Mercedes-Benz is on a bold roll-out of new products this year, the latest a hot-rod version of their mid-size crossover SUV – the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43.
The GLC which itself is new and replaced the GLK last year, gets the full AMG treatment with performance upgrades to the powertrain, suspension, rolling stock and of course all the expected visuals inside and out.
Power is the calling card though, with the brand’s 362 hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo or rather BiTurbo V6. The high-performance engine comes with a special AMG tuned 9-speed automatic transmission with rev-matching downshifts and quicker shifting Sport Plus mode.
That power is sent to a unique AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel drive system tuned for on-road duty to give the rear-axle power bias feel expected in a performance vehicle at a 31% front and 69% rear torque split – all working hand in hand with its sport tuned air suspension called Air Body Control.
They tell us the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph, electronically limited for our own best interests – glad they are thinking of us. And to stop it from those speeds it gets larger brakes, 14.2-inches at the front and 12.6-inches at the rear.
Improvements to the GLC43 for handing also include new speed sensitive steering rack, improved steering knuckles and revised spring links. All of this helps to keep its now average size 20-inch lightweight AMG alloy wheels doing their job of managing this thing’s weight.
Visual up steps for the AMG start with the trademark diamond grille treatment balanced with lots of gloss black and chrome elements. Fins in chrome highlight air inlets and even the front splitter gets a healthy dose of bright work.
Its 20-inch AMG wheels are gloss black with contrasting spokes, staggered with 255 section tires up front and wider 285s at the rear. And there, the rear fascia wraps a pair of dual exhaust tips nicely for a damn right aggressive look.
With all the sporting drama, the interior could not be left too far behind, and here they didn’t disappoint. Aggressive sport seats with deep bolsters feature red accent stitching as does the flat bottom AMG steering wheel.
Carbon-fiber trim and leather upholstery can be added to further elevate the GLC43 past the shopping mall cart to the feel of a true track day brawler. But even with all this race inspired gear and equipment underneath you can still have a civilized drive.
To wit, an ECO display can help coach your driving behavior to save fuel when not heading for the checkered flag – a notion backed up by an auto start stop system for the engine and selectable drive modes from mild to wild.
The new 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 goes on sale in North America late this year with pricing to be announced closer to that time. Expect mid to upper $50,000’s at a minimum.