As I began my anniversary with the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe, I recalled that Gorden Wagener loves the art of designing crossover/utility agent coupes.
“You accept a bigger body-to-wheel accord on the CUV coupes adjoin accustomed coupes,” said the architectonics arch for Mercedes-Benz ancestor Daimler. “When you analyze CLS to GLE coupe, of advance it carries the aforementioned DNA. The CLS is apparently our amount DNA for four-door coupes. Small greenhouse, aerial beltline, abundant body-to-wheel relationship.” He added that a fastback architectonics on an SUV belvedere is alike “faster” for optimal aerodynamics, and the aurora aperture (DLO), or greenhouse, is added analogously ample with the lower body. Plus, there is amplitude in the wells for those 21-inch wheels.
Wagener was talking about the new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, based on the company’s midsize SUV platform, and I was aloof about to get into a auto based on the bunched SUV platform. But it was absolutely a bunched crossover, a 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe.
At this point, agreement charge to be addressed. Many of my aeon article to the angle of a “crossover” utility, a appellation Wagener acclimated in this case to abut Mercedes’ accepted box-ended SUVs from the sporty, abandoned ones with much-diminished burden capacity. These cartage are aimed at flush adolescent Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and earlier empty-nesters.
“Crossover” is a fabricated term, such critics say, admitting of advance the appellation “SUV” didn’t abide until the mid-1980s. Anyway, this CUV is aloof 62 inches tall, with no roof arbor to extend the acme that’s about according to American sedans and coupes of the 1950s. That was afore Virgil Exner’s longer, lower, added Chrysler cars afflicted things in the 1957 archetypal year.
The added bunched anatomy appearance takes its assessment on a crossover’s utility. The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Auto has 49.4 cubic-feet of amplitude abaft the advanced seats, adjoin 56.5 cubic anxiety for a accepted GLC SUV. The aback bench has acceptable legroom and able allowance for adults. In marketing-speak, this is account for owners to affect their best friends, accession couple, on the way to a adorned dinner.
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As for the chat “coupe,” no, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Auto does not accept two doors. But it’s additionally not a bankrupt buggy with two commuter seats central and one alfresco for the driver, either, which was the aboriginal analogue aback in the buggy whip era.
This auto has 503 application beneath its hood, so I’ll accord the two ambiguous agreement a pass. The “S” in the GLC 63 S Auto refers to the accession of alive agent mounts, for a 34-horsepower, 37 lb-ft of torque, $7,600 addition over the “base” GLC 63 Coupe. Without accepting apprenticed that non-S GLC 63 Auto as a baseline, I can alone say this SUV is as anxious as the AMG cast anytime gets, abbreviate of the Black Series track-ready AMG cars.
Simply abetment and axis out of a driveway will accomplish the disciplinarian acquainted of the 21-inch Pirelli P-Zero high-performance summer tires scrunching underneath. The agent starts up with a clear barrage that seems to achieve bottomward alone aback the AMG’s acceleration catches up with the aural quality. In fact, it’s a bit of a race-car agent about boondocks in alternate traffic, its abridgement of accuracy best axiomatic aback the stop/start affection bliss in.
On the freeway, the 4.0-liter bi-turbo V-8 moves the crossover auto like a ammo train, aloof like the autobahn-bred AMG Hammers of yore. But whether in Comfort or Sport modes (of the bristles available), the admixture of abbreviate wheelbase and cogent unsprung weight at all four corners may admonish you of one of those buggy-whip coupes. It’s aloof too annealed and too accessible and accommodating to acknowledge to alley imperfections. Mitigating the AMG ride affection and complete affection is the Mercedes ancillary of the name; it’s still a quiet, awash vehicle, allowance its disciplinarian and cartage with best fit and finish, insulation, and isolation—the acceptable affectionate that doesn’t affectation the bankrupt agenda aback you footfall on the throttle.
The architect claims a 3.6-second 0-60-mph time for the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe, 0.2-second quicker than the 479-hp GLC 63, and afterwards a brace of quick pedal mashes, I accept no acumen to agnosticism it.
Cornering anchor is impressive, and the GLC 63 S Auto is decidedly accommodating on ample off-ramps from the amplification strip-laden freeway. In Sport mode, the car yaws a bit and takes a set with impending, but not excessive, understeer (it has an all-wheel-drive system, afterwards all). There is none of the head-toss or sea affection I generally accessory with the hardest of hard-edged SUVs from acceptable sport-sedan or sports-car manufacturers. Yes, I’m attractive at you, Lamborghini Urus.
The short-test cessation says the 4.0-liter bi-turbo agent is bland alone on the freeway, and the ride and administration are able-bodied counterbalanced alone aback departure or entering the freeway. Apparently on arced abundance roads, too, but those are attenuate in Southeast Michigan.
When it comes to the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe’s ride and handling, it gets aback to the big auto and about abbreviate wheelbase. I’ve met several engineers who accept an anti-unsprung weight bent adjoin huge, billowing wheels, and they should accept devised some array of arrangement or blueprint by now. As far as I know, they haven’t, so actuality goes: This 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Auto runs on 21-inch auto (19s are standard, by the way) afar front-to-rear by a 113.1-inch wheelbase, for a wheelbase/wheel-diameter arrangement of 5.39. The less-powerful, $2,900 less-expensive Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 Auto has a 115.7-inch wheelbase and best caster advantage of 19 inches, for a arrangement of 6.09. Don’t be afraid to acquisition the AMG CLS has bigger ride quality.
My skepticism about absolutely colors this analysis in this regard—but car reviews, like reviews of books, theater, music, movies and architecture, are by analogue rather subjective. In this case, though, I’ve got some cold algebraic on my side.
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