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2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe: First Look

img1795667203 1472660850826 jpg 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe | Manufacturer image

Competes with: BMW X4M, Land Rover Evoque, Porsche Macan

Looks like: A more aggressive GLC Coupe

Drivetrain: 362-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6; nine-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive

Hits dealers: Early 2017

Related: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class: First Drive

CARS.COM — We admit to still being baffled by the idea of an SUV that calls itself a coupe and the formula that gets an automaker there: Take a four-door SUV, lower the roof and eliminate the utility of a big cargo area; keep the mass, heft, and ride height of the SUV; charge more money for it.

These vehicles are proliferating quickly across the market, and into new size segments as well. Mercedes-Benz has unleashed its latest version, the 2017 AMG GLC43 Coupe. It’s a hotter version of the GLC300 Coupe that we saw in March 2016. Built on the same platform as the GLC SUV, it’s one size segment smaller than Mercedes-Benz’ GLE Coupe and is meant to go head-to-head against the BMW X4M.

Exterior

From the outside, the look is instantly identifiable as Mercedes, with a front end and sides that can be traced to the GLC SUV. That roofline is lower, however, and the normally upright cargo area has been chopped down to a swoopy hatchback look. To make it an AMG version, silver chrome accents have been added, as have 20-inch wheels (21s are an option), a chrome-tipped “diamond-block” grille, a new lower bumper and a new chrome air splitter.

Interior

Inside, the look is pure GLC SUV, and that’s not a bad thing. If there’s one thing Mercedes-Benz gets right lately, it’s interiors, which are a blend of high-quality materials, unique designs, solid switches and state-of-the-art multimedia technology. As with most luxury vehicles, you can option up the AMG GLC43 Coupe to stately levels of opulence, with optional ventilated front seats, heated backseats, ambient lighting and a head-up display. The AMG GLC43 features AMG-specific touches, such as black leather coverings for the steering wheel with contrasting red stitching. Strangely, leather seats are not standard — instead there’s faux-leather MB-Tex material with microfiber faux suede inserts. Red seat belts on the AMG set off the otherwise sporty, understated interior, as do aluminum accents, while the gauge cluster gets an AMG treatment as well.

Under the Hood

The biggest changes from GLC300 Coupe to AMG GLC43 Coupe come under the skin. In place of a turbo four-cylinder is the powerful twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine from the C43 sedan and coupe, making 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that drives all four wheels, with a bias toward the rear for handling purposes. The combination is reportedly good to propel the GLC43 from zero-to-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, with an intentionally limited top speed of 130 mph.

The suspension receives some upgrades too, with an AMG-tuned sport suspension as standard, making use of Air Body Control pneumatic dampers. This enables the vehicle to be raised by 1 inch to allow for some off-road ability, according to Mercedes-Benz, but one wonders who would ever take it off-road with performance street tires and 20-inch wheels.

Safety

As with most new Mercedes-Benz products, a variety of safety equipment is available, but most of it is optional. A rearview camera and forward collision warning with autonomous braking are standard, but distance-keeping cruise control and steering assist, rear-end collision prevention and parking sensors with cross-traffic assist are optional.

img1794743682 1472660850182 jpg img1795667203 1472660850826 jpg img1796590724 1472660851020 jpg img1797514245 1472660851308 jpg img1798437766 1472660851704 jpg img1799361287 1472660852195 jpg img1800284808 1472660852489 jpg img1801208329 1472660852686 jpg img1802131850 1472660852829 jpg img1822449312 1472660853256 jpg img1823372833 1472660853508 jpg img1824296354 1472660853696 jpg img1825219875 1472660853940 jpg img1826143396 1472660854198 jpg img1827066917 1472660854296 jpg img1827990438 1472660854610 jpg img1828913959 1472660854772 jpg img1829837480 1472660854964 jpg img1830761001 1472660855249 jpg img1851078463 1472660855498 jpg img1794743682 1472660850182 jpg img1795667203 1472660850826 jpg img1796590724 1472660851020 jpg img1797514245 1472660851308 jpg img1798437766 1472660851704 jpg img1799361287 1472660852195 jpg img1800284808 1472660852489 jpg img1801208329 1472660852686 jpg img1802131850 1472660852829 jpg img1822449312 1472660853256 jpg img1823372833 1472660853508 jpg img1824296354 1472660853696 jpg img1825219875 1472660853940 jpg img1826143396 1472660854198 jpg img1827066917 1472660854296 jpg img1827990438 1472660854610 jpg img1828913959 1472660854772 jpg img1829837480 1472660854964 jpg img1830761001 1472660855249 jpg img1851078463 1472660855498 jpg Photo of Aaron Bragman
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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