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Driven: Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. Image by Mercedes UK.

Driven: Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe
Detest fast SUVs? Think the coupe versions are abhorrent? Better look away now, then; this one’s a cracker.

 



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Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Good points: the noise, the pace, the surprisingly spry handling, the unstinting quality of it all

Not so good: pricey, you're going to have to put up with looks of pure hatred from many other road users. . .

Key Facts

Model tested: Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic Coupe
Price: GLC Coupe range from £41,020; AMG 63 S from £78,560, car as tested £90,925
Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol
Transmission: nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT automatic, 4Matic all-wheel drive
Body style: five-door performance coupe-SUV
CO2 emissions: 244g/km (VED Band 226-255: £1,815 in year one, then £465 per annum years two to six of ownership, then £145 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 26.4mpg
Top speed: 174mph (limited)
0-62mph: 3.8 seconds
Power: 510hp at 5,500-6,250rpm
Torque: 700Nm at 1,750-4,500rpm
Boot space: 550-1,600 litres

Our view:

Look, we're not saying this isn't grossly hypocritical of us, but while we think the latest version of the coupe-SUV originator, BMW's X6, is and always has been hideous to behold, we don't feel the same way about the smaller X4. We'll even admit to being quite taken by the appearance of the Porsche Cayenne Coupe. And, slowly getting this clunky oil tanker of a review to swing onto the right heading at last, while the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe can teeter on the edge of being obnoxious in appearance, we've never hated it - and its little brother GLC Coupe is probably our favourite of the much-vilified SUV sub-breed.

While we'd clearly have a regular GLC first and foremost, the Coupe relation is quite a neat-looking thing. And, following on from our last drive in the AMG 43 variant, now we're having a go in the full-on 63 S top dog... just as it's about to get a midlife facelift. Timing, as they say, is everything.

We don't feel the need to go over every little detail of the GLC Coupe here, because you can read any of the reviews on the links incorporated above to get a full run-down. All we're here to tell you this time is whether the bonkers, top-end 63 S is the way to go, when specifying your AMG SUV. And the answer is... yes. Yes, it probably is.

The way it goes about deploying its huge numbers of 510hp and 700Nm is not in the least bit delicate. This GLC's objective is to brutalise roads into submission, which it manages to do in glorious style thanks to mammoth traction from the 4Matic system, immense grip from road-roller 265/45 front, 295/40 rear tyres on 20-inch wheels, a nine-speed gearbox which is the very epitome of 'whipcrack responses' and that 4.0-litre, hot-inside-V biturbo V8 - ubiquitous it might be now, in the Mercedes-AMG family, but it is surely going to go down as one of the greatest ICEs of all time. The GLC 63 S has yet another tune to it, this being the marvel of how Affalterbach makes one V8 instrument play so many different and alluring melodies, while the pace the Merc SUV possesses is, as you might expect, tremendous pretty much anywhere on the rev counter.

Get the 63 S boiling along a twisting road and there's an undoubted sensation of quite a lot of mass (2,010kg, to be specific) moving at hysterical speeds, but it's not uncontrollable... or, indeed, unpleasurable. In actual fact, it's hilarious and invigorating and laugh-out-loud riotous at times. Click the AMG GLC up into its more hardcore drive mode settings and you can even get the thing to slide its sloping back end in a graceful, fluid manner out of tighter corners, should you want it to. Try getting any number of Audi RS models over the years to do the same and you'll spend all day gnashing your teeth in frustration.

Naturally, the GLC 63 S is comfortable and plush in Normal mode, mainly because it has Air Body Control suspension. Of course, it's not as comfortable as a regular GLC Coupe, because it has those weighty 20-inch alloys thumping through surface imperfections and AMG has tuned the ABC to a sportier setting, so that it can cope with the heft of the Merc's shell when it's moving at big speed. But it's civil enough and smooth enough that we managed to do 632 miles in it during a week, with almost 17-and-a-half hours spent at its flat-bottomed, Alcantara-gripped wheel. And we never bemoaned its behaviour, despite the fact it returned 20.3mpg overall with a best of 26.4mpg on a long run from Gatwick (to be fair, 26mpg-plus has to be seen as a small victory on a two-tonne, AWD SUV with a 510hp V8 and the ability to do 174mph).

Returning to our initial point, then, there are clearly prettier SUVs than the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe, there are clearly more practical ones and ones which'll do better off-road and ones which are undoubtedly far cheaper to buy and run... but there aren't many which are better to drive than this. In fact, there are plenty of sports cars which can't hold a candle to the 63 S for involvement and reward. So it might be hypocritical of us to love this thing when we deplore the BMW X6, but we really don't care - the simple fact is, this AMG GLC Coupe is a storming all-rounder of a machine with a proper legend of a motor stuffed in its conk. And that's quite a confection, we're sure you'll agree.

Alternatives:

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio: delicate balance, epic steering, a monster V6 engine... this thing is not an SUV, it's just an unusually shaped supercar.

BMW X4 M40d: there's a 510hp X4 M Competition on the way which will directly face up to this GLC 63 S, but even the diesel M Performance Beemer shows this SUV has a fine chassis.

Porsche Macan S: Porsche hasn't, as yet, coupe-ified its smaller SUV, as it has with the Cayenne, and we're waiting for a facelifted Turbo variant. Which should be magnificent, let's be fair.


Matt Robinson - 25 Feb 2019









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2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. Image by Mercedes UK.2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. Image by Mercedes UK.2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. Image by Mercedes UK.2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. Image by Mercedes UK.2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. Image by Mercedes UK.

2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. Image by Mercedes UK.2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. Image by Mercedes UK.2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. Image by Mercedes UK.2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. Image by Mercedes UK.2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. Image by Mercedes UK.








 

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