Mercedes-AMG Combines Performance SUV and V8 Power - Introducing the new GLC63 models

by Bernie McGroarty on April 4, 2017, 10:04 pm
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Mercedes-AMG set a milestone when it launched the first ML55 in 1999. The combination of a high-performance engine with the space and practicality of an SUV opened up an entirely new market segment in which AMG has continued to thrive. With the new GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe, Mercedes-AMG once again occupies an exceptional position in the marketplace. For the first time in the Mercedes- AMG lineup, a mid-size SUV will now be available with a powerful eight- cylinder biturbo engine. The handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine produces 469 hp in the GLC63 SUV and GLC63 Coupe and a mighty 503 hp in the GLC63 S Coupe. Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes just 3.9 seconds in the GLC63 SUV and Coupe, and an impressive 3.7 seconds in the GLC63 S Coupe. Each of these three new performance models feature an air spring suspension with adaptive, adjustable damping, AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution, a rear-axle limited-slip differential and a high-performance braking system. As a visual indication of their links with Mercedes-AMG sports cars, all new GLC63 models sport the AMG Panamericana grille, which was previously reserved for the AMG GT family of sports cars. In addition, the new models offer all the advantages of a Mercedes SUV: ample room for passengers and luggage, comprehensive array of safety equipment and superior traction in all road conditions.

The new Mercedes-AMG GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe occupy exceptional positions in their respective markets on every front. They are the only vehicles in their segment to be powered by an eight-cylinder biturbo engine, thus meeting the wishes of customers who are looking for a midsize SUV with superior power delivery and a highly emotional, unmistakable engine sound.

"For us, the new GLC63 is a quite special vehicle. It is no easy job designing an SUV to be highly sporty and dynamic while at the same time offering inherent extreme driving stability and efficiency. This required us to put our heart and soul, along with our many years of SUV expertise, into the development of this vehicle. The result is an SUV that can be driven with high precision and agility and which, if required, is equally at home on a high-speed lap of the race track. With our V8 biturbo engine, we hold a decisive unique selling point in the performance market. What is more, with both SUV and Coupe variants available, we offer the widest choice in the segment. The technical closeness to our sports cars is visually underlined by the Panamericana grille, which was previously reserved for our AMG GT models," says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

Unique offering in the segment with V8 biturbo engine

Both SUV and Coupe variants of the GLC63 are offered with the proven, handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine, producing 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. The GLC63 S Coupe produces a massive 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes just 3.9 seconds in the GLC63 SUV and Coupe, and an impressive 3.7 seconds in the GLC63 S Coupe.

V8 biturbo closely related to engine in the Mercedes-AMG GT

The handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine is already used in numerous AMG Performance vehicles, including in the AMG GT sports car family (with dry sump lubrication). A characteristic feature of this engine is that the engine's two turbochargers are positioned inside the cylinder "V". The main advantages of this design are the compact engine construction, optimal throttle response and low exhaust emissions. Each engine is assembled by one mechanic in the engine shop at AMG's headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany according to the "one man - one engine" principle.

Short shift times, high efficiency: AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission

The new GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe all feature the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission, which made its debut in the Mercedes- AMG E63 S. The driver benefits from extremely short shift/response times. Fast multiple downshifts and the double-declutching function make for highly emotional shifting. A start-off wet clutch replaces a traditional torque converter in this new transmission, saving weight and optimizing the response to the driver's accelerator pedal input.

AMG Performance 4MATIC+ variable all-wheel drive

After the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Sedan, the GLC63 now comes with AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. This intelligent system unites the advantages of different drive concepts: fully variable torque distribution to the front and rear axles ensures optimal traction right up to the physical limit. The driver is also able to rely on high driving stability and handling safety under all conditions, even in snow. The transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and vice versa is seamless, as intelligent control is integrated into the overall vehicle system architecture.

An electromechanically controlled clutch connects the permanently driven rear axle to the fully variable front axle. The best possible torque distribution is continuously computed according to driving conditions and driver's input. Transitions are seamless and based on a sophisticated matrix. Alongside traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel drive also improves the longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.

For a personalized experience: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs

The four AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport+" and "Individual" allow the driver to extensively influence the characteristics of the GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe by modifying key parameters such as the response of engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP® and all-wheel drive. Independent of the DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, 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 suspension settings can also be specially selected if required.

"Comfort" is a balanced drive program with a comfort-oriented suspension and steering set-up as well as a fuel-efficient powertrain configuration with early upshifts – including smooth gearshifts and a restrained engine sound. The ECO start/stop function and coasting function are activated in this mode. When the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch of the MCT transmission opens and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. Electronics lower the engine speed to idle and driving resistance is reduced by the compression and friction forces of the engine on overrun.

The DYNAMIC SELECT "Sport" and "Sport+" drive programs are designed for high driving dynamics. This results from an agile accelerator pedal characteristic with direct set-up and emotively appealing gearshifts with shorter shift times and double-clutching function on downshifts. The increased idle speed in "Sport+" enables especially fast acceleration from rest.

The GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe have an additional "RACE" drive program, in which all driving parameters are configured for maximum performance. With a total of five drive programs, this Performance SUV once again offers the widest choice in the segment.

