Only those with an avid interest in motor development will be aware of how rapid the range of Mercedes-Benz has both altered and been added to in the past six months.
Those of us within motor journalism has been introduced to five new models in this time, the B-Class, A-Class Saloon, GLE, CLA and now the GLC, with seven more wholly new and face-lifted models yet to come before year-end – brilliant, and an unmistakable statement of their intent to spread the appeal of Mercedes-Benz to new customers from all age groups.
This latest GLC Coupé and AMG variants will be joined by a mid-range trio of SUVs modelled to an extent on the larger new GLE which arrived here only weeks ago. Those to come include a new V-Class, GLS, EQC, CLA Shooting Brake and new GLB 7-seater which arrives in October.
The new GLC, in its face-lifted form, is in dealer showrooms. First introduced in 2015, it is a model that occupies a pivotal position within a seven-strong family of Mercedes-Benz SUVs of which more than five million have been delivered to customers worldwide.
While I have yet to sample its on or off-road prowess, I am assured that the GLC will not disappoint. It comes with a new range of engines, pioneering technologies, a state-of-the-art infotainment system with larger touch-screen displays and enhanced connectivity. A sporty design gives it a distinctive appeal, reflected in sculpted surfaces, chrome elements running from front to rear, redesigned headlamps with standard-fit LED high-performance lights, a heavily contoured twin-louvre diamond lattice grille, and in aerodynamic 17-20-inch wheels.
Interior fitments include MBUX multimedia system and ‘Hey Mercedes’ whose functions expand with each model introduction. In the new GLC, an array of intuitive and versatile operating features that includes multimedia displays and augmented reality navigation can be managed by a combination of finger touch, hand movement and voice control. For drivers with big distances to cover, one optional feature is a comfort control system that helps drivers and passengers arrive relaxed after a long journey.
Driver assistance systems have been considerably expanded. Included are distance, brake and steer assist features with automatic speed monitoring, an exit warning that alerts driver and passengers from opening a door when an overtaking vehicle is approaching, an emergency corridor function that helps drivers maintain course and avoid unintentional lane changing.
Other features and specifications awaiting GLC buyers are standard-fit keyless-go start function, 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission and a wide choice of on/off-road drive modes, dynamic body control suspension and drive settings, and a host of standard and optional comfort, safety and driver assistance features such as parking, blind spot, trailer manoeuvring and hook-up assists.
One of an even wider range that includes a GLC Coupé and a Mercedes-AMG 63 4MATIC model with AMG-specific performance, design and specifications – the new GLC comes equipped with next generation four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, with more to follow later in the year. Models available at market launch – all with 4-cylinder in-line engines – are: GLC 200 4MATIC, GLC 300 4MATIC, GLC 200 d 4MATIC, GLC 220 d 4MATIC and GLC 300 d 4MATIC.
Notable features common across the engine spectrum are their increased power output, achieved while delivering significantly lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. The most popular models here will be the GLC 200d and the GLC 220d versions, for the first time both the GLC and GLC Coupe will be available in 2WD and prices will start from €48,040 for the GLC and €51,540 for the GLC Coupe.
Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz in Ireland commented, “Within the Mercedes-Benz range, GLC is a model that has always performed. Well equipped with features that owners like, GLC will appeal to singles and families for whom the allure of eye-catching design, advanced technology and driver comforts sits comfortably with the practical applications that the SUV is designed to deliver”.
Coupé and AMG Versions
Following the GLC in short order will be GLC Coupé and Mercedes-AMG versions. Bearing all of the driver-focused features and specifications found in the GLC, the Coupé is expected to have a strong following amongst motorists who prefer to combine the safety, efficiency and functionality of an SUV in a body design that exudes the sportiness and classic elegance that only a coupé has.
On the horizon also is a Mercedes-AMG 63 4MATIC version. Like all models that carry AMG designation, it will have all of the high-performance features and styling appealing to that sporty generation of motorists who revel in driving something that is distinctly different not least of which is a 4.0-litre eight-cylinder biturbo engine which generates 350kW (476HP) the Mercedes-AMG 63S 4MATIC generates 375kW (510HP) and a maximum torque of 650-700 NM.