The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic + at a glance
A self-promoter like out of a picture book
If the vehicle concept of a sport utility vehicle does not divide society per se, then the GLC 63 S will definitely do it (combined fuel consumption: 12.4 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 282 g / km²). There are now a lot of “dynamic” Hochbeiner cars, but hardly any of these cars are as consistently designed for sportiness as the Mercedes. It is the appearance that reveals that a lot of riot is to be expected here. The star cruiser looks grim, stands wide in front of you and confidently displays its 21-inch sports tires.
Off-road driving is taboo with the AMG-GLC, so there are no off-road programs in the MBUX system. And the first will ask why you do that with the high-rise body, which is then lowered again. The somewhat simple answer is: Because the market tolerates such a niche product, maybe even demands it.
510 PS and 700 Newton meters push forward properly
Although these lines show some suspicion of the vehicle category; There is nothing to criticize about the hard performance factors of the 63 series. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in the S variant tested delivers more than a potent 375 kW / 510 hp, lifts 700 Newton meters and runs from zero to 100 km / h in under four seconds the optional AMG Driver’s Package has a top speed of 280 km / h.
These are values that a few years ago were sufficient to properly heat up a 911 Turbo. Anyone who argues that the Porsche is faster in the curve, is a “yes and no” thrown between the legs. It depends with whom you want to measure yourself. Because the amount of effort they went to in Affalterbach to turn a representative SUV into a performance off-road vehicle is enormous.
High transverse dynamic performance
A three-chamber air suspension works with adaptively controllable dampers to reduce rolling and pitching movements to a minimum. A mechanical rear axle differential brings an extra bit of life to the rear area. The fact that, depending on the driving mode setting, the 4Matic all-wheel drive is also designed to emphasize the rear, further increases the dynamism. The Benz also asks its driver how his driving skills are doing and puts the reins of the driving stability programs closer or further accordingly.
And by no means: anyone who switches to the professional mode of the AMG has to be very careful so that the two-ton truck really stays on course. The line between fast and fast is flown with the GLC 63 S a narrow one, but definitely more fun to drive. So it takes a little courage and experience to move the all-wheel drive to the last groove. However, once you understand what makes it tick, driving fast is all the more fun. Another positive aspect is the optional ceramic high-performance composite brake system, which not only throws the anchor brutally, but also has a very clean pressure point.
Conditional suspension comfort, great acoustic pleasure
But no pro without a contra. Because on the downside is clearly the suspension comfort. Even in the comfort position, the Daimler bounces mercilessly in the back and even lets you feel every little bump on the perfectly flat slope. Thanks to the mounted 21-inch model, there is also a lack of damping rubber, the mounted Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S roll equally loudly. Another stumbling block for long, relaxed motorway journeys are the AMG performance seats built into the test car, which are very consistently shaped and extremely tightly padded.
These losses are forgotten, however, if you listen to the eight-cylinder concert from the optional AMG performance exhaust system. If the C 63 was once considered a German muscle car, Mercedes has transferred this virtue one-to-one to the GLC 63. The 510 hp unit, which is always vehemently attached to the gas and coupled to a fast and at the same time inconspicuous 9-speed automatic converter, thunders as if it had at least one liter more displacement. At times you can even get carried away with a few pops and bangs. However, the fact that the exhaust tailpipes are only decorative at Mercedes-AMG is not appropriate to the high price behavior.
Long-distance consumption around 10 liters, high-quality interior
And what is the consumption? Definitely no miracles are to be expected, but a tested long-distance consumption of 10 liters per 100 kilometers is okay. Anyone who torments the Benz every now and then through city traffic will have to reckon with at least 14 liters. Meanwhile, a look into the interior reveals Stuttgart sobriety. You won’t find any design escapades in the GLC 63, but yellow decorative stitching and plenty of carbon enhance the cockpit noticeably.
The workmanship is good, the materials used mostly feel of high quality. However, there is criticism to be expressed about the seating position. Not only that the performance seats can be uncomfortable on longer stages, they are generally too high. Thanks to the steering wheel, which can only be adjusted to a limited extent, part of the speedometer display is covered – no matter how much you play with the adjustment options. In terms of space, the usual class is enough, with a little communication between the first and second row, four adults sit comparatively comfortably. The trunk holds 395 to a maximum of 1,600 liters. If that is not enough, the GLC 63 S can also pull trailers weighing up to 2.2 tonnes behind it.
Wizards that can be tricked
Finally, a few words about the Daimler’s extensive assistance systems. Apart from the somewhat nervous front collision warning system, the systems mostly work free of faults and faults. The lane change assistant also does its job well and, in conjunction with the active lane keeping system, is a useful aid on longer journeys. However, the assistance, which normally requires the driver to keep his hands on the steering wheel, could be tricked with a simple water bottle. No warning messages are shown, the Mercedes drives stubbornly for several minutes without the driver having to do anything. A potential hazard that other manufacturers recognized and eliminated earlier.
Mercedes is in the middle of the drive turnaround. If the eight-cylinder has had its day in the C-Class, the same fate will soon also meet with the GLC. Until then, the current GLC 63 S 4Matic + is the smallest star body that can still rely on the feudal M 177 V8. Here it presents itself from its best performance side for the last time, has an abundance of horsepower and can even be driven reasonably economically. Although the AMG has become a strong SUV in terms of lateral dynamics, you have to accept losses in terms of suspension comfort. If you’ve got a taste for it now, the fun starts from 97,520.50 euros. (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)