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  • Image Credit: Mercedes-AMG
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-AMG
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-AMG
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-AMG
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-AMG
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-AMG
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-AMG
It used to be simple. If you wanted a sporty, compact luxury CUV, you ran out and bought the excellent Audi SQ5. For the 2017 model year, the decision will be a lot tougher, thanks to the new Mercedes-AMG GLC43. You should be able to discern plenty about this new model based on the simple arrangement of those letters and numbers.

Like the upcoming C43 (née C450 AMG), the business end of the GLC43 hides a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 good for 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Like the C-Class, expect plenty of performance from the six-cylinder engine, with Mercedes claiming the spicy CUV will hit 60 in 4.8 seconds and speeds up to 155 miles per hour. Both of those figures match the C450 Sedan, but the big difference between the two vehicles is how power is channeled to their standard, rear-biased 4Matic all-wheel-drive systems.

The GLC43, like the new C43 Coupe and Convertible, relies on Mercedes' new 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. Mercedes claims it's tuned specifically for the GLC43 and will pump out quicker shifts than in the automaker's less exciting nine-speed applications. We look forward to putting that claim to the test.

Of course, Mercedes has done a lot more than simply fettle under the GLC's hood. This crossover gets the AMG "Lite" styling treatment, with a more aggressive bodykit, bigger wheels, a much sportier cabin – the gorgeous thrones featured here are the optional seats – but none of it goes too far. It's all quite tastefully done, both inside and out (if you can ignore the buckets), and feels very much appropriate for the GLC's overall look. If it's anything like the C450, the GLC43 might not be dynamically better than the Audi SQ5, but it's going to look better and probably be a nicer place to spend some time. That's good for a few points, at least.

You can check out the first round of official GLC43 images up top, and stay tuned for even more when it makes its big debut next week in New York City.

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First mid-size SUV from AMG in Affalterbach

Affalterbach. The mid-size SUV model series gains a particularly dynamic addition in the form of the new Mercedes-AMG GLC43. The 362 hp 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine, the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with shortened shift times and AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive configured with a rear bias form the basis for an especially dynamic on-road driving experience. The autonomous design and the specially tuned sport suspension on the basis of AIR BODY CONTROL with adaptive damping adjustment underline the affiliation to the Mercedes-AMG world of Driving Performance.

Following the record sales in 2015 Mercedes-AMG remains on a path of growth: the product range will be extended at high speed in 2016. "With the new AMG GLC43 we are offering an AMG model in the mid-size SUV segment for the first time. The new SUV from Affalterbach marks the pinnacle of the GLC product range and in the AMG portfolio it closes the gap between the GLA and GLE," says Tobias Moers, CEO at Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
The 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine is used in numerous AMG performance models and delivers 362 hp plus a maximum torque of 384 lb-ft. The AMG GLC43 sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and its speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. The newly developed front axle, the taut elastokinematics and the highly precise AMG speed- sensitive sport steering make a substantial contribution to the agile driving experience.

Key data

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43
Engine V6 Biturbo
Displacement 2996 cc
362 hp @ 5500-6000 rpm
Peak torque
384 lb-ft @ 2500-4500 rpm
Acceleration 0-60 mph
4.8 s
Top speed
155 mph (electronically limited)

The standard highlights

• 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine with modified engine management, increased boost pressure and significantly enhanced dynamics and responsiveness
• 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with double-declutching function during downshifts and particularly short response times in "Sport Plus" mode
• AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 31 to 69 percent (front axle to rear axle)
• Specially tuned sport suspension based on AIR BODY CONTROL with adaptive damping adjustment and AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch for dynamic, individually selectable driving experience with five drive programs and AMG- specific parameterization
• Three-stage Electronic Stability Program ESP®
• Front axle with newly developed steering knuckles and load-bearing joints on
the spring link. Elastokinematic adjustments on the links
• Rear axle with elastokinematics tailored to higher driving dynamics
• Large braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated at the front with a diameter of 14.2" and 12.6" at the rear
• AMG styling with distinctive front and rear bumpers as well as special tailpipes
• Diamond radiator grille with chrome pins and louvers in high-gloss black
• 20-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a 5-spoke design, painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish
• AMG instrument cluster with "checkered flag" design with 180 mph scale
• Multifunction sports steering wheel in leather with deep embossing in grip area,
flattened bottom section, with red contrasting topstitching
High on power, low on consumption: the AMG 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine

The AMG 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine is characterized by a powerful output together with low consumption and emissions. Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers are able to provide power without delay. The high power output of 362 hp is attributable to, among other things, a higher boost pressure of 15 psi. Together with the 384 lb-ft torque from 2000-4200 rpm the engine unleashes high levels dynamism and responsiveness. The NANOSLIDE® coating on the cylinder liners was also enhanced in the Mercedes- Benz Formula 1 V6 hybrid turbo engines. Especially tough and wear-resistant, this coating also reduces friction and contributes to higher efficiency. The same applies to the spray-guided multiple injection with up to 2900 psi of fuel pressure. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminum insert on the engine cover.

