The weird GLC Coupe gets some AMG treatment

We first laid eyes on what would be the Mercedes GLC Coupe when it unleashed its design concept at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show. A year later, the production version – one that was quite similar to the year-old concept – saw the light of day at the New York Auto Show. Right away, I filed the design off as precarious, as it’s one of those vehicles that doesn’t really fall into the car, crossover, or SUV categories. In short, it has a coupe-like body with SUV underpinnings and a shoddy little four-cylinder that produces all of about 241 horsepower. Compared to its SUV counterpart, the standard GLC, the car was extremely similar with the biggest different between the two limited to a different roof line and different rear quarter windows. We knew it wouldn’t take long for a Mercedes-AMG branded variant to make its debut, and sure enough, six months later here we are looking at the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe.

When we originally reviewed the standard GLC Coupe, we pointed out that, at the time, the car had seen some wildly mixed opinions. To put it simply, it’s one of those vehicles that you either hate or love, with little to middle ground anywhere in sight. Comments left by some of you on our GLC Coupe review reflected this perfectly – some users saying things like it’s “not bad at all” while others say it is a “waste of money” or “please God, make them stop.” (Seriously, these comments are really there.) Apparently, sales were good enough to give it the AMG treatment, and maybe, just maybe, that 3.0-liter, Biturbo, V-6 with 362 ponies will help make the car more desirable.

According to Tobias Moers, the Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG, said, “The new GLC43 Coupe is characterized by a high level of agility and sporty driving dynamics. With its expressive design and high everyday practicality, the Coupe is able to appeal to new target audiences.” And, maybe it does, but let’s take a closer look at the GLC43 now that it has made its official debut and talk a little more about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe.

  • 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    364
  • Torque @ RPM:
    384
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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In typical Mercedes-AMG fashion, the GLC43 Coupe is still quite similar to its non-AMG counterpart. But, it does get the standard AMG treatment which does help it to stand out a bit. I feel like normally we see a slightly different fascia on AMG models, but with the GLC43, that isn’t exactly the case. The fascia is the same, but the trim has changed a bit. The corner vents still feature the same black mesh, but now have a pair of horizontal slats running across the inside. That weird silver trim that surrounds the air dam on the non-AMG version is gone and the air dam now has a single horizontal slat positioned about an inch from the bottom of the fascia. A new trim element now runs across the entire width of the fascia on the bottom. It still features those square cutouts below the air damn, but they are outlined in that silver trim. The edge of that trim element is finished in chrome. The headlights and hood are the same, but the radiator grille now has the typical AMG diamond look.

In typical Mercedes-AMG fashion, the GLC43 Coupe is still quite similar to its non-AMG counterpart.

Moving over to the sides, there really isn’t any major changes to the GLC43. Compared to its non-AMG counterpart, the only real difference is the chrome trim that has been added to the side skirt which lines up with the chrome strip on the fascia up front. The big news here is that new set of high-sheen, 20-inch AMG wheels finished in high-gloss black. These light allow wheels feature a staggered fitment and are wrapped with 255/45-series tires up front and 285/40-series tires out back. There are other wheels available as optional equipment with the maximum size reaching as much as 21-inches. On a side note, the wheels shown in the images here are way more stylish that the stock wheels on the standard GLC Coupe.

Around back, Mercedes claims the GLC 43 has an AMG-specific rear bumper. What they really mean is that the rear fascia has been fitted with a chrome trim insert below the license plate recess. There are also chrome exhaust tips that sit flush with the rear bumper. Like most AMG models, these chrome tips are divided in the middle by a vertical louver to give a dual-outlet look on each corner. And there you have it. There’s not really a whole lot of difference outside, but it’s enough to separate the boys from the men as some say.

