Mercedes-AMG announces the GLC43 – the first V-6-powered GLC

With the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 starting out at $99,950, and the Mercedes-AMG GLA45 starting out at $49,580, Mercedes has had a huge gap in its AMG lineup. It’s asking a bit much to expect your customers to pay an extra $50,000 if they want an AMG-branded SUV that is larger than the GLA. Well, with the first quarter of 2016 coming to an end, Mercedes has decided to expand its lineup even further. And just today, it announced the Mercedes-AMG GLC43. Finally, a model to bridge that $50,000 gap.

Tobias Moers, the CEO of Mercedes-AMG, said, “With the new AMG GLC43 we are offering an AMG model in the mid-size SUV segment for the first time. The new SUV from Affalterbach marks the pinnacle of the GLC product range and in the AMG portfolio, it closes the gap between the GLA and GLE.

As exciting as that news sounds, there is more to it than meets the eye. See here in the U.S., the GLC SUV has only been available with a 2.0-liter that produced a fair but unimpressive 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. With the addition of the GLC43, the GLC lineup finally receives a V-6 for the first time as well. Now that is certainly worth talking about, right? We think so, and that is what we’re here to do.

The new GLC43 will make its world debut later this month at the New York International Auto Show, with sales set to begin by the end of the year. So, until we can see it in the metal over in New York, let’s take a look at the official pre-release photos and information provided by Mercedes-AMG.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC.

  • 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Transmission:
    9G-Tronic nine-speed
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    362 @ 5500
  • Torque @ RPM:
    384 @ 2500
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.8 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
    63000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Exterior
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As is the case with most AMG models, there are only subtle differences on the outside to set the GLC43 apart from the standard GLC SUV. Up front, you’ll notice the same hood and headlights. The front grille has a gloss black background with chrome pins, and instead of having two louvers, the GLC43 has just one in the middle that is finished in chrome with black inserts. This gives the Mercedes emblem a floating appearance. Down below the air dam is significantly larger with fine honeycomb mesh. To the sides, the air vents are the same shape as on the standard GLC, but there are now two louvers in each one that are finished in gloss black with chrome inserts. Under the vents and air dam sits a chrome-finished front splitter that runs the entire width of the front fascia.

The GLC43 rides on 20-inch, AMG Multispoke wheels that are painted in high-gloss black

To the sides, the GLC43 now has a chrome insert that runs the length of the side skirts. The mirrors are painting in gloss black, like the rest of the body, and there are now side markers on the mirror housings. The GLC43 rides on 20-inch, AMG Multispoke wheels that are painted in high-gloss black. In the front, the wheels are eight inches wide and are wrapped in 255/45-series tires, and in the back, the wheels are 9.5 inches wide and wrapped in 285/40 series tires. Last, but not least, there is a silver-colored “BITURBO 4MATIC” badge on each front fender.

Around back, the only significant change is the design of the exhaust outlets and rear diffuser. The diffuser itself is painted in gloss black and features a chrome stripe that runs the entire width. The exhaust outlets now have a chrome insert around them that has a vertical louver in the middle – giving the appearance of dual exhaust outlets on each corner. The subtle little differences all the way around make the GLC43 stand out from the rest of the GLC class, but I still wish Mercedes would do a little more to the body. A more aggressive hood and slightly more aggressive fascias aren’t too much to ask for, right?

Interior

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Interior
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On the inside, there are even more subtle changes. The standard, circular steering wheel has been replaced by a flat-bottom sport steering wheel that features controls for the 5.5-inch driver information display in the instrument cluster. The AMG badge and a chrome insert have been applied to the bottom spoke of the steering wheel, and the top of the steering wheel is held together with red contrast stitching. The dials on the instrument cluster feature unique numbering, with a checkered flag background and red needles.

The seats, door trim, dash leather, and center console leather are also held together by red contrast stitching

As far as seating goes, the seats up improved lateral support over the base GLC, allowing the driver and passenger to hold their position during more intense maneuvers. The seats, door trim, dash leather, and center console leather are also held together by red contrast stitching. Silver inserts are used on the door trims and the face of the dash where there is normally wood trim on the standard GLC. The center console has a clear-finished carbon fiber insert that adds to the sporty and stylish look of the interior. The interior can also be optioned with performance seats and carbon fiber trim throughout.

