A redesigned Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class compact crossover went on sale earlier this year, and it will soon be followed by sporty AMG variants that will come in GLC 43 and GLC 63 S E Performance flavors.
Mercedes on Monday revealed the coupe-like versions of the GLC 43 and GLC 63 S E Performance that will go on sale alongside their standard-body counterparts that Mercedes presented in July.
The GLC 43 models are scheduled to arrive in showrooms early next year as 2024 models. The GLC 63 S E Performance models will follow later in 2024 as 2025 models.
Pricing information will be revealed closer to the on-sale date.
The coupe-like body style loses some practicality, but it makes up for this by adding a sportier look that will appeal to some buyers.
Maximum cargo space in the GLC 43 Coupe is 52.6 cubic feet. This drops to 47.1 cubic feet in the GLC 63 S E Performance Coupe due to the vehicle’s battery and rear-mounted motor. The GLC 63 S E Performance Coupe is a plug-in hybrid, while the GLC 43 Coupe features mild-hybrid technology.
The GLC 43 Coupe’s powertrain is the same one found in the latest C 43 sedan, which arrived for the 2023 model year. The setup features a 2.0-liter turbo-4 with a Formula 1-style electric-aided turbocharger, as well as a mild-hybrid system capable of providing an additional boost. Peak output is 416 hp, or enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.7 seconds and a governed top speed of 155 mph, according to Mercedes. The mild-hybrid system can add another 13 hp.
The GLC 63 S E Performance Coupe’s powertrain dials up the performance considerably but also the complexity and weight. Here, a peak output of 671 hp is generated from a 2.0-liter turbo-4 with an electric-aided turbocharger and mild-hybrid system up front and a single electric motor at the rear of the vehicle. That’s over 200 hp more than what the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 delivered in the outgoing GLC 63, and it results in the electrified compact crossover sprinting to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and on to a governed top speed of 171 mph, according to Mercedes.
However, there’s more to the story than those numbers suggest. The GLC 63 S E Performance’s powertrain is designed to deliver power and torque where it is needed. For example, the rear electric motor is able to deliver its full torque in an instant to help off-the-line acceleration. Thanks to a 6.1-kwh battery pack, the crossover is also able to drive on electric power alone for short distances. The 400-volt battery features similar technology to that used in F1, enabling it to deliver high power outputs and recharge quickly, thanks in part to direct cooling of the cells.
There is a weight penalty for all of this technology. Mercedes hasn’t mentioned a curb weight, but the figure is likely to be higher than the 4,654 pounds of the latest C 63 S E Performance sedan that arrives for the 2024 model year and packs the same powertrain. One advantage of the added weight of the electrified system is better weight distribution compared the outgoing GLC 63, which only had a twin-turbo V-8 up front.
Beyond the powertrains, both crossovers benefit from a fully variable mechanical all-wheel-drive system, rear-wheel steering, and a quick-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission. They also feature high-performance brakes, speed-sensitive steering, and suspension with adjustable dampers all as standard. An active anti-roll system is available for the GLC 63 S E Performance to further improve handling at the limit.
Both crossovers sport typical AMG styling cues inside and out. The visual differences between the two grades are harder to spot compared to previous generations. AMG primarily separates the two models on the outside with details such as exhaust tip designs, various wheel and brake packages, and unique badging.
Inside, premium touches include nappa leather, grippy sport seats, and AMG-branded pedals and floor mats. Unique AMG graphics appear in the digital instrument cluster and infotainment system. AMG also fits its drive mode selector, known as Dynamic Select, as standard. There are five programs for the GLC 43 and eight for the GLC 63 S E Performance. These include adjustments for the electric stability control, including one mode that can switch off the system, which Mercedes has designed for use on the track.
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