Interior

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Interior
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2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Interior
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2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Interior
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On the inside, you’ll find the same general appearance is shared between the GLC Coupe and the GLC43. Big things sometimes come in little packages, though, and that’s the case with the interior of the GLC43. To start off, AMG threw in a set of front sport seats that come with increased lateral support to help keep you in place during more extreme maneuvers. The entire interior is upholstered in black MB-Tex/DINAMICA microfiber that is held together by red contrast top stitching. Believe it or not, the stitching adds to the overall ambiance and luxuriousness of the cabin. You’ll find AMG tossed out the white inserts from the center of the seats and the door trim panels and went with the black DINAMICA instead. The silver inserts on the door panels, the face of the dash, and in the middle of the center console carry over from the standard GLC Coupe. There is a new carbon fiber insert that covers the majority of the center console, which is a nice addition.

Big things sometimes come in little packages, though, and that’s the case with the interior of the GLC43.

As far as infotainment goes, the car comes standard with an Audio 20 system with a 7-inch touchscreen display, Frontbass, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, and two USB ports. Garmin Map Pilot comes as optional equipment to create a “full-fledged navigation system.” Maps for the Garmin system are supplied via an SD card. Opting for the Comand system, the media display is replaced by an 8.4-inch unit and includes hard-disc-based navigation, live traffic information, and can be optioned with a WiFi hotspot and advanced voice control system. A Burmester Surround system is available as an option and includes a nine-channel DSP amplifier, 13 speakers, and an overall output of 590 Watts. Not bad, but surely, you’ll have to pony up some extra cash for this luxury.

Drivetrain

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Drivetrain
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Under the hood, you’ll find an “AMG-enhanced,” 3.0-liter V-6 that delivers 364 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Boost pressure for the Biturbo system has been increased to 16 psi and, as usual with AMG engines, the cylinder liners are coated with NANOSLIDE. Fuel pressure on this model is wild at 2,900 psi. The engine features a red aluminum insert on the engine and the AMG Logo. Shifting duties are handled by an “AMG-enhanced” 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission. According to Mercedes, the transmission has been configured with dedicated software to reduce shift times, provide multiple downshifts for quick bursts of speed, and to provide a double-clutching feature for more emotional and quick gear changes in certain transmission modes.

Boost pressure for the Biturbo system has been increased to 16 psi and, as usual with AMG engines

Supporting the body on this funky little AMG is an AMG Sport Suspension based on air body control. Up front, the car gets special steering knuckles with load-bearing joints. Out back, there is a multi-link system that is said to, in combination with the negative camber up front, provide enhanced lateral dynamics. The system is of the multi-chamber type and features continuously variable damping and lightweight springs. With a fording depth of 11.8 inches, an approach angle of 21.2 degrees, and a departure angle of 21.8 degrees, AMG wants you to know that this “coupe” has strong off-road capabilities. It’s also able to tow, with a braked towing capacity of up to 3,501 pounds when properly equipped.

This vehicle comes standard with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system that has a rear-biased torque distribution. Basically, 31 percent of torque is delivered to the front wheels while 69 percent goes to the rear. More importantly, the car comes with selectable transmission modes. There is Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual; the latter of which is driver adjustable and can be dialed in just the way you like it. There’s also an “M” button that enables a manual-shifting mode. In this mode, the transmission is controlled by the steering-wheel-mounted shift controls.

Prices

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing has yet to be announced, but the car is set to debut on September 28 at the Paris Motor Show and will arrive in U.S. dealerships in the first quarter of 2017. Pricing should be announced closer to the car’s official launch. I would expect pricing for this model to come in around $70,000.

Competition

BMW X4 M40i

2016 BMW X4 M40i
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While BMW has yet to come out with a full-fledged X4M (see our rendering of what that might look like here.)it does have the X4 M40i, which is almost an M variant. Powered by a 3.0-liter inline-six, this model has 355 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. That’s just a bit shy of the GLC43, but it’s not that far off. 60 mph from a standing start comes in about 4.7 seconds while top speed is said to be 150 mph. Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Compared to the standard X4, the M40i has features similar to that found in the GLC43 Coupe. You’ll find that it has more power than the standard X4, better handling, better braking and some restyled exterior trim. 19-inch and 20-inch wheels are available. The M40i just went on sale starting in February of 2016 and starts out at $57,800 before options, taxes, and delivery.