Drivetrain

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Drivetrain
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The drivetrain is undoubtedly the heart of what makes the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 so special. For the first time, a V-6 is brought into the GLC lineup. Naturally, AMG chose to go with the 3.0-liter biturbo V-6 that produces 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. The twin turbos are mounted close to the engine and run at 15 psi. Power is routed to all four wheels via a 9G-Tronic nine-speed transmission that has a multiple downshift feature, allowing the driver to drop more than one gear at a time. The 4MATIC AWD system distributes 69 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels and 31 percent to the front.

Naturally, AMG chose to go with the 3.0-liter biturbo V-6 that produces 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque.

Driving dynamics such as throttle response, transmission shift points, suspension characteristics, and idle speed can all be adjusted via AMG Dynamic Select. This system offers several modes, including Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, and Individual. In Sport and Sport Plus mode, the transmission shifts at a higher engine speed, while Eco mode has a start/stop function for additional fuel savings. Furthermore in Eco mode, the engine and transmission are separated by a clutch when the accelerator is released, allowing the engine to return to idle speed while the vehicle coasts down the road.

According to Mercedes, The AMG GLC43 can do the 60 mph sprint in just 4.8 seconds with top speed electronically limited to 155 mph. When you think about it, that is pretty darn good for a mid-sized SUV.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine V6 Biturbo
Displacement 2,996 cc
Output 362 HP @ 5,500-6,000 RPM
Peak torque 384 LB-FT @ 2,500-4,500 RPM
Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.8 s
Top speed 155 MPH (electronically limited)

Safety & Suspension

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Exterior
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Since the GLC comes standard with a 2.0-liter that produces far less than 300 horsepower, some work went into making sure the GLC43 is safe with all that power at its disposal. Up front, the four-link front axle has specially designed steering knuckles and load bearing joints. The front axle and the multi-link rear axle run a negative camber and have elastokinematics that make the SUV more rigid and agile. The sport suspension system is based on Air Body Control, and there is an adaptive damping system that offers three manual adjustments: Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus.

Another feature on the GLC43 is the speed-sensitive sports steering with a variable ratio. It offers precise and authentic feedback with the steering gear changing dependent on whether the GLC43 is in Sport of Comfort mode. The variable ratio is adjusted automatically when a selection is made with the AMG Dynamic Select system. The interior-ventilated compound brake discs measure 14.2-inchs around and 1.4-inches thick in the front, and 12.6-inches around and 0.9-inches thick in the rear. Four-piston brake calipers press the brake pads against the rotors.

Outside of these features, expect the GLC43 to have all of the other safety features incorporated into the standard GLC SUV.

Prices

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Exterior
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Mercedes has yet to release pricing, but with at least six months left on the calendar before the model goes on sale, that isn’t surprising. There is about $15,000 difference between the GLA SUV and the GLA45, and a $35,000 difference between the GLE SUV and the AMG GLE63, so expect a considerable pricing increase from the Standard GLC and the GLC43. Considering the GLC300 4MATIC starts out at $40,905, expect to see the GLC43 command somewhere in the area of $63,000 to $70,000. That is just a rough estimate considering the price hikes between the other non-AMG and AMG models in the lineup. Stay tuned for pricing updates as we get closer to the official on-sale date of the GLC43.

Competition

Audi SQ5

2017 Audi Q5 Interior Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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With the GLC class competing against the Audi Q5, it is only fitting that we pit the GLC43 against the Audi SQ5. At the time of this writing, the SQ5 is available in two trims – Premium Plus and Prestige – and features a 3.0-liter V-6. The SQ5 features a sporty exterior and luxurious interior, a panoramic sunroof, keyless start, and Audi drive select. In Prestige form, the SQ5 comes with MMI navigation, Audi Connect, a 14-speaker, 505-Watt, Bang & Olufsen Sound System, and Bluetooth streaming audio.

Here is where the SQ5 really gets interesting, though. That 3.0-liter V-6 produces 354 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque. That’s only eight horsepower and 38 pound-feet less than the GLC43. According to Audi, it can hit the 60 mph sprint in 5.1 seconds on the way to a top speed of 155 mph. While that is 0.3-seconds slower in the sprint to 60 mph than the GLC43, the SQ5 will also prove to be significantly cheaper. The Premium Plus trim starts out at $53,300, and the Prestige starts out at $60,600. That could be $10,000 cheaper than the GLC43 when it goes on sale.

Read our full review on the Audi SQ5 here.

BMW X3 M

Okay, so when you saw and X3 M listed as a competitor, you probably started asking yourself “when did that happen?” Well, it hasn’t yet, but we think it will since Audi now has the SQ5 and Mercedes is about to debut the GLC43. With these two already on the market, BMW really doesn’t have much of a choice but to put out a high-performance variant of the X3 – otherwise, it will be the only one of the three that doesn’t have a mid-sized performance SUV.

