- ‘High level of agility, sporty driving dynamics’
- Handling from neutral to ‘slight understeer’
- Superformance, on or (mildly) off-road
AFFALTERBACH, Germany – Mercedes-AMG has added yet another performance-orientated model to its portfolio: a GLC 43 4Matic Coupé with seriously distinctive looks and dynamic road performance.
The car will have its world premiere on September 28 at the 2016 Paris auto show and be released to showrooms in October. The market launch will start in December 2016. Check with your local dealer for local availability.
The model has the benefits of a sport utility vehicle – albeit a powerful one – thanks to its V6, three-litre, 270kW/520Nm bi-turbo engine, nine-speed auto box, all-wheel drive and modest off-road capability through a height-adjustable air suspension.
Understandably keen on the new model is AMG’s Tobias Moers. He told The Corner in a media release: “The new GLC 43 4Matic Coupé is characterised by a high level of agility and sporty driving dynamics. With its expressive design and everyday practicality it will appeal to a new audiences.”
Mercedes-AMG says the car’s design “stands out from the crowd without being overpowering” but is also “a thoroughbred performance car”; 0-100km/h, for instance, takes only 4.9sec and the car can reach an electronically governed 250km/h.
Fuel consumption is listed as 8.4 litres/100 km. As they say on Facebook, ‘wha-ha-ha!’ to that, but anyway… and the self-double-declutching autobox has three modes: Sport, Sport Plus and Manual – that last selected by a button on the centre console.
Gear choices can also be made with paddles on the steering-column and take engine revs to maximum by which time the driver will probably be in need of the sport suspension that uses what Mercedes calls Air Body Control – air suspension – and a four-link front axle with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints, all with a focus on rigidity.
Handling, AMG says, ranges from “neutral” to “slight understeer”. “In Sport mode,” the automaker adds, “the GLC 43 4Matic Coupé handles significantly more dynamically with reduced roll thanks to the harder spring rate. Sport Plus delivers further 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 reduces roll and pitching while stabilising 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 Plus”. This provides for broader scope between a high level of comfort on long journeys and sporty driving dynamics.
The air suspension, we’re told, makes the GLC 43 suitable for “occasional excursions on to unpaved terrain”.
Suspension height can be increased (at the touch of a button) for greater ground clearance – even while moving – up to a wading depth of 300mm, gradient approach angle of 19.8 degrees and departure of 20.8 degrees.
The car has a maximum braked towing capacity of 2460kg.
There are five transmission modes (the system is called Dynamic Select): Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual. Choices are made, AMG says, “at the tap of a finger” and affect the responses from engine, transmission, suspension and steering.
Steering power-assistance has two levels: Comfort or Sport, their characteristics governed by the already selected Dynamic Select transmission mode or – be personalised in Individual mode.
All the above aside, many potential buyers will be more interested in image than slogging through sand and snow or howling down an autobahn. So, AMG says, the front of the GLC 43 4Matic Coupé “reveals its independent character with diamond radiator grille with chromed pins and a gloss-black louvre with chromed AMG lettering”.
Distinctive air-intakes in the AMG apron have chromed fins and below them a chromed splitter directs air to cooling modules and the car rides on five-spoked, gloss-black, 19″ AMG alloy wheels rims shod with 235/55 radials up front and 255/50 radials at the rear.
However other rim/tyres combinations are available up to 21″ bi-chromatics.
The tail end also has chromed AMG-specific parts. A sharp spoiler lip invokes the design line first displayed on the S-Class Coupé and the rear glass has no wiper because airflow does not fall away until its beyond the spoiler lip – rain is unable to strike the rear window (anybody remember the notch-back Ford Anglia of the 1950’s?)
The cabin’s “sport aspirations”, AMG says, use black with red contrasts with aluminium trim. The black/red-leather-clad multi-function steering-wheel has a flattened base and lateral support has been improved for the front seats.
Two large round dials and a central colour multi-function display with a 14cm screen places all the important information in the driver’s field of vision; the ECO display supports a fuel-saving driving style, dials with a chequered-flag look and distinctive typography add a further sporty touch.
Buyers who like track time will use the Race Timer to record lap times. More functional is the boot, which can expand/shrink between 491 and 1400 litres with rear seats that can split and fold down.
The standard infotainment equipment in the GLC 43 4Matic Coupé includes an Audio 20 CD with an 18cm display and a hands-free function, audio streaming and two USB ports. The optional Garmin creates a comprehensive satnav.
When Comand Online is installed the colour media display features a 21cm screen of higher resolution for optional digital TV/radio reception. Voice control is also present.
Musical enjoyment at concert-hall level is possible with the optional Burmester stereo system with its nine-channel amplifier, 13 speakers and a system output of 590W.