No one really needs a twin-turbo engine in their family four-wheel drive, but that doesn't mean some buyers don't want one anyway. The new Mercedes GLC63 AMG caters to those crazy few who want their SUV with a nuclear-grade engine under the hood, dropping the focus on efficient, inoffensive transportation in favor of the full 510 hp (375 kW) AMG V8 experience.
Even in semi-skim GLC43 AMG trim, the second-smallest Mercedes SUV isn't what you'd call slow. You can probably imagine, then, making the jump to the full-fat GLC63 AMG takes a fast car, and boosts it into another league altogether.
In base, non-S trim, the car pumps out 350 kW (476 hp) of power and 650 Nm of torque, enough to handle the 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in just 4.0 seconds. Not quick enough? The range-topping GLC63 S gains another 25 kW (34 hp) and 50 Nm, helping slice another 0.2 seconds from the 100 km/h sprint. Regardless of spec, an electronic speed limiter calls an end to proceedings at 250 km/h (155 mph).
Traditionally, cars from Mercedes-AMG have been rear-wheel drive, but ever-growing power outputs – and the fact this is a family car, not a two-seater – has seen the team in Affalterbach to develop its own version of 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The system in the GLC is actually borrowed from the more expensive E63 AMG, and uses an electromechanical central clutch to shuffle power between the front and rear axles. Unfortunately, drift mode hasn't made the transition, ruling out the possibility of any tail-out hoonery.
Okay, so it won't vaporize its rear tires on demand like an E-Class, but the GLC should be a much sharper drive than its more mundane brethren. The four-link front axle has been tweaked with unique steering knuckles, while the rear axle has actually been lifted from the E63. Along with a wider track, that means more negative camber and a stiffer suspension tune, both of which should make for a more stable, sporty drive.
As you'd expect of a V8-powered flagship, the exterior of the GLC63 has been treated to a thorough makeover. There's a more aggressive grille up front, working with the bigger air intakes to feed the twin-turbo V8 under the hood. Down back, a unique rear bumper and diffuser make the car look wider, while the quad chrome exhaust pipes add a touch of menace.
The designers have show much more restraint inside, where the changes are purely cosmetic. Although the carbon fiber center console looks nice, we're big fans of the wood trim you get in the standard car. Given the options list is longer than the Dead Sea Scrolls, customizing the interior shouldn't be a problem.
The new GLC63 and GLC63 Coupe will be on sale on June 16, and make their debut at the New York Auto Show. Pricing is yet to be announced, but you can check the car out in the video below.