Sure, I could have gone with the X5 here, but the X5 would blow the GLC43 away, and that just isn’t fair. The chances are that if BMW does surprise us with an X3 M, it will be powered by the same 3.0-liter inline-six that powers the BMW M3 and M4. In those cars, it produces 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, which would put the X3 M well ahead of the GLC43, and the SQ5 for that matter. With this engine, the X3 M would be able to hit the 60 mph sprint somewhere in the 4.6- to 5.0-second range, but like the others, top speed will be limited to 155 mph. BMW has been pretty quiet about a prospective X3 M, but we expect to see a sticker price in excess of $60,000 if it becomes a reality.

Read our full review on the BMW X3 M here.

Conclusion

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Exterior
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If you’ve made it this far, congratulations – you’ve read more than 1,800 words about a car that isn’t even on sale yet. Be that as it may, it was worth it to me to write about, so I’m sure it is well worth the read. It’s about time a V-6 variant of the GLC comes to life, and it’s only fitting that it be an AMG model. I, for one, think that AMG should do a little more to the exterior to make Mercedes-AMG models look as aggressive as they really are, but all told, the GLC43 looks pretty darn good as it is.

The chrome pins in the grille, and the little hints of chrome trim here and there is just what the doctor ordered for the GLC. In all honesty, this is what the standard GLC should have looked like from the start. Of course, if that was the case, who knows what Mercedes would do to make the GLC43. Either way, I like what I’m seeing here, and I look forward to seeing the model debut in New York. I’m curious to see what kind of price point Mercedes puts on this baby, and just how well it will perform in the crowded SUV market.

  • Leave it
    • * Could be a little more aggressive
    • * Will likely cost more than the SQ5 and X3 M
    • * A manual transmission would be nice

Press Release

The mid-size SUV model series gains a particularly dynamic addition in the form of the new Mercedes-AMG GLC43. The 362 hp 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine, the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with shortened shift times and AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive configured with a rear bias form the basis for an especially dynamic on-road driving experience. The autonomous design and the specially tuned sport suspension on the basis of AIR BODY CONTROL with adaptive damping adjustment underline the affiliation to the Mercedes-AMG world of Driving Performance.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Exterior
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Following the record sales in 2015 Mercedes-AMG remains on a path of growth: the product range will be extended at high speed in 2016. "With the new AMG GLC43 we are offering an AMG model in the mid-size SUV segment for the first time. The new SUV from Affalterbach marks the pinnacle of the GLC product range and in the AMG portfolio it closes the gap between the GLA and GLE," says Tobias Moers, CEO at Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

The 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine is used in numerous AMG performance models and delivers 362 hp plus a maximum torque of 384 lb-ft. The AMG GLC43 sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and its speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. The newly developed front axle, the taut elastokinematics and the highly precise AMG speed- sensitive sport steering make a substantial contribution to the agile driving experience.

The standard highlights

3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine with modified engine management, increased boost pressure and significantly enhanced dynamics and responsiveness
9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with double-declutching function during downshifts and particularly short response times in "Sport Plus" mode
AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 31 to 69 percent (front axle to rear axle)
Specially tuned sport suspension based on AIR BODY CONTROL with adaptive damping adjustment and AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch for dynamic, individually selectable driving experience with five drive programs and AMG- specific parameterization
Three-stage Electronic Stability Program ESP®
Front axle with newly developed steering knuckles and load-bearing joints on the spring link. Elastokinematic adjustments on the links
Rear axle with elastokinematics tailored to higher driving dynamics
Large braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated at the front with a diameter of 14.2" and 12.6" at the rear
AMG styling with distinctive front and rear bumpers as well as special tailpipes
Diamond radiator grille with chrome pins and louvers in high-gloss black
20-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a 5-spoke design, painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish
AMG instrument cluster with "checkered flag" design with 180 mph scale
Multifunction sports steering wheel in leather with deep embossing in grip area, flattened bottom section, with red contrasting topstitching

High on power, low on consumption: the AMG 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine

