Mercedes is ready to revise its most potent version of the GLC SUV, the GLC63 AMG, along with the rest of the range. Camouflaged prototypes have been spotted testing on the Nurburgring, hiding some new bumpers, as well as new lights too.

This is is not a major revision of the model, at least not from the outside, and interior changes won’t be excessive either. Regarding its powertrain, since this is a mid-life cycle refresh, we don’t expect it to get any more power or any extra performance.

The big news with this is the new front end which has been reshaped to resemble that of the new Mercedes corporate face you’ve already seen on the CLS or the new A-Class.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Exterior

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Exterior Spyshots
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Just like the pre-facelift model, the Mercedes AMG GLC63 has more aggressive front and rear bumpers compared to lesser GLCs, complete with a diffuser and four angry looking and sounding exhausts.

For the facelift, its Panamericana-style front grille seems to have been reshaped slightly, as has the front bumper, but because of the heavy camouflage we can’t really see what the changes are.

The headlights are quite different, though, and even with the psychedelic wrap, you can see their shape now resembles that of the AMG GT, the new A-Class or CLS.

At the rear, Mercedes doesn’t appear to have changed too much, although the light clusters seem to be redesigned and so too is the diffuser on the lower part of the bumper which seems to have grown in size slightly compared to that of the current model.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Interior

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior
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Since the GLC is related to the C-Class sedan (this becomes especially evident when you climb aboard) we expect it to get the same interior updates that the sedan did back when the refreshed version was revealed this year in March.

The C-Class received a new (optional) digital instrument cluster running on a 12.3-inch display, as well as a 10.25-inch central display both of which will probably find also be available inside the refreshed GLC.

Also new is the steering wheel which again it will probably share with the C-Class - it is a completely new design and features a new button layout and even touch-sensitive pads to navigate through menus by swiping. As with the C-Class, the revised GLC will get standard smartphone integration, Intelligent Drive Assist (with an improved camera that allows for semi-autonomous driving and even changing lanes without touching the steering wheel, simply by indicating).

It is very likely that the GLC facelift won’t get the new MBUX infotainment system from the new A-Class, since the C-Class facelift debuted at the same time as Mercedes’ new premium hatchback and it still relied on the older infotainment complete with its slightly awkward control method which uses a rotary dial and floating touchpad combo.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Drivetrain

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Exterior Spyshots
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The Mercedes AMG GLC63 is motivated by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine which makes 469 horsepower between 5,550 - 6,250 rpm and 479 pound-feet (650 Nm) of torque from 1750 up to 4500 rpm. The GLC63S has 503 horsepower which it also delivers between 5,550 and 6,250 rpm and torque is increased to 516 pound-feet (700 Nm) available from 2,000 to 4,500 rpm.

The AMG versions of the C-Class didn’t get any kind of power bump with their midlife refresh, so it’s unlikely that the GLC will.

Both versions of the hot GLC come with the same nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

The most powerful GLC63 S sprints to 62 mph or 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and top speed is limited to 155 mph or 250 km/h, but it can be upped to 173 mph (280 km/h) with the optional AMG Driver’s Package.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Prices

In the US, the AMG GLC63 starts from $69,900, while in Germany its starting price is €83,502 which rises to €92,308 for the more powerful S model.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Competition

BMW X3 M

2019 BMW X3 M Exterior High Resolution
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BMW is on the verge of launching a direct rival to the GLC63 AMG, in the form of its X3M. It gets its power from a turbocharged straight-six that should make in excess of 450 horsepower, probably closer to or over 500 horsepower according to some reports.

Just like the AMG version of the GLC, the Motorsport version of the X3 will come with a more aggressive body complete with bigger bumpers and bulging fenders, it will get aerodynamic mirrors, brakes, and wheels too. The new X3 is already one of the best handling vehicles in its class, so the Motorsport version of it will probably build on this, challenging the best handling model in the segment, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X3 M.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Exterior
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Reviewers have been raving on about how well the Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV drives, how cleanly it corners and just how fun it is to toss around a track. It is currently unmatched in the segment for its blend of fun and outright performance and its existence will pose a serious challenge to both the GLC63 and the X3M.

Powering it is a 2.9-liter force-fed V6 with Ferrari links which makes 503 horsepower putting pressure on its German contenders to match or surpass it in this respect. Its only transmission option is an eight-speed automatic.

Read our full review on the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.

Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance Package

2017 Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance Package
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The regular Porsche Macan Turbo is no match for any of the above vehicles in terms of sheer speed, but if also has the Performance Package fitted, it gets much closer. Powering it is a 3.6-liter turbocharged V6 which makes 433 horsepower and 442 lb-ft (600 Nm), so it is able to sprint to 62 mph / 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds - its top speed is 170 mph or 272 km/h.

Handling is another plus point for it, although the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is still rated as being better around a track than it is. The Alfa, however, can’t match it for overall build and interior quality, but then again all rivals have better interiors than it.

Read our full review on the Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance Package.

Conclusion

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Exterior Spyshots
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Mercedes needs to make the AMG GLC63 more thrilling and more fun in order to try to challenge the class track champion which is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV. It does have one of the best interiors interiors in the segment and is the most comfortable among rivals too, but it needs to exude more excitement.

The adoption of the new family face will help it stand out, and the interior refresh is also welcome, but it will be the way it drives that will ultimately define its desirability in its respective niche.

  • Leave it
    • Not as exciting as some rivals

Further reading

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class.

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