First drive assessment: Hold the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S out of my yard, and put it in my driveway

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It defies conference, sense, and most manners. It’s proud, loud, principally pointless, and largely impractical. Like an outsized flat-brim cap, two upright center fingers, or parachute pants, the image’s clear.

I’m not speaking in regards to the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. No, no. Simply its decklid spoiler.

Refreshed this yr, the compact crossover sport coupe sidles its means again into a distinct segment inside a distinct segment inside a distinct segment, twin-turbo Four.Zero-liter V-Eight and all.

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Right here within the rolling hills outdoors Frankfurt, Germany, on sweeping stretches of the Autobahn the place the perfect four-seater can stretch its legs right into a 155-mph gallop, the GLC 63 S Coupe is relaxed. At residence within the States, the place the 2020 GLC 63 S Coupe is commonly mired in visitors and twiddling its thumbs in valet tons, the high-po crossover feels pensive.

Like double kickstands from an unruly teenager at a mall, perhaps that spoiler that rises no less than Three inches off the rear deck is begging in your consideration?

Are you able to simply take a look at me, guys!

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 S Coupe first drive assessment

The numbers look finest

This yr, the GLC 63 S is evenly up to date with new headlights and taillights, improved infotainment, and much more efficiency controls. It’s largely the identical 503-horsepower crossover coupe as earlier than—brash and entertaining, if not principally pointless at greater than $85,000 to begin.  

The coupe’s finest trick is pace and drama, which it rips off in entertaining and brappy Three.6-second intervals, from a standstill to 60 mph, again and again.

The GLC 63 crossover with a extra sensible form prices absolutely $11,000 lower than the 63 S Coupe, almost the worth for a completely loaded Apple Mac Professional and relatively simply as boring.

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The coupe’s style? Questionable. Practicality? Debatable. (It has 5 seats, however don’t experience hump within the again until you’ve misplaced a wager.)

The coupe’s efficiency pedigree is with out query, nonetheless. The GLC 63 S Coupe ripped off a Nürburgring-Nordschleife run of seven minutes, 49 seconds, the quickest for an SUV and three seconds shy of the mark set by a C63 AMG Black Collection sedan lower than a decade in the past—additional proof of the GLC 63’s ascension to the game compact throne for Mercedes, should you wanted it.

Pearl-clutching purists might bemoan the shortage of a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter lump in an AMG-badged something, however the 63 S Coupe’s powerplant is lots.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 S Coupe first drive review

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 S Coupe first drive assessment

The dual-turbo’s 503 hp is codified into AMG’s lore with 516 pound-feet of twist that comes on early within the rev vary and outruns most of my braveness.

On the unrestricted Autobahn outdoors Frankfurt, north towards Unhealthy Homburg, the GLC 63 S Coupe simply touches triple-digit speeds—155 mph arrives with the entire effort of a pre-nap yawn. The pace is thrilling, although it’s not dramatic, and I’m positive the thirst to maneuver the hulking Four,500-pound mass that quick is prolific.

This yr, Mercedes-AMG provides yet one more layer of controls to harness the spectacular efficiency from the crossover coupe. The drive modes (Slippery, Consolation, Sport, Sport+, Race, and Particular person) are complemented with 4 new AMG Dynamics applications: Primary, Superior, Professional, and Grasp.

Past sounding like “Magic: The Gathering” competitors ranges, the 4 AMG Dynamics modes management all points of the coupe’s efficiency, together with dealing with, suspension, stiffness of the engine mounts, throttle response, stability management, steering, transmission conduct, and torque from the all-wheel-drive system and its electronically managed rear limited-slip differential included. Bought all that?

It’s not precisely as granular as BMW’s system that may toggle up or down every separate system—the Primary setting is proscribed to the Slippery and Consolation drive modes, Superior is proscribed to Sport, Professional is for Sport+, and Grasp is just accessible in Race and requires partially or altogether disabling the soundness management first. (My $20 AAA Worldwide Driving piece of paper has by no means been stretched thus far.)

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 S Coupe first drive review

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 S Coupe first drive assessment

Dial in 11

Toggle via every driving mode by way of a rocker change close to the infotainment touchpad on the middle console or by way of non-obligatory steering wheel controls, a la Ferrari’s manettino or Porsche’s drive selector knob, and the 12.Three-inch instrument cluster shows the drive setup in a grid. What appears to be like like a small Excel spreadsheet of data is helpful—AMG Dynamics information is positioned within the backside left nook, beneath three different configurations that I ought to take note of. It’s an eye fixed check, however extra enjoyable: “If the underside line is legible, buckle up.”

