Fast and Furious: Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupe
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Mention AMG and brute power accompanied by a thunderous soundtrack comes immediately to mind.Both elements, along with a luxurious interior, come together in the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupe.
It is not only the most aggressive-looking of Mercedes-AMG’s SUVs on the market, it is one of the fastest.
It takes just 3.8 seconds to travel from zero to 100km/h, which is pretty remarkable given we are talking about a high-riding five-door SUV that weighs just under two tonnes.
This model is said to be faster off the mark than even the equivalent Mercedes-AMG E63 four-door luxury sports sedan, which is held in awe by enthusiasts.
The extra weight of the SUV and the engineering wizardry from AMG combine to deliver immense power, efficiently and quickly.
The GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupe (lengthy model names are inevitable given Mercedes’ determination to fill every niche of the market) is powered by a 4-litre V8, direct-injection, bi-turbo engine that puts out 375kW of power and 700Nm of torque, and has an AMG speedshift 9-speed gearbox.
The test model was fitted with 21-inch AMG Cross-spoke forged wheels, which look great in black, but add $1700 to the standard list price of $189,000. The test car also had the AMG carbon fibre interior trim option ($1490) and the exterior carbon package ($4500), which includes carbon rear wing and carbon rear-view mirrors. Those extras bring the total cost of the test model to $197,590.
The good news is that as part of the baseline price you get fantastic sports seats that envelop the driver and front passenger. The driver’s seat even has manual thigh extenders, ensuring you have side support as you take sharp corners at speed.
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The interior carbon fittings and two-tone AMG nappa leather add to the luxury feel of the cabin.
The range of mood lighting helps set the mood inside the cabin.
But in spite of the cabin’s contemporary appearance, Mercedes has retained the manual rolling control button for audio volume control, which sits on the central console. As one of the most used switches on the car we are thankful the German marque has resisted the temptation to include it as part of any touch panel that has you poking distractedly at a screen just to turn the sound volume up or down.
The driving mode can also be changed quickly and easily via another switch on the console.
Changing driving modes adjusts the throttle response, the shift programming, the exhaust noise levels, and the stability-control settings, but Mercedes allows you to adjust everything independently so you can truly customise the SUV to your liking with an Individual mode. We ended up driving mostly in
Sport or Sport+ mode with the suspension dialled back to Comfort and the exhaust flaps closed.
But it is also fun to drive with them open, as long as you are well away from your immediate neighbours. You will want to hear that great V8 soundtrack in full flight, leaving plenty of noise in the wake of the chrome-tipped quartet of exhaust outlets.
The GLC 63 4MATIC+ Coupe is a handful behind the wheel, in a pleasurable way. It commands respect from the driver, who is always aware of the sheer might of power and grip they command.
Even in comfort mode, the ride is firm and the steering direct, with plenty of feel from the huge amount of rubber on the road.
The 21-inch AMG cross-spoke forged wheels definitely help set the AMG GLC 63S apart from the standard GLC Coupe models.
There are good-sized paddles to change gear on the steering wheel and they can be fun to use, although the sheer efficiency of the nine-speed automatic transmission is so good I hardly used them during my time with the car.
Acceleration is so effortless, with the multi-chamber air suspension system helping to smooth the way, even though in some modes the ride is firm rather than feather-light.
There is plenty of feel in the steering, as you would expect from the engineering heritage that AMG brings to the model. However, you are always aware you are driving a high-riding SUV rather than a sleeker and lower sedan or conventional coupe.
There is still nagging doubt about the point of these large five-door coupe models, with their long, sloping rooflines which in some models can reduce headroom in the rear seats.
This isn’t an issue here with the luxurious feeling of the front continuing through to the rear compartment. The rear is as sumptuous as the front of the cabin.
Fuel consumption is not going to be a concern to buyers of this vehicle but, for the record, it is said to have a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 10.9 litres/100km.
Mercedes-AMG 63 S 4MATIC+ COUPE
Pros: A head-turner with plenty of AMG-inspired fury
Cons: We prefer the four-door E 63 S sedan