Read more about the BMW X4 M40i here.

Conclusion

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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You could consider me as one of those people who thinks that the GLC Coupe, in any form, is a little pointless. Merc has crammed a Coupe body onto an SUV chassis and has tried to mix the dynamics of a coupe with the off-road abilities of an SUV. The problem is, I don’t see this thing really being all that dynamic. Sitting so high, it’s still a little top heavy, which will make maneuvering at higher speeds difficult – something you don’t want in a sport coupe – while it doesn’t sit high enough to really be considered for off-road use, regardless of what Mercedes claims. I do like the interior and that the GLC43 features a decent uptick in power and performance, but a vehicle like this really seems like the red-headed stepchild of Mercedes entire lineup.

Personally, I would rather go with a full-fledged SUV or a low-sitting coupe that is more capable of spirited driving with no off-road ability. For some of those who really want the best of both worlds, I guess this model kind of makes sense. I wouldn’t go so far as one of our readers who said “kill it with fire,” but it’s certainly not for me. We’ve already got crossovers, which is a combination of car, minivan, and SUV in one, so what do we need and SUV-like coupe or soupe as I like to call it? Either way, if you’re one of the seemingly few who like the GLC Coupe, the GLC43 is definitely the model you want to have.

  • Leave it
    • * Still ugly and pointless
    • * Expensive

Press Release

Mercedes-AMG is once again extending its product portfolio with the addition of a very dynamic model: the new Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe combines a sporty, elegant design with the brand’s hallmark driving performance and the advantages of an SUV in terms of seating position, interior flexibility and traction off-road. The 362 hp AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo engine, AMG-enhanced 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission with shortened shift times and the AMG Performance 4MATIC® all-wheel drive, configured with a rear bias, form the basis for an especially dynamic on-road driving experience. A significant contribution is also made here by the AMG Sport Suspension based on the multi-chamber air suspension system, AIR BODY CONTROL, with adaptive damping adjustment. Additionally, the AMG GLC43 Coupe is able to undertake occasional off-road excursions: the ground clearance can be increased at the touch of a button and pneumatic all-round self-levelling ensures constant vehicle level at all times.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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"The new GLC43 Coupe is characterized by a high level of agility and sporty driving dynamics. With its expressive design and high everyday practicality, the Coupe is able to appeal to new target audiences," according to Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

The GLC Coupe fulfills a very wide variety of tasks with style: the unmistakable design stands out from the crowd without being overpowering, sports car-like performance reveals the Coupe to be a thoroughbred performance car and convenience settings selectable at the touch of a button make it a reliable companion whatever the conditions. The GLC43 Coupe accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and its speed is electronically limited to 130 mph.

Spontaneous and powerful: the AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo engine

The AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo engine is used in numerous AMG Performance models. It delivers a maximum output of 362 hp plus maximum torque of 384 lb-ft. Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers react quickly to throttle inputs. The performance yield comes courtesy of a high amount of boost pressure, which has been increased to 16 psi. The NANOSLIDE® coating of the cylinder liners is also used in the Formula 1® engines of MERCEDES-AMG PETRONAS team. Especially tough and wear-resistant, this coating reduces friction, contributing to higher efficiency. The same applies to the spray-guided multiple injections with up to 2900 psi of fuel pressure. Visually, the powerplant can be identified by a red aluminum insert on the engine cover and an AMG logo.

Short shift times, high efficiency: AMG-enhanced 9G-TRONIC transmission

The new AMG GLC43 Coupe is equipped with an AMG-enhanced 9G-TRONIC 9- speed automatic transmission, which Mercedes-AMG developers have specially configured for a more dynamic driving experience by way of a dedicated software application to reduce shift times. Courtesy of multiple downshifts, quick bursts of speed are possible with the 9G-TRONIC transmission. Thanks to precise ignition mapping, a double-clutching function allows more emotional and quicker gear changes in the "Sport," "Sport+" and "Manual" transmission modes.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Interior
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"Manual" mode can be selected using a separate button on the center console. Gear change speeds are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can now change gear using the standard wheel-mounted shift paddles. Moreover, the transmission will stay in a selected gear until redline without shifting.

