Driven: 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC63s
After a brief encounter with the Mercedes-AMG GLC63s at the local media launch late last year, it has been something of an overdue second date. The GLC63s certainly left us eager to spend more time behind the wheel, a couple of short sprints around Zwartkops was not enough, but we got a little taste of what this performance SUV is all about. It's sleek styling, glorious V8 engine, and the plush cabin will satisfy almost every desire. We were able to rekindle that love earlier this year when we were handed the keys to get reacquainted, and we happily obliged.
Bringing the heat
At the heart of this SUV sits a 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo engine which is mated to the 9-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT transmission, it produces a healthy 375kw and 700Nm of torque which will see this 1,8-ton tank go from 0 to 100kph in an insane 3.8 seconds. The exhaust note this SUV produces is music to your ears, and just a cold start could make your neighbours question your character. The GLC63s is loud, sending high doses of adrenaline through the body, and as you may have predicted, this does cause people to stare.
The 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system makes for phenomenal handling in an SUV of this size and weight plus offers additional peace of mind on those slippery surfaces. Indeed the GLC63s can become a bit entertaining on the road and is a competent SUV, but you best know what you are doing behind the wheel. As expected, the ride is on a little on the harsh side, and this is purely to allow this big brutal tank to do what it does best, perform. The standard seats are quite comfortable and certainly a more practical option for day to day use, trust us on this one. The optional bucket seats will tempt you but resist the urge and resist the price tag too.
Step inside the GLC63s, and you will be equally impressed. The first thing that catches the eye is the AMG flat-bottomed steering wheel covered in Alcantara and Carbon Fibre. The steering houses the AMG Drive Unit and has six drive modes from Individual to Race; you also have one-touch access to toggle between some vehicle performance settings. In addition, you can easily navigate through the infotainment system and vehicle settings through the steering touchpads, this gives the driver complete control over the vehicle without lifting a hand off the steering, take that in for a moment.
Then there is the Mercedes MBUX infotainment system; this is undoubtedly one of the highlights and one of the better experiences available in the premium segment. Information is readily available via the 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen placed at the top of a carbon fibre centre console. It certainly is the centre of attention, and your eyes will follow suit. The centre console houses all the buttons you desire, giving the passenger the ability to control everything from the infotainment to the aircon. If you feel lonely, just a quick call to “Hey Mercedes” and she will make every attempt to improve your experience.
Let’s face it South Africans love performance cars, it could be the ego talking, a status symbol or maybe you just have the cash, but we are car crazy. Then the GLC63s fits in perfectly well on our local soil. it’s fast, looks good, and comes loaded with tech, what’s not to like about that! It may not be the most sensible of choices but it will surely put a smile on your face.