Mercedes-AMG is introducing a comprehensive range of measures in a fundamental update of its successful GLC43 4MATIC SUV and Coupé models. The AMG-specific radiator grille, the new-design lights, the expressive front apron and the broad emphasis of the rear end with its round twin tailpipe finishers add up to make these entry-level models into the world of Mercedes-AMG SUVs visibly more appealing. The 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine now develops 287 kW (390 hp), in other words 17 kW (23 hp) more than before. In conjunction with the responsive AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission, the rear-biased AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and the AMG DYNAMICS agility control system, it has thus been possible to enhance the driving experience, as well as the car’s agility, still further. The latest version of the MBUX infotainment system, with AMG-specific functions and displays, introduces an innovative control concept that adds to the vehicle’s feasibility for everyday use. This is further enhanced by the exceptional amount of space provided for passengers and luggage, as well as by a comprehensive range of safety features.
“The new GLC43 4MATIC SUV and Coupé in their latest guises also feature the AMG-specific radiator grille, identifying them straight away as fully-fledged members of our diverse and highly successful SUV family. This mid-size performance SUV combines new, expressive design features with enhanced performance, the innovative MBUX infotainment system and absolute viability in everyday use. And, of course, its exceptional agility and sporty driving dynamics mean that we are able to meet our brand promise of “Driving Performance” in this segment, too”, says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Enhanced performance meets efficiency: the AMG 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine
Both the SUV and the Coupé benefit from an increase in the output of the 3.0-litre V6 engine of 17 kW (23 hp), taking it to 287 kW (390 hp). The peak torque of 520 Nm is available from 2500 to 4500 rpm. The higher output can also be attributed to applicative adjustments made to the software. The larger, stand-alone turbocharger units are mounted close to the engine and respond particularly swiftly, thereby guaranteeing exceptional performance: it takes a mere 4.9 seconds for the SUV and Coupé to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. The powerful AMG engine is visually identifiable by its engine cover with red aluminium insert and AMG lettering.
The exterior: AMG-specific radiator grille and more distinctive headlamps
Thanks to the AMG-specific radiator grille with its vertical chrome-plated fins, it is very quickly clear: these GLCs come from Affalterbach. The restyled, flatter LED High Performance headlamps with flare effect for the daytime running lamps serve to emphasise the expressive character of the front section. The matt black fins over the air intakes feature trim elements in Silver Shadow, enhancing the car’s visual presence yet further.
Seen from the side, the accentuated side sill panels are a particularly striking feature of both the SUV and the Coupé, in the way they give an optical illusion of lowering and elongating the whole vehicle. A similarly eye-catching feature are the aerodynamically optimised AMG light-alloy wheels, with the 19-inch variant with AMG lettering fitted as standard. A selection of five further rim variants, ranging from 19 to 21 inches in size, are available as options.
The distinctive rear end, too, with its broad apron, diffuser and two round twin tailpipes, adds to the sporty look. As with the front view, the redesigned LED tail lights provide for an unmistakable light signature.
Interior: sporty spaciousness with red highlights
The interior design continues through with the sporty design idiom of the exterior and helps to emphasise the dynamic ambitions of the new GLC43 4MATIC. This mid-size performance SUV features sports seats as standard, which offer improved lateral support to both the driver and front passenger. The upholstery, in black ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre, has a distinctive seat upholstery layout with red topstitching. Trim elements in aluminium with a longitudinal grain serve to highlight the car’s sporty aspirations.
The SUV and Coupé models of the GLC43 4MATIC both offer plenty of space for passengers and luggage in conjunction with a variable interior, an extensive range of safety features and a high level of long-distance comfort. Additional possibilities for individualisation come courtesy of the new appointment options of cranberry/black leather and magma grey/black leather.
Dynamic design, exceptional ergonomics and intuitive controls are the hallmarks of the new, standard-fit AMG steering wheel in DINAMICA microfibre. It has a flattened bottom section and is perforated in the grip area. The galvanised steering wheel gearshift paddles allow an even sportier driving style with manual gear shifting. The optionally available AMG steering wheel buttons allow faster and more precise control of specific dynamic handling functions. These consist of a round controller with an integrated display beneath the right-hand steering-wheel spoke, plus two vertically positioned colour display buttons with switches beneath the left-hand steering-wheel spoke. Thanks to the ergonomic positioning of the additional steering wheel buttons within the immediate grip area, the driver’s hands remain on the wheel at all times – thanks to the intuitively understandable functionality, the driver can keep their eyes on the road throughout.