The AMG 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine is characterized by a powerful output together with low consumption and emissions. Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers are able to provide power without delay. The high power output of 362 hp is attributable to, among other things, a higher boost pressure of 15 psi. Together with the 384 lb-ft torque from 2000-4200 rpm the engine unleashes high levels dynamism and responsiveness. The NANOSLIDE® coating on the cylinder liners was also enhanced in the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 V6 hybrid turbo engines. Especially tough and wear-resistant, this coating also reduces friction andcontributes to higher efficiency. The same applies to the spray-guided multiple injection with up to 2900 psi of fuel pressure. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminum insert on the engine cover.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Short shift times, high efficiency: the 9G-TRONIC

The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is especially matched to the demands of the AMG GLC43. Thanks to the model-specific software application, the AMG developers managed to reduce the shift times of the 9-speed transmission. The multiple downshift allows even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Ignition adjustments provide faster gearshifts than in "Eco" and "Comfort" modes. "Manual" mode can be selected using a button in the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. The transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.

More agility: the sport suspension based on AIR BODY CONTROL

For more agility, improved cornering characteristics and higher traction even in intensive use, developers in Affalterbach have designed a sport suspension based on the AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension. Also specifically adapted, the Adaptive Damping system ADS PLUS can be adjusted in the three stages: "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport Plus."

The four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimized in terms of rigidity. A more negative camber on the front axle and on the multi-link rear axle enhances lateral dynamics. The elastokinematics of both axles have been designed to be more rigid in general. The sum of these measures improves agility and boosts overall dynamics.

Rear-biased and agile: AMG Performance 4MATIC

The all-wheel drive AMG Performance 4MATIC is characterized by the rear-biased torque distribution of 31 percent at the front axle to 69 percent at the rear axle. This configuration ensures more driving dynamics and higher lateral acceleration on the road plus improved traction during acceleration.

Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Exterior
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With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual, the driver can tailor the characteristics of the AMG GLC43 to individual preferences at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to extremely sporty. This modifies key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel.

The AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Sport" and "Sport Plus" are even more strongly configured for driving dynamics on the AMG GLC43 than on the series- production models. This is thanks to the more agile, direct accelerator characteristic, more emotive gear shifting with shortened shift times and double-declutching function. A higher idle speed facilitates even faster acceleration from standstill.

In order to increase efficiency, in "Eco" mode the ECO start/stop function and the sailing function reduce fuel consumption: when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level, and the driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.

Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sports steering

The speed-sensitive sport steering has a variable ratio in the AMG GLC43. It stands out with its precise, highly authentic feedback. The steering power assistance is variable in the "Comfort" or "Sport" tuning. The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalized in "Individual" mode.

The large-dimensioned braking system with interior-ventilated compound brake discs decelerates the AMG GLC43 reliably and quickly. At the front axle perforated discs sized 14.2" x 1.4" with 4-piston fixed calipers and AMG lettering are used, and 12.6" x 0.9"at the rear axle.

Sporty and distinctive: the exterior design

The autonomous design is enhanced with silver chrome colored and high-gloss black features. The diamond radiator grille features chrome-plated pins, a louver in high-gloss black with inserts in high-gloss chrome and AMG lettering. The sportily distinctive air intakes in the AMG front bumper feature fins in silver chrome. Down below, the silver chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules.

High-gloss black-painted, high-sheen 20-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels dominate the side view. The mixed-size tires with the dimensions 255/45 R 20 on 8 x 20 at the front axle and 285/40 R 20 on 9.5 x 20 at the rear axle emphasize the sporty appearance. There are also high-gloss black door mirror caps and the silver-colored "BITURBO 4MATIC" lettering on the front fenders.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC High Resolution Exterior
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The tail end also sports characteristic highlights and exudes sporty, aesthetic appeal with two four-pipe chromed tailpipe trims. The AMG-specific rear apron sports trim in silver chrome.

Sporty look with model-specific details: the interior design

The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a committed driving style, the multifunction sports steering wheel in black leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching. The driver and front passenger find a secure position in the sport seats even when driving at speed, thanks to the improved lateral support.

With two large round dials and central color multifunction display with a 5.5" diagonal the AMG instrument cluster places all the important information in the driver’s field of vision. The ECO display supports a fuel-saving driving style. Dials in a checkered-flag look and the distinctive typography lend the large displays an especially sporty touch.

Optional features with a sporty emphasis

The sporty character of the AMG GLC43 is also emphasized by a wide range of optionally available equipment ranges from performance seats with increased lateral support, to through leather upholstery, carbon-fiber trim, a Night package and 21-inch wheels in a bi-color design.

The new Mercedes-AMG GLC43 celebrates its world premiere in March 2016 at the New York International Auto Show and will be on sale in US dealerships by the end of 2016.

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