Mercedes-AMG GLC Coupé: Stylish design meets sporty driving dynamics

Mercedes-AMG GLC Coupé: Stylish design meets sporty driving dynamics
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A few weeks after the presentation of the new Mercedes-AMG GLC SUV, the performance and sports car brand is presenting the new Mercedes-AMG GLC Coupé. It completes the successful midsize series from Mercedes-AMG and sets another highlight in the model portfolio with its combination of dynamic elegance and characteristic AMG features. Striking proportions and exciting surfaces underline its unmistakable appearance, complemented by the high-quality interior.

There are two powerful model variants to choose from: The GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE Coupé is the brand’s first performance hybrid SUV coupé (combined fuel consumption 7.5 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 170  g/km, combined power consumption 12.7 kWh /100 km)[1] with 500 kW (680 HP) system output at the start. There is also the entry-level model, the GLC 43 4MATIC Coupé (combined fuel consumption 10.2-9.8  l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 232-223 g/km)[2] with 310 kW (421 hp) power and a short-term boost of 10  kW (14 hp) via the belt-driven starter generator. The extensive standard equipment with rear-axle steering, all-wheel drive, AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission with wet starting clutch and AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with adaptive damping supports the dynamic driving experience.

Mercedes-AMG GLC Coupé

“With the new Mercedes-AMG GLC Coupé, we are addressing customers who are looking for a sporty lifestyle and dynamic design coupled with impressive performance. The diverse and high-quality technical components guarantee the highest level of driving dynamics and pleasure. With the top model GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE Coupé, we now also offer our innovative hybrid drive in this segment, which guarantees an extensive range of driving experience.”

Michael Schiebe, CEO Mercedes-AMG GmbH and head of business units Mercedes-Benz G-Class & Mercedes-Maybach

The sporty silhouette with a flowing transition to the rear is the main feature of the new Mercedes-AMG GLC Coupé. The headlights connect to the top of the AMG-specific radiator trim and thus emphasise the width of the vehicle. The AMG front apron in jet wing design with large air inlets, vertical fins and additional flics sets striking, independent accents. Precise side edges emphasise the sporty proportions and the powerful wheel arches.

The wheel arch trim in the body colour and the AMG side skirt trim are harmoniously integrated into the elegant basic shape. The confident appearance is also emphasised by the wide track and flush-fitting wheels in 19-, 20- or 21-inch formats. Several of the wheels offered ex works feature a glossy aesthetic with bi-colour surfaces. Optional equipment includes entry-optimised running boards and numerous other packages.

The two-part taillights visually widen the rear view with a black, dark red connecting element. The AMG-specific rear apron in a diffuser look (GLC 43) or with an additional diffuser board (GLC 63 S) as well as the two double tailpipe trims (round on the GLC 43, trapezoidal on the GLC 63 S) reinforce the powerful impression.

Characteristic AMG elements in the interior for a sporty, elegant appearance

In the interior, AMG seats in ARTICO man-made leather / MICROCUT AMG microfiber with unique graphics and covers provide a sporty touch. Optional upholstery made of leather and Nappa leather with an embossed AMG coat of arms in the front headrests is available. The AMG performance seats are also available as options.

There is also the standard AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather (GLC 43) or Nappa leather/MICROCUT microfiber (GLC 63 S). It is flattened at the bottom, perforated in the handle area and equipped with silver-coloured aluminum shift paddles. The two round AMG steering wheel buttons enable quick and precise operation of various driving dynamics functions and the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving programmes. The sporty, luxurious atmosphere is rounded off by AMG sports pedals, AMG floor mats and illuminated door sills with AMG lettering.

The MBUX infotainment system includes various AMG-specific displays and functions. These include the independent displays in the instrument cluster, in the portrait format multimedia central display in the centre console and in the optional head-up display. The AMG-exclusive “Supersport” style offers the possibility of displaying various content via a vertical structure. This includes a set-up menu that shows the current chassis or transmission settings. The driver can also have a navigation map or consumption data displayed in supersport style.

Also integrated is AMG TRACK PACE (standard in the GLC 63 S, optional for the GLC 43), the data logger for use on the racetrack. The software records more than 80 vehicle-specific data ten times per second while driving around a racetrack, such as speed, acceleration, steering angle and brake pedal operation. The display of lap and sector times as well as additional training and analysis tools are also revealing.

AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder with electric exhaust turbocharger

The heart of the new Mercedes-AMG GLC Coupé models is the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which combines innovative technologies and high performance with exemplary efficiency. The engine remains true to a tradition typical of the brand: it was not only completely developed at the company’s Affalterbach location but is also manufactured there in manufactory quality according to the “One Man, One Engine” principle. Mercedes-AMG combines the craftsmanship of its highly qualified employees with the most modern production methods of Industry 4.0 and a high level of digitalisation.

The engine, known internally as M139l (l for longitudinal installation), is so far the only series engine in the world that is charged with an electric exhaust gas turbocharger via the additional 48-volt on-board electrical system, which also includes the belt-driven starter generator (RSG). The system is a direct derivative of the technology that the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team has successfully used in the premier class of motorsport for many years. The new form of charging guarantees particularly spontaneous response across the entire speed range. This leads to an even more dynamic driving experience and at the same time increases efficiency.