Control at your fingertips
The latest version of the MBUX infotainment system further underlines the car’s viability for everyday use and establishes an even closer connection between vehicle, driver and passengers. Whether it’s operated with the touchpad, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control or gesture control: the operating system of the GLC43 4MATIC is just as versatile as it is flexible.
And needless to say, the trailblazing voice control activated with the words “Hey Mercedes” is also on board. Thanks to artificial intelligence, MBUX recognises and understands nearly all sentences from the fields of infotainment and vehicle operation, even if they are expressed indirectly.
The driver receives visual information via the 12.3-inch instrument cluster on the left and the 10.25-inch touchscreen display on the right. With the three AMG-specific display styles of “Classic”, “Sport” or “Supersport”, the vehicle functions are brought immediately to life.
From comfortable to sporty, from steady to agile: five drive programs and AMG Dynamics
The GLC43 4MATIC SUV and Coupé come with a choice of five drive programs: “Slippery”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+” and “Individual”. Using these allows the characteristics of the vehicle to be individualised even further with the mere touch of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to extremely sporty. The programs modify key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. The programs are now linked to the AMG DYNAMICS agility control system, which means that the handling characteristics can be set to meet various requirements and driving conditions with even more differentiation.
In the case of the Performance SUV models, the umbrella term AMG DYNAMICS encompasses the agility functions “Basic” and “Advanced”, which are automatically selected by the respective drive program. Parameters relevant to driving, such as the control threshold of the completely redesigned ESP® (Electronic Stability Program), are intelligently adjusted according to the selected drive program. This means that while the full scope of ESP activity is retained, the available spectrum in terms of lateral dynamics is considerable. The driver can select here between “Stable” and “Agile”.
- “Basic” is assigned to the “Slippery” and “Comfort” drive programs. In this case the GLC43 4MATIC demonstrates very stable handling with a high level of yaw damping.
- “Advanced” is activated in the “Sport” and “Sport+” programs. The GLC43 4MATIC is then neutrally balanced. The lower yaw damping, lower steering angle requirement and enhanced agility support dynamic manoeuvres such as driving on winding country roads.
Speedy shifting: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission
The GLC43 4MATIC features the tried and tested AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed automatic transmission (TCT = Torque-Clutch Transmission), which is specifically configured to deliver a dynamic driving experience. It is optimally tuned to the engine and promises the agile pulling away that is so typical of AMG, along with speedy gearshift changes – either automatic, or manual via the steering wheel shift paddles. The model-specific software application means that very short shift times can be achieved.
The multiple downshift function allows more spontaneous bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the “Sport” and “Sport+” drive programs makes for an even more emotive driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gear shifts in the other modes. In all modes moving off occurs in first gear in order to always guarantee a dynamic driving experience.
Optimum grip: AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive
The standard-specification AMG Performance 4MATIC four-wheel drive features rear-biased torque distribution with a front/rear axle split of 31 to 69 percent. This configuration provides for enhanced driving dynamics and higher lateral acceleration on the road as well as improved traction when accelerating. The single-stage transfer case of the four-wheel drive system is flange-mounted to the transmission as a separate system.
Self-adjusting: the AMG RIDE CONTROL+ suspension
AMG RIDE CONTROL+ combines the advantages of various types of suspension in one. It is based on the AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension with AMG-specific Adaptive Damping System (ADS PLUS), thereby ensuring both sporty driving dynamics and the comfort on long journeys that is such a hallmark of the brand. The multi-chamber air suspension offers a very broad spread between the most comfortable and the most sporty set-up and adapts to the current load. Thanks to the pneumatic all-round level control system, the vehicle level remains constant, independently of the load it is carrying. At high speeds the vehicle is lowered, to reduce wind resistance and further increase stability.
The adaptive damping adjustment AMG RIDE CONTROL+ comes as standard. This fully automatic, electronically controlled system adjusts the damping at each wheel to the current requirements. This improves driving safety and ride comfort. The damping is adjusted individually for each wheel, and depends on the driving style, the road surface and the selected suspension setting. The ideal operating point can be selected at all times on the basis of a broad scope of information relating to acceleration or vehicle speed, for example. Via a switch on the centre console, the driver can select between three different sets of damper characteristics, namely “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport+”, and thus individually influence the driving experience – from highly comfortable to sporty.
Precise feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering
The electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering has a variable ratio and impresses with its precise, authentic feedback. The steering servo assistance is reduced at high speeds, and continuously increases at lower speeds. This means that comparatively little steering force is required at low speeds, while the best possible control over the vehicle is maintained at high speeds. The steering assistance is assigned to the various stages of the AMG DYNAMICS system. In ‘Advanced’ the driver receives more feedback about the driving status.