Welcome to the little village known as Boom Town – the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 has been revealed and it has all the right ingredients to sell its toothy slats off Down Under.
Medium SUV bodystyle that Aussies love? Check. Aggressive ‘Panamericana’ grille, quad exhausts and 20-inch alloy wheels tucked under fattened guards, fulfilling the sports styling Aussies also adore? Check. What about a mighty 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 driving through a nine-speed dual-clutch to all wheels perfect for an Aussie family holiday? Oh yes, yes, yes.
The GLC 63 is going to be hugely popular either in five-door wagon form or the ‘coupe’ version that debut together at next week’s New York auto show. We’ll have to wait until December until it lands on our shores, with an expected pricetag bang-on the C63’s $160K.
As with most other AMG models, two versions of the wagon and coupe are available overseas: 350kW/650Nm GLC 63 and 375kW/700Nm GLC 63 S. Only the latter might make it here, though. AMG quotes a 250km/h top speed and a stunning 3.8sec 0-100km/h.
While these outputs match the rear-drive C63, its accleration is enhanced by traction and two extra gears but dragged back by a heftier kerb weight. A Porsche Macan Turbo claims 4.8sec and costs $130K.
Meanwhile the all-wheel drive system is pinched from the E63 S, with fully variable power distribution and its Race mode but without the ability to completely disconnect the front driveshaft as per that large sports sedan. The GLC 63 gets a mechanical rear limited-slip differential, while the GLC 63 S scores an electronically actuated version of it, as per E63/S.
Also borrowed from the E63 are several AMG-specific suspension components, with wider tracks over the GLC adding to bespoke wheel carriers, stiffer elastokinematics and increased negative camber, all aimed at hunting down the dynamics-leading Macan.
Tri-mode air suspension – with the usual Comfort, Sport and Sport+ settings – has also been tuned by AMG, working with the 265mm-front and 295mm-rear 20-inch wheels. Both 21s and an active sports exhaust are optional overseas, but both could be standard here.
Thanks to vehicles like the GLC 63 and GLC 63 Coupe, AMG sales now tally 20 per cent of Benz volume, the highest of anywhere in the world. Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific sold about 5000 units of the Affalterbach performance models last year. This year executives reckon 6000-plus can be ticked-off without a problem.