The functional principle of the electric exhaust gas turbocharger in detail

An approximately four-centimetre narrow electric motor is integrated directly on the shaft of the turbocharger between the turbine wheel on the exhaust side and the compressor wheel on the fresh air side. Electronically controlled, this directly drives the shaft of the turbocharger and thus accelerates the compressor wheel before the exhaust gas flow takes over the conventional drive.

This significantly improves the response behaviour right from idle speed and across the entire speed range. The combustion engine reacts more spontaneously to accelerator pedal commands, and the overall driving experience is significantly more dynamic. In addition, the electrification of the turbocharger enables higher torque at low speeds. This also increases agility and optimises acceleration from a standstill. Even when the driver eases off the accelerator or brakes, the technology can maintain the boost pressure at all times. This ensures a continuously direct response.

Compared to the GLC 43, the turbocharger in the GLC 63 S is significantly larger. This enables a higher air flow and therefore more performance. In addition, the integrated electric motor is powered by the 400-volt high-voltage system.

E PERFORMANCE Hybrid with 500 kW (680 HP) system output and up to 1,020 Nm system torque

In the GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE Coupé, the M139l produces 350 kW (476 hp) at 6,725 rpm. This makes it the most powerful series-produced four-cylinder in the world. The maximum combustion engine torque of 545 Nm is at 5,250-5,500 rpm. In the performance hybrid, the 2.0-litre engine is combined with a permanently excited synchronous electric motor, a high-performance battery developed in Affalterbach and the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive.

The system output of 500 kW (680 hp) and the maximum system torque of 1,020 Nm enable impressive driving performance: acceleration from a standstill to 100 km/h takes place in 3.5 seconds. The propulsion only ends at an electronically limited speed of 275 km/h.

The 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor is positioned on the rear axle and is integrated there with an electrically switched two-speed transmission and the electronically controlled rear axle limited-slip differential in a compact Electric Drive Unit (EDU). Experts refer to this layout as a P3 hybrid. The lightweight high-performance battery is also located in the rear above the rear axle. This compact design results in numerous advantages.

The electric motor acts directly on the rear axle and can therefore convert its power more directly into propulsion – for that extra boost when starting, accelerating, or overtaking. As is typical of the design, the power of the electric motor can be used at full torque, so that particularly agile starting behaviour is possible. In addition, thanks to the integrated, electronically controlled rear axle locking differential, the driver immediately experiences a noticeable increase in performance: the hybrid model accelerates extremely agilely out of corners, offers optimal traction and therefore greater driving safety.

If any slip occurs on the rear axle, the driving force of the electric motor is also transferred to the front wheels as needed for more traction. The mechanical connection of the fully variable all-wheel drive makes this possible via the cardan shaft and drive shafts of the front wheels. The positioning on the rear axle improves the weight and axle load distribution in the vehicle. This forms the basis for the convincing handling.

The AMG concept offers very high recuperation efficiency because the system allows only minimal mechanical and hydraulic losses from the engine and transmission. The automatically shifting two-speed transmission on the rear axle, with its specially co-ordinated ratio, ensures the spread from high wheel torque for agile starting to safe continuous performance at higher speeds. An electric actuator engages second gear at around 140 km/h at the latest, which corresponds to the maximum speed of the electric motor of around 13,500 rpm.

Inspired by Formula 1™, developed in Affalterbach: the AMG High Performance battery

The development of the lithium-ion energy storage is inspired by technologies proven in the Formula 1™ hybrid racing cars of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. The AMG High Performance battery combines high, often consecutively available power with low weight to increase the overall performance of the vehicle. Added to this is the rapid energy consumption and high power density.

80 kW continuous power and 150 kW at peak

The high-performance battery in the GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE Coupé offers a capacity of 6.1 kWh, 80 kW continuous power and 150 kW peak power for ten seconds. Charging takes place via recuperation or the installed 3.7 kW on-board charger with alternating current at a charging station, wall box or household socket. The battery is designed for fast power delivery and absorption and not for the longest possible range. Nevertheless, the electric range of 12 kilometres enables a practical operating radius, for example for low-noise, fully electric travel from residential areas to the outskirts of the city or to the motorway.

The innovation boost: direct cooling of the battery cells

The basis for the high performance of the AMG 400-volt battery is the innovative direct cooling: a high-tech coolant flows around all 560 cells and cools them individually. Every battery needs a defined temperature for optimal power delivery. If the energy storage device becomes too cold or too hot, it temporarily loses noticeable power or must be turned down so as not to be damaged if the temperature is too high. A uniform temperature control of the battery therefore has a decisive influence on its performance, service life and safety. The AMG system is designed to ensure even heat distribution in the battery.

Operating strategy: electrical power always available

The basic operating strategy is derived from the hybrid power pack of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. As in the premier class of motorsport, maximum propulsion is always available when the driver uses kick-down – to accelerate powerfully out of corners or to overtake quickly. The electrical power can always be accessed and frequently reproduced through high recuperation performance and demand-based recharging.

Performance hybrid drive can regulate the traction of a wheel

Further advantages of the hybrid drive arise for vehicle dynamics control. Instead of ESP® braking intervention, the electric machine can also regulate traction as soon as a wheel signals too much slip. To do this, the intelligent control reduces the drive torque of the electric machine, which is transferred to the wheel via the rear axle locking differential. The result: The ESP® does not have to intervene or only intervenes later. Advantage: The combustion engine can therefore be operated with higher torque. This improves agility afterwards and increases efficiency. In addition, the power that would otherwise be “wasted” when braking can be used to charge the battery.