Mercedes GLC 63s: Luxury meets power
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Meet Mercedes-Benz New Zealand’s mix of a performance sports car and a luxury SUV — the AMG GLC 63S that boasts a stonking V8 engine.
The GLC range sits behind the GLE (see p9) premium off-roader range for Mercedes, with the German brand partnering with its AMG performance department to create the grunty GLC 63S.
Priced from $189,900 and available as a wagon or coupe SUV, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63S has a twin-turbo 4-litre petrol engine that outputs 375kW of power and 700Nm of torque.
It has the same engine as the Mercedes-AMG C63S sedan but is paired with nine-speed transmission and 4Matic system, rather than a six-speed transmission and rear-wheel-drive.
Despite weighing 2010kg, 280kg heavier than the sedan, the SUV is faster than the C63S at 0-100km/h in 3.8sec.
This makes it the third fastest AMG in the range behind only the GT coupe and the E63.
That’s an impressive bragging right.
Driven tested the coupe around Auckland with our model (pictured) priced at $198,570 due to an AMG carbon fibre interior and exterior packages, plus 21in AMG cross-spoke tyres.
The GLC 63S gets adaptive air suspension, a rear-axle limited-slip differential, and a high-performance braking system and five drive modes — Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race, and Individual that allows you to personalise engine, steering, suspension and exhaust settings.
Comfort is ideal for city driving with the sound out of the exhausts not obnoxious. Flick into Sport and Sport + mode and you get a snorting exhaust with plenty of crackle and pops.
But if you want that loud sports exhaust in Comfort mode, you can engage a performance exhaust button that will snort loudly at start up — ensuring your neighbours know you’re heading out.
What better way to be proudly obnoxious about V8’s delightful exhaust noise than to head to the all-new Tesla showroom in central Auckland and rev your engine outside the building.
Hey, it’s the only noise they’re going to hear inside!
I wasn’t doing it to show off but instead was picking up Tesla-owner friends who were visiting Auckland and I was being their expensive Uber driver.
The GLC 63S coupe is an acquired taste style-wise I reckon, but there was enough space for four adults for a long trip, though the rear view is limited due to the sloping roof.
What makes it stand out visually from other GLC SUVs is the Panamericana grille (only the second vehicle in the AMG range behind the GT coupe to get one).
It’s best to drive around the city in Comfort mode due to the firm drive, and any dips in the road (or speed bumps) are taken cautiously.
But this vehicle loves the open road and motorway speeds, especially in Sport or Sport+ mode, with a firm ride, tighter steering and plenty of power.
There is plenty of safety tech as standard, including adaptive cruise control, active lane keeping, brake assist, blind-spot monitoring, and lane keeping assist.
I drove the wagon version at the Australia launch recently out of Yea in Victoria, and after an hour behind the wheel of this version of the GLC 63S I was saying, “oh yeah”.
This version takes on the Porsche Macan turbo when it comes to performance SUVs, and there’s nothing quite like the thundering noise from the exhaust to make you realise there is a serious market for these vehicles.