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.