displays in the instrument cluster, on the portrait-orientation multimedia central display in the centre console and on the optional head-up display. The AMG-exclusive “Supersport” style offers the option of displaying various contents via a vertical structure. This includes a set-up menu that displays the current settings of the suspension or transmission. In addition, the driver can have a navigation map or consumption data displayed in “Supersport” style. Also integrated is AMG Track Pace (standard in the GLC63 S, optional for the GLC43), the data logger for use on the racetrack.
Mercedes-Benz South Africa is yet to announce local launch dates and pricing.
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