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Exhaust system with flap technology for variable engine sound

An emotional V8 engine sound comes courtesy of an exhaust system with flap technology. This flap is controlled automatically depending on the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program, the power demanded by the driver and the engine speed. Optionally available is the AMG Performance exhaust system, which allows the exhaust sound to be modulated at the press of a button.

Specific suspension for maximum lateral and longitudinal dynamics

The agility, highly dynamic lateral acceleration and maximum grip of the new GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe models comes courtesy of a new AMG suspension system which features fully-supporting multi-chamber air springs. This suspension setup ensures exceptionally high levels of camber stability, driving dynamics and steering precision.

The front axle features a four-link design with special steering knuckles, optimized elastokinematics and radial brake connections. Independent wheel control and wheel suspension elements enable higher lateral acceleration with minimal torque steer.

The concept for the rear axle was carried over from the AMG E63 S Sedan and specially matched to the requirements of the GLC. The model-specific multi-link concept impresses with highly precise wheel control and increased stiffness. The AMG-specific rear axle carrier makes the wider track possible in comparison with the GLC from Mercedes-Benz, while the contact surfaces of the wheel bearings have also been moved further outwards. Other measures include AMG-specific wheel carriers, stiffer elastokinematic tuning and higher negative camber.

Individual driving experience thanks to three-chamber air suspension system

Thanks to a sporty spring and damper set-up and continuously variable damping, the new three-chamber air suspension system combines exemplary driving dynamics with excellent road roar and tire vibration characteristics. The stiffness of the air springs can be adjusted over a wide range by activating or deactivating individual air chambers, making for perceptibly enhanced comfort and handling.

There are three degrees of spring tuning depending on the selected drive program and current driving status. The spring rate is hardened automatically in the event of sudden load changes, fast cornering, heavy acceleration or heavy braking, effectively reducing roll and pitch while stabilizing the GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe.

The adaptive damping can be set in three stages – "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport+" - thus, both relaxed comfort on long journeys and maximum sportiness are possible. Rebound and compression levels are adjusted independently of each other, and the freely programmable maps permit a wide spread between minimum and maximum damper force. The difference between the comfortable and sporty suspension settings is even more refined and is clearly perceptible – depending on driving style.

The GLC63 SUV and Coupe both come equipped with standard 10-spoke Titanium Grey light-alloy wheels with a high-sheen finish (front: 8 x 19 / rear: 9 x 19) with 235/55 R 19 tires at the front, and 255/50 R 19 tires at the rear. The GLC63 S Coupe comes with 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in Titanium Grey with a high-sheen finish (front: 9.5 x 20 / rear: 10 x 20) with 265/45 R 20 tires at the front and 295/40 R 20 tires at the rear. Several other wheel and tire combinations are available, including forged, staggered fitment wheels with especially wide tires.

Rear-axle limited-slip differential: optimal traction under all conditions

For improved traction and driving dynamics, both the GLC63 SUV and Coupe come with a mechanical rear-axle limited-slip differential, while the GLC63 S Coupe uses an electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential. Both differentials reduce the slip on the inside wheel when cornering, without control intervention by the brakes. As a result, the driver is able to accelerate out of corners even earlier thanks to the improved traction. The vehicle remains more stable when braking from high speed, while the limited-slip differential also improves traction when accelerating from a standstill. Overall, the rear axle has been specially matched to the higher driving dynamics of the new Performance SUVs.

The greatest benefit of the electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential is even more sensitive and precise control, which pushes the critical threshold higher, making it even easier to drive at the vehicle's limits. The three-stage ESP® with "ESP ON," "ESP SPORT Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF" settings work in perfect unison with the rear-axle limited-slip differential and is optimally tuned to provide outstanding dynamics.

Precise, agile handling: speed-sensitive sports steering

The electromechanical, speed-sensitive sports steering provides precise, agile handling with authentic feedback. The driver benefits from the variable steering ratio and optimized response.

The steering also features variable power assistance with the two modes "Comfort" and "Sport." The power steering is dependent not only on the vehicle's speed, but also on the instantaneous lateral acceleration, selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program and setting of the adjustable damping.

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Interior also with a consistent focus on driving dynamics

The interior underscores the leadership ambition of the new GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe in terms of driving dynamics. Driver and front passenger seats are finished in MB-Tex man-made leather combined with DINAMICA microfiber, which unite excellent lateral support with functional ergonomics.

The instrument panel is trimmed in Black MB-Tex man-made leather, with the GLC63 S Coupe additionally receiving contrasting topstitching. The high-grade look is underlined by aluminum trim. The touchpad is flanked by the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch and numerous AMG-specific controls, such as the button for the 3- stage AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension, 3-stage ESP® or optionally the button for the AMG Performance exhaust system with flap control.

The GLC63 S Coupe variant comes with an even more extensive equipment package, including an AMG Performance steering wheel in Black Nappa Leather / DINAMICA microfiber, in combination with leather appointments and an AMG instrument cluster with red highlights.

The new 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 SUV and Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupe will celebrate their auto show debuts at the New York International Auto Show.



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