The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S is about as aggressive as SUVs in this class get. Whereas its rivals have rather mannered downsized six-cylinder engines, Mercedes has managed to shoehorn a big V8 powerplant under the bonnet of the GLC mid-sized SUV, giving it enough swagger and attitude to face down the best of the rest.
There are two body styles from which to choose. The more conventional SUV wagon is priced at $164,900, while the sleek Coupe version forgoes a few litres of carrying capacity (500 vs 550L) and wings in at $171,900. Both cars are mechanically identical, with the Coupe weighing 10kg extra.
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Whereas our European colleagues get a non-S badged version of the GLC63, the Australian market tends to prefer the fastest and angriest AMG models, so the local importers decided not to bother bringing in the 350kW version and instead are solely shipping the full-strength 375kW S models.
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That power output probably requires a little perspective. Other cars in the GLC’s class that we previously thought of as seriously quick, like the Porsche Macan Turbo, are now viewed in a rather different light. The Porsche makes 294kW and is more than $30,000 more affordable than the unashamedly high-end AMG. It also comes nowhere near matching the GLC’s 3.7 second sprint to 100km/h, lagging by over a second. That’s more than 25 percent slower, which really puts the AMG engine’s potency into sharp focus.
Clearly, the downside of running a bigger, more powerful engine is fuel thirst, and the GLC63 S returns a combined fuel figure of 10.9L/100km versus 9.2L/100km for the Macan, 8.7L/100km for the Audi SQ5 and a mere 2.1L/100km for Volvo’s virtuous XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid.
As you might well expect for a car that carries such a hefty price tag (the Volvo and Audi hover at around $100K), the GLC63 S is loaded with standard equipment. As well as a nine-speed automatic transmission, composite brakes and air suspension, there’s also a clever variable all-wheel drive system that helps transmit all that power to the road, the S model is fitted with many features that are optional in other markets.
The exterior details include:
- 21-inch AMG alloy wheels
- AMG Night package
- AMG Panamericana grille
- AMG Front apron in a jet wing design with front splitter
- Flared wings with AMG cladding
- AMG Spoiler lip
- AMG Rear apron
- AMG Performance exhaust system (selectable)
- AMG Side sill panels in black
Interior equipment also comprises the following:
- AMG Performance seats
- AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather/microfiber
- Automatic climate control with three climate zones
- Digital TV Tuner
- Dashboard and beltlines in man-made leather in black with contrasting topstitching
- Air-Balance package including ionisation, improved air filtering and fragrancing
- AMG instrument cluster with AMG main menu and Race Timer
- Reverse automatic emergency braking
- Traffic sign recognition
For an additional $10,900, Mercedes-AMG also offers the limited-run ‘Edition 1’ model in either wagon or Coupe guise. It’s mechanically identical to the other GLC63 S models but adds a whole host of model-specific trim parts. The Edition 1 pack will be available throughout the first year of GLC63 S production and includes the following exterior details:
- 21-inch AMG cross-spoke forged wheels, painted in matt black and with yellow rim flange
- AMG aerodynamics package, finished in black (exclusively for the S-Model with yellow AMG sports stripes), comprising additional large front spoiler, enlarged rear diffuser with diffuser spoiler lip and specific spoiler lip in the rear area in high-gloss black
- AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system
- Selenite grey magno paintwork, exclusively for the Edition 1
- Yellow AMG sports stripes (decals) on the exterior mirrors and above the side sill panels
The interior also features the following points of differentiation:
- AMG Performance seats in a diamond design
- Upholstery in black nappa leather with yellow contrasting topstitching (sun-reflecting) for seats, armrests in the doors and centre console
- AMG trim elements in matt carbon fibre/light aluminium
- AMG Performance steering wheel in microfibre all-round, with flattened bottom section, yellow 12-o'clock marking and yellow contrasting topstitching, steering wheel bezel in silver chrome with ‘Edition 1’ lettering and silver-coloured aluminium shift paddles
- Upper part of dashboard and beltlines in man-made leather in a nappa-look finish in black with yellow contrasting topstitching
- Door centre panels in black nappa leather with yellow contrasting topstitching
- Yellow highlights on the instrument cluster
- AMG door sill panels in black with yellow LED illumination
- Floor mats in black with yellow ‘AMG’ lettering and yellow contrasting topstitching
- Seat belts in black
2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S pricing
- GLC63 S 4.0 V8 petrol - $164,900
- GLC63 S Coupe 4.0 V8 petrol - $171,900
Edition 1 option pack