The New Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance: A Powerful Hybrid Crossover
The automotive world is constantly evolving, and with each passing year, we witness the introduction of new technologies that push the boundaries of performance and efficiency. One such innovation is the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance, a crossover/junior SUV that combines Formula 1 technology, a clever hybrid system, and a more efficient engine. In this article, we will explore the features and capabilities of this impressive vehicle, analyzing its powertrain, performance, driving experience, and price point.
Unleashing Unprecedented Power
At the heart of the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance lies a hybrid powertrain that delivers an astonishing combined output of 671bhp. This impressive figure is achieved through the collaboration of a 469bhp M139L four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. The electric motor, capable of producing up to 201bhp alone, works in tandem with the turbocharged engine to generate exhilarating performance.
To extract such extreme power from a 2-liter engine, Mercedes has incorporated an electric motor between the turbine and compressor wheels of the exhaust-gas turbocharger. This electric turbo is a result of the brand’s learnings from their Formula 1 team. By directly driving the turbocharger’s shaft, it significantly improves response rates across the engine’s power and torque bands.
A Hybrid System Inspired by Motorsport
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance is not just about raw power; it also boasts a sophisticated hybrid system that enhances both performance and efficiency. The hybrid battery pack, with a capacity of 6.1kWh, utilizes technology inspired by AMG’s Formula 1 team. This battery pack provides 107bhp of continuous power and an impressive 201bhp for a 10-second burst when Race mode is engaged.
In addition to the hybrid battery pack, the GLC 63 S E Performance features a two-speed gearbox on the rear-axle, driving the electric drive unit. This setup further enhances the vehicle’s performance capabilities, ensuring seamless power delivery and optimal traction.
Power and Performance on Demand
With its exceptional power output, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance is capable of delivering thrilling acceleration. The claimed 0-62mph time of just 3.5 seconds is truly impressive for a crossover/junior SUV weighing 2235kg. However, it is worth noting that despite its impressive power-to-weight ratio, the GLC 63 S E Performance may not offer the same level of punch as some of its competitors.
While the initial surge of acceleration is sharp, the performance quickly tapers off, and it may not provide the same level of engagement and excitement as its rivals. Compared to models like the M3 or Alfa Giulia QV, the GLC 63 S E Performance may feel less thrilling and more focused on achieving impressive numbers rather than creating lasting memories.
Driving Dynamics and Handling
The technology and engineering prowess of Mercedes-AMG are evident in the GLC 63 S E Performance’s driving dynamics. The vehicle features steel springs paired with adaptive dampers and active anti-roll bars, ensuring a balanced and controlled ride. Additionally, rear-axle steering, three-stage speed-sensitive steering, and an electronic differential in the rear axle further enhance the vehicle’s agility and responsiveness.
However, despite these advanced features, the GLC 63 S E Performance may feel somewhat one-dimensional in its driving experience. While it offers unexpected agility and a rapid rate of response, it lacks the level of feedback and involvement that one would expect from a high-performance vehicle. The vehicle feels locked down and somewhat unyielding, making it less playful and engaging compared to models like the Macan, F-Pace SVR, or Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
A Comfortable and Ergonomic Interior
Beyond its impressive performance capabilities, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance offers a comfortable and well-designed interior. The layout of the cabin is intuitive, with ergonomic controls that are easy to navigate. The seats are supportive and provide ample comfort for both spirited driving and long-distance cruising.
However, some aspects of the interior may not resonate with all buyers. The extensive use of trim and finishing materials may be considered over-the-top by some, particularly those in the older demographic who may find the six-figure price tag hard to swallow. Additionally, while the central screen provides access to various functions, some controls could benefit from a redesign and a reduction in reliance on the screen.
The Limitations of Electric Range
As a hybrid vehicle, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance also offers an electric range. However, the range is relatively limited, with a maximum of 7.4 miles on electric power alone. While this may be sufficient for short trips or city driving, it falls short in comparison to fully electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids with larger battery capacities.
Price and Competitors
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance comes with a price tag of £108,995, reflecting its exceptional performance and cutting-edge technology. However, this price places it at a premium compared to some of its rivals. The BMW X3 M Competition, with its 503bhp, is priced at £92,320, making it a more affordable option for those seeking high-performance luxury.
Other notable competitors in this segment include the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and the Jaguar F-Pace SVR. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio, with its 520bhp, is priced at £87,000, while the F-Pace SVR, boasting 542bhp, has a price tag of £85,180. These models offer compelling alternatives to the GLC 63 S E Performance, combining power, performance, and luxury at a relatively lower price point.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance is undoubtedly an impressive vehicle, showcasing the brand’s commitment to performance and innovation. With its hybrid powertrain, inspired by Formula 1 technology, it delivers exceptional power and efficiency. However, while it offers exhilarating acceleration and advanced driving dynamics, it may lack the engagement and character found in some of its competitors.
Ultimately, the GLC 63 S E Performance may appeal to buyers who prioritize raw power and cutting-edge technology. However, those seeking a more immersive and engaging driving experience may find other options in the market that deliver a greater sense of excitement and connection with the road. Nonetheless, the GLC 63 S E Performance remains a testament to the constant evolution of automotive engineering and a glimpse into the future of high-performance vehicles.