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2018-05-24 10:56

Sean Parker

Image: Supplied

There are now two new Mercedes-AMG SUV models available in South Africa, Sean Parker drove the GLC63 S and GLC63 S Coupe at Zwartkops raceway to get a better understanding of these brutishly fast vehicles. 

With a 41mm wider front track and 24mm lower ride height compared to a standard GLC, the AMG derivative looks like an underworld player; mean and purposeful with a brashness about it. It’s also festooned with the Panamericana grille from the GT sportscar. And that’s before I’ve punched the start button to awaken the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 engine. 

Out on track, the low centre of gravity and direct steering (with not that much feel) are immediately noticeable, there’s less body roll through the corners and more time to exploit the 375kW and 700Nm. The 0-100km/h sprint is a claimed 3.8 seconds. 

It was impressive on track with the ESP system fully off as the mechanical grip came to the fore. The engine has good low-down torque (from 1750 r/min) and although the nine-speed gearbox is a tad lazy on downshifts, it was enjoyable tackling Zwartkops raceway in an 1850kg SUV and being pleasantly surprised at how good it was. 


The real test is out on the open road as this is where the comfortable GLC which can seat five, has a big boot and has enough headroom and legroom to keep the most anti-road trip person happy. 

The air suspension and adaptive damping (comfort, sport and sport plus) give the GLC and GLC coupe a real edge on the open road as they handled the pockmarked roads of the Pretoria and the North West without a fuss. 

Inside, the AMG versions emit a sporty yet classy appeal. You’re met by a thick-rimmed steering wheel with an AMG badge at the bottom. There’s decent space to pocket items and overall, it’s not a bad place to be on a long journey. 

As with most Mercedes-Benz products, you can add your touch via the options list and these include: an AMG night package, exterior carbon package, AMG performance interior and even a performance exhaust system that adds two additional exhaust flaps for an even meatier sound. 

Let’s be honest Mercedes have been building performance SUVs for a long time, from the G-Wagon AMG to the 1999 ML 55 AMG, they’ve been giving SUV buyers something different to choose from. 

The GLC 63S in Coupe and SUV form are a result of those years of expertise and the results are impressive. They boast the highest performance in the segment and are the only ones with a V8 bi-turbo. They also set out to build an agile car that screams Affalterbach through and through. And after driving both models, I can say they’ve done a damn good job. The only problem is GLE owners downsizing to the GLC…

Prices: 

GLC63 S - R1 563 596

GLC63 S Coupe - R1 679 605

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