Forget the stigma surrounding crossovers as dull family appliances – especially if they’re hand-made in Affalterbach, Germany. Mercedes-Benz will build three new additions to its GLC line of SUVs there, powered by biturbo V8 engines topping as much as 500 horsepower.
Mercedes will officially unveil the new mid-sized SUVs – the Mercedes-AMG GLC63, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe – at the New York International Auto Show next week. The three models are based on the GLC crossover, and then overhauled by the high-performance Mercedes-AMG division known for powerful sports cars and super sedans.
The result is serious capability in the crossover segment. The new vehicles will be powered by 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engines producing 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. In the GLC63 S Coupe, the powerplant is boosted to 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet. Throttle response, suspension stiffness and steering feedback can all be adjusted to tailor the driving experience from comfortable to racy. A variable exhaust flap that produces additional sinister growling is offered as an option.
Despite the GLC’s less traditional sporty dimensions, there are clear connections to the rest of the AMG performance vehicles. The biturbo V8 engine is identical to the one in the Mercedes-AMG GT, a two-dour coupe that accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The new GLC63s will also receive the nine-speed automatic transmission from the Mercedes-AMG E63 S sedan. Design is punctuated by a gaping Panamerica grille that matches that of the AMG GT.
The GLC63 line enters a growing list of performance luxury crossovers. Mercedes specifically targets the Porsche Macan Turbo, according to its press release, but the field is becoming more crowded. The GLC63 will also have to contend with the Jaguar F-Pace R and Audi SQ5. In the coming months, Alfa Romeo will release its 505-horsepower Stelvio Quadrifoglio, as well.
Mercedes has not announced pricing for its new models, but said they will be on sale in early 2018.