2024 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe, GLC63 S E Performance Coupe unveiled, here next year
Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance division has unveiled the coupe-styled versions of its latest mid-size sports SUVs – now with four-cylinder hybrid power, in place of V6s and V8s.
The 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 and GLC63 S E Performance Coupes have been unveiled ahead of Australian arrivals late next year.
The ‘Coupe’ versions of the latest AMG GLC43 and GLC63 performance SUVs share their engines, transmissions and key design features – aside from the differences in roofline – with the regular ‘wagon’ body styles.
Australian showroom arrivals are due in the fourth quarter of 2024 (October to December), after the conventional versions arrive in the second quarter (April to June).
The twin-turbo V6 of the previous GLC43 – and twin-turbo V8 of the outgoing GLC63 – have been replaced by 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines from the A45 S hot hatch, with varying levels of hybrid assistance.
The new GLC43 uses the same 310kW/500Nm engine tune as the A45 S – which is 10kW more than the latest C43 sedan with the same engine, and 23kW more (but 20Nm less) than the old V6 GLC43.
It is aided by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system which can provide a 10kW/150Nm boost under acceleration, switch off the engine at cruising speeds to “coast” and save fuel, and restart the engine faster at the traffic lights.
The GLC43 uses an electrically-assisted turbocharger – technology derived from Mercedes-AMG Formula One cars – which spins up the turbo at low speeds using an electric motor when exhaust gases alone are insufficient, in a bid to reduce turbo lag.
Powering all four wheels through a nine-speed multi-clutch automatic transmission and a 31:69 front-to-rear torque split, it is capable of a claimed 0-100km/h acceleration time of 4.8 seconds, and a 250km/h electronically-limited top speed.
Meanwhile the GLC63 S E Performance combines a 350kW/545Nm version of the 2.0-litre electric-turbo engine with a 150kW electric motor on the rear axle and 6.1kWh battery pack for 500kW and 1020Nm combined.
Up significantly from the 375kW/700Nm of the previous model’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, the new GLC63 can cover 0-100km/h in a claimed 3.5 seconds (down from 3.8sec), towards an electronically-limited top speed of 275km/h.
There is a significant weight penalty; at 2310kg kerb the new GLC63 is 315kg heavier than the new GLC43, and is carrying about 200kg more than the previous, V8-powered GLC63.
Electric driving range is just 12km on a charge, with the battery pack designed in conjunction with the Mercedes-AMG Formula One team for quick recharges and discharges in high-performance driving.
Power is again sent to all four wheels through a nine-speed multi-clutch auto, but the GLC63 gains a different all-wheel-drive system that can vary the torque sent to each axle.
A range of AMG Dynamic Select drive modes are available – five in the GLC43, and eight in the GLC63 – plus a variety of stability-control modes.
Under the skin there is adaptive dampers with steel coil springs, plus speed-sensitive steering, rear-wheel steering with a maximum angle of 2.5 degrees, and on the GLC63, the option of active anti-roll bars that proactively keep the body level in corners, driven by a 48-volt electrical system.
Standard on the GLC43 are 370mm four-piston front and 360mm single-piston rear steel brakes, with the GLC63 upgrading to 390mm six-piston front and 370mm single-piston rear composite brakes.
Whereas today’s GLC43 and GLC63 look different – with unique bumpers, skirts, wheels and other add-ons – the new models are almost identical in appearance.
The front bumper, ‘Panamericana’ grille design, side skirts, body-coloured wheel arches and rear spoiler are common between the cars, with differences seemingly limited to badges, an extra rear diffuser insert on the GLC63, and the exhaust tips (circular on the GLC43, and trapezoidal on the GLC63).
Inside there is a choice of front seat design with either synthetic leather-look and microfibre, or leather and nappa leather upholstery.
The AMG Performance steering wheel is trimmed in leather in the GLC43, or nappa leather and microfibre in the GLC63, with aluminium shift paddles and circular dials for controlling the drive mode and various vehicle parameters (such as suspension and exhaust mode).
Other tweaks include AMG pedals, floor mats and sill plates, AMG-specific instrument cluster and head-up display modes, and an AMG Track Pace lap timer and performance data app on the infotainment system (standard in the GLC63, optional in the GLC43).
A variety of cosmetic option packs – including carbon-fibre exterior trim – are available, as well as an Edition 1 launch version of the GLC63 in Europe, with matte silver or grey paint, grey stripes, black 21-inch wheels, yellow brake calipers, and yellow interior highlights.
The 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 and GLC63 S E Performance Coupes are due in Australian showrooms in the fourth quarter of next year (October to December).
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