More agility: AMG Sport Suspension based on AIR BODY CONTROL

For added agility, more neutral cornering behavior and higher traction when driving at speed, engineers in Affalterbach have designed a dedicated sport suspension on the basis of the AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension system. The four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimized in terms of rigidity. Additionally, 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 driving dynamics.

The multi-chamber air suspension system with a sporty spring/damper set-up and continuously variable damping adjustment combines excellent vehicle dynamics with a high level of ride comfort. The spring elements, which feature a composite design that is both lightweight and strong, helps to reduce weight compared with a conventional air suspension system.

AMG developers have used a special configuration to define each of the four spring rates, which are selected to suit the current transmission mode and driving conditions. In "Comfort" mode, the handling ranges from neutral to slight understeer. In "Sport" mode, the GLC43 Coupe handles significantly more dynamically with reduced roll thanks to the harder spring rate. "Sport+" mode delivers further enhanced agility and cornering ability due to the front and rear axles being sprung with different spring rates.

During sudden changes of load, fast cornering, heavy acceleration or hard braking, the spring rate is automatically made harder on the front or rear axle. This effectively reduces roll and pitching while stabilizing the vehicle.

The adaptive damping adjustment also features in a model-specific configuration and offers a choice of the three modes "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport+." This provides for a high level of comfort on long journeys and sporty driving dynamics when desired.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Interior
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With the AIR BODY CONTROL suspension, the GLC43 Coupe is uniquely suited for occasional excursions onto unpaved terrain with the ability to increase ride height at the touch of a button for more ground clearance – even while on the move. The fording depth of 11.8 inches and the approach angle of 21.2 degrees and departure angle of 21.8 degrees are evidence of the off-road capabilities of the Coupe. It is equally suitable as a towing vehicle: it has a braked towing capacity of up to 3,501 lbs.

Rear-biased and agile: AMG Performance 4MATIC®

The standard-fit AMG Performance 4MATIC® all-wheel drive combines optimum traction, hallmark AMG vehicle dynamics and maximum driving pleasure. The system features a rear-biased torque distribution of 31 percent to the front axle and 69 percent to the rear axle. This arrangement ensures greater vehicle dynamics and higher lateral acceleration on the road as well as improved traction as it uses the dynamic shift in power delivery toward the rear axle during acceleration, ensuring more torque in the rear. A multi-disc clutch with a locking effect of 36 lb-ft guarantees that the frictional connection potential of all four wheels is guaranteed, particularly on snow and ice. On road surfaces with different levels of grip, the all-wheel drive system responds with targeted brake application on one wheel in order to also ensure optimum traction.

Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT

With five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual, the driving characteristics of the GLC43 Coupe can be tailored to suit individual preferences at the tap of a finger. The broad range extends from efficient and comfortable to extremely sporty by way of modifying key parameters such as throttle response, transmission shift points, suspension stiffness and steering feel. Independent of the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch to a manual-shifting mode, in which gearshifts are executed through use of the steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Interior
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The AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes "Sport" and "Sport+" are even more strongly configured for driving dynamics in the GLC43 Coupe than in the series-production models thanks to the more agile and direct accelerator characteristics, sporty gear changes with reduced shift times, double-declutching function and cylinder shut-off. An increased idle speed also facilitates improved acceleration from a standstill.

In order to increase efficiency, ECO start/stop and a "sailing" function helps to reduce fuel consumption when in "Eco" mode: 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 and the car’s engine speed is reduced to idle.

"Comfort" mode provides for particularly enjoyable driving. To ensure maximum possible driving safety in this mode, spring and damper forces are instantaneously adjusted in case of a sudden evasive maneuver.

Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sport steering

The speed-sensitive sport steering system has a variable ratio in the AMG GLC43 Coupe and stands out with its precise, highly authentic feedback. Steering power assistance is adjusted in the two stages: "Comfort" or "Sport." Relevant steering characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalized in the "Individual" mode.

