Force and Function: The twin-turbo V6 Mercedes-Benz GLC 43 AMG is perfect for SUV owners with a need for speed, without sacrificing comfort and practicality.
Examples of such cars include the Audi SQ5, the Jaguar F-PACEand the Porsche Macan GTS. Understanding this, Mercedes has launched a twin-turbo V6 hot version of its popular GLC mid-size Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), badged as the GLC 43 AMG, to join the party.
We managed to have a short but satisfying time in one, during the recent Mercedes-Benz Driving Experience 2017 at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia.
Lots of heart, not so much soul
Like the C 43 AMG we drove not too long ago, the GLC 43 AMG runs the company’s new 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine, capable of 362bhp and 520Nm of torque. It’s the ‘entry-level’ AMG version and a 63, powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, may come along in due course.
This enables the 1,845kg machine to smash the century sprint in a very respectable 4.9 seconds, ranking very closely to more nimble urban racers like the C 43 AMG and Audi S4, which boast timings of 4.7 seconds.
Lay hard on the gas, and the nose of the car rears up a pinch, as it squats on its rear tyres and launches forward.
The wide-open Sepang circuit gave us the chance to push the GLC 43 AMG to its very limits, and it’s as quick and capable as marketing materials declare. Punching out of the infamous Turn 14 was a cinch, as we maximised the car’s power and rear-biased 4MATIC system, entering and exiting the corner.
Despite a high centre of gravity, it’s easy to get the GLC 43 AMG into the swing of things, thanks to a fairly quick turn-in, strong brakes, and a mad amount of lateral grip.
However, the GLC 43 AMG isn’t nearly as sharp and responsive as a Porsche Macan GTS, which in our opinion, is most exciting in the segment. But the Mercedes performs on a comparatively dynamic level as a Jaguar F-PACE, and while it’s not particularly fun, is more than enough to satisfy most drivers.
Lots of comfort and some sporty finishes
The interior of the GLC 43 AMG receives a heavy dose of premium upholstery, snug AMG sports seats, racy red stitching, aluminum dashboard trim, and a few AMG-specific controls such as the drive-mode selector.
Like the standard GLC, this cabin layout puts the AMG ahead of the British competition in terms of quality and ease-of-use. It’s a nicely insulated, pleasant place to be in.
AMG magic should mean a hit
The GLC 43 AMG shows the Mercedes-AMG division doesn’t have to go the whole nine yards to create a superb best-of-many-worlds sort of performance vehicle for edgy young parents.
While certainly not the most stylish or the most dynamic model in town, the GLC 43 AMG combines driving pleasure and European refinement in a nicely turned-out package.
07 Jun 2017 | Text by Nigel Yong, Photos by Mercedes-Benz