NEW SA-BOUND GLC: The new GLC will take on BMW's X3 and Audi's Q5. Image: Newspress
STUTTGART, Germany - Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new GLC, a crossover SUV based on its C-Class platform, at an event in Stuttgart, Germany on Wednesday (June 17).
The new SUV is packed with the automaker's latest safety systems and is 80kg lighter. The new GLC will take on BMW's X3 and Audi's Q5.
Mercedes-Benz SA told Wheels24 the new GLC will arrive locally by October 2015. Prices to be confirmed closer to the launch date.
According to Mercedes: "The GLC only represents a departure from its progenitor – the G-Class – in terms of appearance, however. The mid-size SUV's off-road capabilities remain as outstanding as ever."
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLC
The new GLC retains much of the GLC coupe concept launched in China in April 2015, complete with sloping roof, new front end, redesigned head and taillights and more elegant profile.
The bumpers, with integrated underguard, come in three variants; standard, off-road (larger angle of approach/departure) and sporty AMG version. The new SUV benefits from a 118mm extended wheelbase for a more elegant profile as well as offering more legroom.
In Europe, the GLC will be available with four engine choices - two diesels (220d and 250d), one petrol (250) and a plug-in hybrid (350e). Each is mated to a nine-speed auto and standard all-wheel drive.
The 220d and 250d use the same four-cylinder two-litre turbodiesel tuned to 125kW/400Nm and 150kW/500Nm respectively. The two-litre turbopetrol 250 is capable of 155kW/350Nm.
The GLC 350e uses a 155kW turbopetrol coupled with an 85kW electric motor, mated to a 7G-tronic plus auto. The automaker claims the hybrid GLC can travel up to 34km in electric mode and sprint to 100km/h in 5.9 seconds if necessary, courtesy of a boost function.
The new GLC Dynamic Select offers five driving modes - eco, comfort, sport, sport+ and individual. The optional off-road package adds slippery (mud and sand), off-road (gravel or sand), incline (for steep uphill stretches), trailer (towing off-road) and rocking assist (if equipped with air suspension).
According to Mercedes-Benz: “Rocking assist program offers the last resort, should the vehicle get stuck. Here the driving level is raised by 50mm and the wheel-slip control thresholds are increased so as to enable the GLC to work its way free.”
Mercedes says “almost all” of the driver assistance systems fitted to its C, E and S-Class models are available for the new GLC.
Standard systems include collision prevention, crosswind assist, headlight assist and attention assist. The driving assistance package adds distronic plus with steering assist, stop/go, pre-safe brake with pedestrian detection, cross-traffic assist, blind spot assist, lane-keeping assist and pre-safe plus (warns of rear-end collisions and in the event of a crash, applies the brakes).
Additional safety technology includes traffic-sign assist, LED intelligent light system, adaptive high-beam assist and active parking assist (automatically parks the vehicle into parallel or end-on spaces).
Inside, the GLC benefits from nappa leather, wood trim, substantially more space for passengers and luggage and an optional sunroof.
The interior has been redesigned with a new dashboard, centre console touchpad and head-up display. Much like a smartphone, the touchpad uses finger-gesture controls. The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting – in any language supported by Audio 20 or Command online.
The rear bench has a 40/20/40 split and the cargo bay offers 80 to 110 litres of space, to a maximum of 580 litres. That expands to 1600 litres with the seats folded flat, 50 litres more than its predecessor
The air body control lowers the SUV by 40mm for easier access while the tailgate can be opened automatically by performing a swiping movement with the foot under the bumper.