Mercedes-AMG delivers 390hp GLC 43

Last month we saw AMG’s new £75,000 GLC 63, and now the Affalterbach-based division has given us a glimpse of its slightly less pricey alternative. The GLC 43 4MATIC and GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe offer a cheaper way into an AMG-branded SUV and are obviously targeted at customers who assume that a 476hp V8 is probably overkill for the job in hand. 

The 3.0-litre V6 biturbo found in the 43-badged cars sends a healthy 390hp - 23hp more than before - to a 31/69 rear-biased four-wheel drive system, via AMG’s nine-ratio Speedshift transmission. The higher output is attributed to larger turbos mounted closer to the engine, as well as “adjustments made to the software”, with the resulting 384lb ft of torque between 2,500 and 4,500rpm being enough for a 4.9-second 0-62 sprint. Top speed stands at an electronically limited 155mph. 

Externally, an AMG-specific radiator grille, new high-performance LED headlights, restyled aprons front and rear, enlarged side sills and round tailpipe finishers set the car apart from the standard model. That’s not forgetting, of course, the AMG light-alloy wheels; five variants ranging from 19- to 21-inches being available, with the 19s as standard. Inside, meanwhile, improved sports seats, aluminium trim and an AMG-specific version of Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system should keep buyers happy. 

The latter features both a 12.3-inch instrument cluster on the left and the 10.25-inch touchscreen display on the right, via which one of five drive programs - Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual - can also be selected. These allow the car to range between being “efficient and comfortable” and “extremely sporty”, with the most aggressive setting adjusting the ESP to ensure that the “available spectrum in terms of lateral dynamics is considerable.” Jolly good. 

Multi-chamber air suspension with AMG Ride Control+ and adaptive damping ought to mean that the GLC 43 offers a suitable ‘Jekel and Hyde’ mix of comfort and agility. As well as lowering the car at high speed to increase stability, an all-round pneumatic control system ensures that its level remains constant regardless of the weight it is carrying, making the 43 an attractive choice for load-luggers in a hurry.

"This mid-size performance SUV combines new, expressive design features with enhanced performance, the innovative MBUX infotainment system and absolute viability in everyday use. And, of course, its exceptional agility and sporty driving dynamics mean that we are able to meet our brand promise of "Driving Performance" in this segment, too," said Mercedes-AMG Chairman, Tobias Moers. 

There’s no word on pricing or availability just yet, but it can’t be too far off now. More when we have it.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (24) Join the discussion on the forum

  • pilotdan 18 Jul 2019

    With Audi choosing to move their S models, such as the comparable SQ5, to being all diesel, I can see this picking up their share for people who refuse to have a derv 'performance' car.

    I like it - price dependent.

  • GT3hopeful 18 Jul 2019

    I think a New Macan S would be preferable at similar money?

  • cerb4.5lee 18 Jul 2019

    I love that colour and I like the idea of these. I have a GLC350d which has been a brilliant(if very boring) long distance cruiser. I would like to experience how this engine changes the character of the car.

  • Chestrockwell 18 Jul 2019

    cerb4.5lee said:
    I love that colour and I like the idea of these. I have a GLC350d which has been a brilliant(if very boring) long distance cruiser. I would like to experience how this engine changes the character of the car.
    Everyone moans about hot diesel cars until they own one, your GLC for example is definitely a fantastic all rounder, sure you could say it’s boring but it’s not meant to be fun and I doubt it having a 390bhp V6 would make it more ‘fun’.

    My 430d was ‘boring’ compared to a 435i (at the time) but the price difference in fuel and VED along with it handling the same and not being that much quicker made the diesel make more sense. I returned an over all average of 35 mpg over 30k miles and that’s me having a heavy foot. I can’t imagine a 435i/40i returning more than 20 with my driving.

    If I was in the position of comfortably affording the GLC43, I’d honestly get the 350d instead, if I had serious money, I’d get a Cayenne Turbo. It explains how there are hardly any of the full fat AMG’s of these about. 90k for a car with 2014 C class interior. Facelift model might change things.

  • belleair302 18 Jul 2019

    I do prefer the E class for interior size, but I still do not get why people buy these over the existing estate version. Is it just to keep up vertically with everybody else?

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