If you’re the type who just can’t wrap your brain around 500-plus-horsepower crossovers, you’re not alone. Still don’t “get” the sexy but impractical four-door coupe concept? We understand. The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe is both of these things. It’s hugely powerful and somewhat impractical, but also plenty of fun to drive. Here are five things we love most about AMG’s latest exercise in excess.
That AMG-tuned Twin-Turbo V-8 Powertrain
The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S comes with an AMG-tuned, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine making 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. But that’s not enough for you—you are special and demand more. Plus your buddy just bought a 505-hp Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, bless his heart, and you need to keep up. Your only option is the GLC 63 S Coupe, which has a few small changes to coax 503 hp and 516 lb-ft out of the turbo-eight. Laughs ensue as you roar off the dealer lot in a flurry of tire smoke.
Or at least we laughed as we put the GLC 63 S Coupe drive controller into Sport+, the exhaust into “Powerful” mode, the transmission into its manual setting, and looked for every opportunity to exercise the Big Red Brute’s wallop of torque every time we drove it. The sound is pure German muscle car, with a cacophony of crackles and pops on deceleration (which is really the only reason to decelerate). There’s virtually no lag from the twin-turbo setup, just gobs and gobs of power. The 0 to 60 mph sprint comes in well under four seconds and top speed is a won’t-get-there-on-American-roads 174 mph (non-S models are limited to 155 mph). The AMG Speedshift MCT nine-speed, multi-clutch automatic gearbox is also a delight, with smooth shifts in less aggressive modes and slammed-home neck-jerkers in Sport+ and Race settings.
Slick Steering Wheel Controls
Speaking of drive modes and vehicle settings, every recent performance car worth its exhaust bypass valves has allowed for drive-mode changes on the fly with controls on the center console or, if it’s a particularly focused car like a 992-series Porsche 911 or Ferrari F8 Tributo, you get controls right on the steering wheel. Mercedes-AMG offers its AMG performance steering wheel with an added standard feature on the S model, which it calls the AMG Drive Unit. While there’s a dedicated drive-mode dial on the right, twin multi-configurable buttons on the left allow you to change your favorite settings (be it exhaust mode, stability control settings, etc.) right on the wheel. The ability to configure the buttons to personal preference is a techy, flashy, but highly useful feature to change settings quickly.
MBUX is Infotainment That Works
Mercedes rolled out its new MBUX infotainment system on one of its lowliest models, the new A-series sedan, a couple years back, and it continues to be one of the best systems going. Especially impressive is its “Hey Mercedes” voice control. While the system would sometimes activate accidentally after simply mentioning the name Mercedes, the voice control response is generally at the head of the pack for accurately capturing voice commands and phrases. While the center console-mounted touchpad can be tricky to use in motion, we relied mostly on the Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel to get by. The system’s graphics on the 10.25-inch center display are also excellent, and we still think the single, high-mounted display is the way to go for virtually all vehicles. Lower-mounted secondary screens require eyes off the road for far too long.
Interior Space is a Compromise, But Comfortable
That “coupe” body style means that there’s not as much cargo room as the standard SUV variant of the GLC 63 (49.4 cubic feet with the seats folded flat versus 56.5). Rear headroom takes a cut too. But if style trumps space in your world (and let’s face it, most buyers who need the room will simply choose the standard model), the GLC 63 S’s performance doesn’t mean it’s a chore to drive day-to-day. With standard Air Body Control sport suspension and dynamic engine mounts, and tame Comfort-mode drive settings, the GLC 63 S Coupe is a pussy cat round town if you want it to be, quiet and comfortable enough to take grandma out to dinner in (when that sort of thing is allowed again, anyway). If grandma is of smaller stature, she won’t even complain about riding in the second row.
2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe Quick Facts
- Top speed: 174 mph
- 0-60 mph: 3.7 sec
- Weight: 4,511 lb
- Screen size: 10.25 in
- Cargo space: 49.4 cu ft
- Transmission: 9-speed automatic
|2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe Specifications|
|PRICE||$85,095/$96,425 (base/as tested)|
|ENGINE||4.0L twin-turbocharged DOHC 32-valve V-8/503 hp @ 5,500-6,250 rpm, 516 lb-ft @ 1,750-4,500 rpm|
|TRANSMISSION||9-speed multi-clutch automatic|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD crossover|
|EPA MILEAGE||16/22 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||186.8 x 76.0 x 62.4 in|
|0-60 MPH||3.7 sec|
|TOP SPEED||174 mph|