This is the facelifted Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 - honest. Aesthetically speaking, it’s a very mild update, and the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 beneath the bonnet remains unchanged, producing the same 476hp or 510hp in the top S model. But for 2019 Mercedes has introduced more driver-focussed kit, added its latest suite of cabin technology and provided a new trailer manoeuvring assistance system to make the GLC 63 and its Coupe sibling sharper, easier to live with and less likely to reverse over your caravan. It remains the fastest SUV at the Nurburgring, too.
The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed the new head- and taillights, which get LED surrounds within their lenses and generally adhere to the flashy demands of ultra-potent SUV buyers. The GLC 63’s butch image has been unaffected by the tweaks; actually, you could say it does an even better job of exuding aggression with its wide arches, AMG front spoiler and Panamericana grille now joined by optional 21-inch wheels and new 90mm quad exhaust exits.
Inside is where the biggest changes come, though, with the 2019 model getting Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system that’s part of the 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen and 10.25-inch centre-console-mounted touchscreen. The GLC AMG gets graphics and displays bespoke to cars from Affalterbach, including a track pace page that provides the driver with information on a circuit’s optimum lines and braking points, among other things. The instrument cluster still flashes red when it’s time to shift up, too, which is a feature that we liked in the pre-facelift car.
Drivers now grip AMG’s latest steering wheel, which gains MBUX controls and touchpads, as well as AMG’s powertrain and driveline-adjusting rotary dials. There’s no inclusion of the nine-mode traction control adjustment allowed on AMG’s more sporting models like the C63 and GT – probably because the GLC 63 is all-wheel drive and that system has been tuned for AMG’s rear-drivers – but the driveline gets an electronically controlled locking differential as standard and the stability control has grown to three or four (on the S) modes. A Slippery drive mode is also new.
As you might expect, none of the changes have had an impact on the AMG GLC’s stonking performance figures. Both versions of the car remain capable of sprinting from zero to 62mph in four seconds – the S stays at 3.8 seconds for the same test – defying the 1.9 tonne kerbweight thanks to the ferocity of that engine and its rapid nine-speed MCT auto. The regular 63 also sticks with its limited 155mph top speed, but the S now gets the Driver’s Pack as standard, so it does 174mph. Plus, the GLC 63S’s seven minute and 49.369 second lap record for an SUV at the Nurburgring has not been challenged since it beat the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio last autumn, so the belt remains wrapped around this better-equipped GLC’s waist.