The sport-tuned braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs decelerates the AMG GLC43 Coupe reliably and quickly. Perforated discs in with 4- piston fixed calipers and AMG lettering are fitted on the front axle, while discs with 1-piston floating calipers are featured at the rear.

Assistance systems such as COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, Crosswind Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST® and PRE-SAFE® enhanced on-board safety as standard. Comfort and safety can be further enhanced with additional driver assistance systems.

Sporty and distinctive: the exterior design

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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The front view of the GLC43 Coupe reveals its independent character with the chrome-tipped diamond-block radiator grille, a louver in high-gloss black with a high-gloss chrome insert and AMG lettering. The distinctive air intakes in the AMG front bumper feature fins in silver chrome. Down below, a silver chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules.

Compared with the GLC43 SUV, the A-pillar features a flatter slope angle. The squat greenhouse blends in seamlessly with the side of the vehicle to emphasize the coupe silhouette. The interplay between high beltline and wide shoulders results in proportions that lend the GLC Coupe its dynamic looks.

High-gloss black-painted, high-sheen 20-inch AMG multispoke light-alloy wheels dominate the side view. Tires are also staggered-fitment, with 255/45 R20 tires on the front axle and 285/40 R20 tires on the rear axle. Several additional wheel and tire combinations are available in sizes up to 21 inches.

The tail-end of the AMG GLC43 Coupe exudes a sporty, aesthetic appeal with chrome-plated quad design tailpipes. The AMG-specific rear bumper sports trim in silver chrome. Narrow, divided taillamps and a sharp spoiler lip invoke the design line displayed for the first time with the S-Class Coupe and followed by all coupe models from Mercedes-AMG.

Sporty characteristics: the interior design

The interior of the AMG GLC43 Coupe reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially-designed details. The color combination of black with red contrast stitching is a characteristic element. Longitudinal-grain aluminum trim highlights the Coupe’s sporty aspirations. A multifunction steering wheel in black leather and red contrasting topstitching features a flattened bottom section and is ideally suited to sporty driving.

Both driver and front passenger enjoy a secure position in standard sport seats, even when driving at speed, thanks to the improved lateral support. Upholstery in black MB-Tex/DINAMICA microfiber boasts its own seat upholstery layout plus red topstitching. To match the seat design, door center panels are styled in the same material. As a result, the standard red seat belts also blend into the design. The AMG instrument cluster places two large round dials and a 5.5-inch multifunction color display, in the driver’s direct field of vision. Dials with a checkered-flag look lend the large displays an especially sporty touch. Customers with a passion for motorsports will be pleased to note the inclusion of a "RACE TIMER" for recording lap times on closed-off tracks.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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Flexible and spacious: the space conditions

For all its sportiness, the dynamic newcomer also impresses with some practical advantages. Split-folding rear seat backrests, which fold down in the ratio 40:20:40, enable a variety of configurations to be used for particularly long or bulky items of luggage.

Comprehensive: infotainment features

Standard equipment in the GLC43 Coupe includes an Audio 20 infotainment system with a 7-inch display, Frontbass®, Bluetooth® hands-free function, audio streaming and two USB ports. The optional Garmin® MAP PILOT with live traffic expands the Audio 20 system into a full-fledged navigation system with integrated traffic jam avoidance. The navigation software and map data are supplied on an optional SD card.

When COMAND® is installed, the color media display features an 8.4-inch screen and has an even higher resolution. It also allows optional digital radio reception and offers a host of other features including hard-disc navigation, up-to-date and accurate live traffic information, optional WiFi hotspot functionality and an advanced voice-control system.

Concert hall level musical enjoyment is possible with the optional Burmester® Surround Sound System. This optional system includes a 9-channel DSP amplifier, 13 speakers and an overall system output of 590 watts.

The new Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe will celebrate its world premiere on September 28th at the Paris Motor Show. The AMG GLC43 Coupe will be available in U.S. dealerships in the first quarter of 2017.

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