- Published: Monday, 20 November 2017 14:11
Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 with up to 510hp, due for Singapore launch in second half 2018, Coupe in first half
Is there any car that Mercedes-Benz wouldn’t AMG-ify? Not content with having one of the most extensive and diverse model ranges of any manufacturer out there, Mercedes has also seen fit to provide a hot AMG version of nearly every one of those models.
This now includes the GLC compact SUV, the most recent model to be added to the Mercedes range (in right-hand drive markets at least). Earlier in the year, a “low-fat” AMG 43 variant was unveiled here, but now Mercedes-AMG has gone the whole hog and shoehorned in their turbocharged V8 engine to create the GLC 63 (below left, grey) and GLC 63 Coupe (below right, white).
The Coupe is due in Singapore in the first half of 2018, while Mercedes-Benz Singapore says the SUV 'non-coupe' is arriving in the second half of 2018.
The snorting, grunty M157 4.0-litre V8 should be familiar by now, having taken residence in the noses of the GT, E-Class and C-Class. And like the latter, on which the GLC is based, that V8 is available in similar states of tune: 476hp / 650Nm for the GLC 63, and 510hp / 700Nm in the GLC 63 S.
The rest of the drivetrain however, is different from the C-Class, as Mercedes-AMG has raided the corporate parts bin somewhat. Unlike the C63, which uses a seven-speed gearbox and is exclusively rear-wheel drive, the GLC63 borrows its nine-speed, multi-clutch transmission and rear-biased 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system from the more potent E 63, albeit without the loony Drift Mode setting.
Also borrowed from the E63 is the rear axle, which allows for a wider track width than regular GLCs. Like other AMG models, the ‘regular’ GLC 63 has a mechanical limited-slip differential, while the 63 S gets an electronic differential which is said to provide faster and more sensitive control of power going to the rear wheels.
Mercedes is exceptionally proud of the fact that the GLC63 is the only car in the segment available with a V8 engine; to some, the unique soundtrack and “I have more cylinders than you” bragging rights are irresistible cachets.
The GLC 63 currently exists in its own curious void in the marketplace. Sure, other brands also boast performance-oriented SUVs, but all of them, like the Audi SQ5, make do with V6 engines with less than 400hp (apart from the 440hp Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Package). In other words, they’re direct competitors to the GLC 43 rather than the 63. How long the status quo stays this way remains to be seen though, as it’s a near-certainty that Mercedes’ two Bavarian rivals Audi and BMW are waiting in the wings with the RSQ5 and X3 M.