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2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Review: First Impressions

img1256601529 1491998500494 jpg 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC63 | Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

CARS.COM — With the introduction of the 500-plus-horsepower 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S at the 2017 New York International Auto Show, Mercedes is continuing its path to hot-rodding everything by taking massively powerful engines and putting them in places they don’t normally belong, like a wagon and now a compact SUV. The GLC-Class is the former GLK-Class SUV and has a similar place in Mercedes’ SUV lineup as the C-Class does in its sedan lineup.

More 2017 New York Auto Show Coverage

Now that the formalities are out of the way, Mercedes previewed a white GLC63 and matte charcoal GLC63 S coupe Tuesday night before the auto show’s start. There was no mistaking the rowdy crackle of the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 — it’s that raucous V-8 rumble you don’t get with anything fewer than eight cylinders — as it lit up offstage before being corralled in front of the audience. The 4.0-liter makes 469 horsepower in the GLC63 and 503 hp in the GLC63 S. Mercedes says the engine is closely related to the V-8 in its AMG GT sports coupe — good news, everyone. 

img1251060403 1491998492136 jpg 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC63 | Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

The meat of what’s changed on these performance SUVs is best experienced on the race track or a long stretch of closed road. In person, the GLC63 twins have a commanding presence and look as AMG-authentic as anything else with 500-plus hp and an AMG badge.

img1280613075 1491998506764 jpg 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC63 | Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

The GLC63 S coupe wore the finely detailed optional AMG Performance seats with bright contrast stitching and side bolstering with the perfect amount of hug. They’re shaped like the racing seats in the AMG GT and feel just as performance-ready. The GLC63 S coupe also sported the optional AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber Package with the side mirrors and rear spoiler covered in carbon fiber. What would a modern sports car or SUV be without some slathering of carbon fiber?

img1252907445 1491998494999 jpg 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC63 | Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

I think the more pedestrian version of the GLC-Class coupe is a ridiculous SUV (a less functional SUV that costs more), but the GLC63 coupe is where an “SUV coupe” makes the most sense because it doesn’t have to be practical, it can just be fast and frivolous. We’ll have to wait a little longer to put that “fast” to the test when the GLC63 variants go on sale in early 2018.

img1256601529 1491998500494 jpg img1253830966 1491998496317 jpg img1251983924 1491998493690 jpg img1250136882 1491998490750 jpg img1252907445 1491998494999 jpg img1280613075 1491998506764 jpg img1257525050 1491998501778 jpg img1281536596 1491998509095 jpg img1279689554 1491998505070 jpg img1255678008 1491998499238 jpg img1277842512 1491998502811 jpg img1251060403 1491998492136 jpg img1256601529 1491998500494 jpg img1253830966 1491998496317 jpg img1251983924 1491998493690 jpg img1250136882 1491998490750 jpg img1252907445 1491998494999 jpg img1280613075 1491998506764 jpg img1257525050 1491998501778 jpg img1281536596 1491998509095 jpg img1279689554 1491998505070 jpg img1255678008 1491998499238 jpg img1277842512 1491998502811 jpg img1251060403 1491998492136 jpg Photo of Joe Bruzek
Managing Editor Joe Bruzek’s 22 years of automotive experience doesn’t count the lifelong obsession that started as a kid admiring his dad’s 1964 Chevrolet Corvette — and continues to this day. Joe’s been an automotive journalist with Cars.com for 16 years, writing shopper-focused car reviews, news and research content. As Managing Editor, one of his favorite areas of focus is helping shoppers understand electric cars and how to determine whether going electric is right for them. In his free time, Joe maintains a love-hate relationship with his 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that he wishes would fix itself. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-bruzek-2699b41b/ Email Joe Bruzek

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