Whereas the Primary AMG Dynamic setting continues to be blindingly quick with loads of accessible throttle and rapid-fire shifts from the 9-speed automated, I’m kidding myself if I believe a GLC 63 S Coupe purchaser is contemplating themselves as something lower than “Superior.” (Eds be aware: Superior at every little thing in life, maybe.)

Superior mode tightens steering via the thick-rimmed customary AMG sport wheel with extra weight and a faster response off heart from the electrically assisted rack. The adjustable dampers tighten too, and the GLC 63 S hustles via aspect roads off the Autobahn like a halfback regardless of its fullback-sized dimensions and weight.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 S Coupe first drive review

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 S Coupe first drive assessment

The sensation behind the wheel is immaculate; the divine energy from the GLC 63 S comes via in progressive surges and begs me to squeeze the throttle round corners in successively deeper and deeper stabs. With the exhaust flaps toggled open from bubble to brap, the V-Eight chortles via the Baden-Wurttemberg forests in giddy waves. Its tall experience peak is one in every of few giveaways that the GLC 63 S is just not a C63—I don’t thoughts a lot.

Professional mode goes additional, if it’s obligatory, however the leap isn’t as pronounced as Primary to Superior. In Professional mode, the throttle is extra nervous: much less of a squeeze and extra of a seize. In line with Mercedes, the engine mounts stiffen in Professional and Grasp modes to reinforce turn-in, though the GLC Coupe’s biggest trick is to nearly shrink the crossover across the driver anyway.

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Its steering response in any mode is already telepathic—even when it’s a one-way relationship with out a lot communication again from the automobile—and tucks in neatly from nook to nook. Large, staggered 20-inch wheels are wrapped with 265/40R20 and 295/40R20 Michelin Pilot Sport Four gummies, entrance and rear, or 21-inch wheels with related rubber as extra-cost bragging rights.

What the sticky tires hold secret is the rear differential’s good work. The electrically managed rear differential hustles more durable in Superior, Professional, and Grasp modes, retains wayward wheels in line with out brake stabs, and delivers to over-confident drivers much more confidence to push more durable via and out of corners. The mechanical grip from the differential, wheels, and stiff dampers quantities a symphony of pace in esses—and brings us again to that spoiler.

Its downforce is questionable, however its function is obvious: It’s lower than obligatory and defies conference and logic.

But it surely’s extra enjoyable than highschool, even when it’s simply as mature. I assume that’s the purpose.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 S Coupe first drive review

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 S Coupe first drive assessment

Room for 2, with ‘tude

Inside, the comfy GLC 63 S Coupe is finest for 2, though it’s potential for extra. Six-footers can comfortably sit behind 6-footers, due to the deeply sculpted however skinny sport buckets up entrance. The seat bottoms are thinly padded, however mushy leather-based makes up for the shortcoming. Large our bodies might get pinched a bit from the adjustable bolsters, however even my broad shoulders nestle neatly beneath the built-in headrest.

About that infotainment system: it’s superb, but in addition not vital to the mission of the GLC 63 S. Managed by way of a flatter touchpad positioned on the middle console, steering wheel controls, voice instructions, gesture controls, and even the touchscreen itself, the Mercedes MBUX system instructions an excessive amount of consideration that’s higher spent on driving within the GLC 63 S Coupe. In a GLE? Good. In a GLC 63 S? Depart it for the car parking zone.

In Europe, the brand new system may even order meals or pay for parking, however that’s not but accessible within the States. Anybody caught consuming Burger King behind the wheel of a rushing GLC 63 S within the U.S. will probably be banished to stay in Wyoming ceaselessly—and I don’t imply the great components close to the Tetons.

The coupe’s cargo area below the rear hatch is helpful, albeit abbreviated in comparison with the usual crossover. The rear door cutouts are a bit awkward and outward imaginative and prescient to the rear and rear three-quarter views might as effectively be via a periscope.

However you don’t suppose all of the cool youngsters put on flat-brim caps to defend their eyes from the solar, do you?

Mercedes-Benz supplied journey and lodging to Web Manufacturers Automotive to deliver you this firsthand report.

 

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