If there may be one kind of automotive assured to generate income, it’s SUVs. In recent times, Mercedes has seen enormous success with its crossover vary – protecting all bases with every part from the lovable and cuddly GLA, by way of to the luxurious GLS and rugged G-Class 4×4.
It has additionally seen a surge in reputation for its sporty AMG fashions. So mixing the 2 should make good sense, absolutely? In response to that very query, Mercedes has offered this: the all-new AMG GLC 63.
Lifting the acquainted four.Zero-litre twin-turbo V8 from the C 63 S and the brand new nine-speed MCT gearbox from the bigger E 63 S, Mercedes gives a selection of two full-fat GLCs. The ‘entry’ model will get 469bhp, whereas the flagship AMG GLC 63 S (as examined right here) boasts 503bhp and a whopping 700Nm of torque.
Becoming the £2,755 AMG Driver’s Package deal raises the GLC 63’s prime pace from 155mph to 174mph. All S fashions will do Zero-62mph in simply three.eight seconds – a full second sooner than a Porsche Macan Turbo. However with an inventory worth of £75,610, it’s virtually £12,000 greater than a Macan Turbo, too.
Commonplace tools is fairly beneficiant, thoughts, with all fashions benefitting from excessive efficiency brakes, a mechanical rear-axle differential and AMG sports activities suspension. Inside, you’ll discover leather-based sports activities seats, and Merc’s Comand On-line infotainment system. S variations add larger wheels and totally different seats, amongst different sporty trinkets.
From the within, neither model feels all that totally different to the semi-skimmed AMG GLC 43. The 63 doesn’t even do a lot within the cabin to separate itself from the traditional diesel vehicles. That’s no unhealthy factor, nonetheless, as match and end is first fee. It’s on par with the most recent Audi Q5, and finds itself trumped solely by the brand new Volvo XC60. The driving place is excessive however superb, although the seats really feel somewhat flat and lack assist.
Flip the important thing and there’s no mistaking this GLC for one of many humble diesels, nonetheless. Our automotive had the elective (£1,000) sports activities exhaust fitted, bursting into life with a bellowing V8 roar attribute of each present 63 mannequin within the Mercedes vary. Even the smallest blip of the throttle is sufficient to bounce echoes off close by buildings, whereas putting your proper foot flat on the ground produces a noise extra akin to a hurricane at full chat.
Previous AMGs had a greater than somewhat in widespread with old-school American muscle vehicles, possessing a brutish nature that meant they had been extra completed in a straight line than they had been by way of a sequence of tight bends. And whereas trendy fashions are a lot improved, their skill to tear rubber stays intact. Go away the traction and stability programs off and the GLC will slip and slide out of low pace corners, spinning its tyres away from rolling T-junctions.
Nevertheless, with the most recent 4MATIC+ system, the GLC gives unimaginable traction over clean tarmac. Our German check route supplied little in the best way of damaged or potholed roads, however the enormous 20-inch wheels adopted ruts and tramlined over poorer surfaces. The large rims are customary on S fashions, and, together with the agency suspension, are more likely to make for a barely fidgety experience again within the UK.
The steering is tremendous sharp, although, providing virtually twitchy suggestions across the straight-ahead. The Macan feels extra malleable, extra agile, although the Merc’s tight physique management suitably belies its dimension. The nine-speed dual-clutch gearbox rattles by way of the primary few (admittedly quick) ratios, however permits the GLC to settle into an impressively sedate cruise. Attempt to change down by way of a number of cogs too rapidly and it’ll merely refuse, nonetheless.
In fact, in transition from four-cylinder diesel to AMG V8, the GLC has misplaced none of its practicality. The cabin nonetheless gives loads of room for adults, whereas the 550-litre boot shames the Macan’s 500-litre load bay.
In just some weeks we’ll be driving the flagship Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio within the Center East. It ought to show a extra comparable match for the GLC – with an an identical energy output and equally spacious cabin. Jaguar’s hotly-rumoured F-Tempo SVR ought to arrive subsequent yr, too, with as much as 575bhp from a supercharged 5.Zero-litre V8.