Short shift times, high efficiency: the 9G-TRONIC

The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is especially matched to the demands of the AMG GLC43. Thanks to the model-specific software application, the AMG developers managed to reduce the shift times of the 9-speed transmission. The multiple downshift allows even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Ignition adjustments provide faster gearshifts than in "Eco" and "Comfort" modes. "Manual" mode can be selected using a button in the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. The transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.

More agility: the sport suspension based on AIR BODY CONTROL

For more agility, improved cornering characteristics and higher traction even in intensive use, developers in Affalterbach have designed a sport suspension based on the AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension. Also specifically adapted, the Adaptive Damping system ADS PLUS can be adjusted in the three stages: "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport Plus."

The four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimized in terms of rigidity. A more negative camber on the front axle and on the multi-link rear axle enhances lateral dynamics. The elastokinematics of both axles have been designed to be more rigid in general. The sum of these measures improves agility and boosts overall dynamics.

Rear-biased and agile: AMG Performance 4MATIC

The all-wheel drive AMG Performance 4MATIC is characterized by the rear-biased torque distribution of 31 percent at the front axle to 69 percent at the rear axle. This configuration ensures more driving dynamics and higher lateral acceleration on the road plus improved traction during acceleration.

Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT

With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual, the driver can tailor the characteristics of the AMG GLC43 to individual preferences at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to extremely sporty. This modifies key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel.

The AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Sport" and "Sport Plus" are even more strongly configured for driving dynamics on the AMG GLC43 than on the series- production models. This is thanks to the more agile, direct accelerator characteristic, more emotive gear shifting with shortened shift times and double-declutching function. A higher idle speed facilitates even faster acceleration from standstill.

In order to increase efficiency, in "Eco" mode the ECO start/stop function and the sailing function reduce fuel consumption: when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level, and the driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.

Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sports steering

The speed-sensitive sport steering has a variable ratio in the AMG GLC43. It stands out with its precise, highly authentic feedback. The steering power assistance is variable in the "Comfort" or "Sport" tuning. The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalized in "Individual" mode.

The large-dimensioned braking system with interior-ventilated compound brake discs decelerates the AMG GLC43 reliably and quickly. At the front axle perforated discs sized 14.2" x 1.4" with 4-piston fixed calipers and AMG lettering are used, and 12.6" x 0.9"at the rear axle.

Sporty and distinctive: the exterior design

The autonomous design is enhanced with silver chrome colored and high-gloss black features. The diamond radiator grille features chrome-plated pins, a louver in high-gloss black with inserts in high-gloss chrome and AMG lettering. The sportily distinctive air intakes in the AMG front bumper feature fins in silver chrome. Down below, the silver chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules.

High-gloss black-painted, high-sheen 20-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels dominate the side view. The mixed-size tires with the dimensions 255/45 R 20 on 8 x 20 at the front axle and 285/40 R 20 on 9.5 x 20 at the rear axle emphasize the sporty appearance. There are also high-gloss black door mirror caps and the silver-colored "BITURBO 4MATIC" lettering on the front fenders.

The tail end also sports characteristic highlights and exudes sporty, aesthetic appeal with two four-pipe chromed tailpipe trims. The AMG-specific rear apron sports trim in silver chrome.

Sporty look with model-specific details: the interior design

The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a committed driving style, the multifunction sports steering wheel in black leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching. The driver and front passenger find a secure position in the sport seats even when driving at speed, thanks to the improved lateral support.

With two large round dials and central color multifunction display with a 5.5" diagonal the AMG instrument cluster places all the important information in the driver's field of vision. The ECO display supports a fuel-saving driving style. Dials in a checkered-flag look and the distinctive typography lend the large displays an especially sporty touch.

Optional features with a sporty emphasis

The sporty character of the AMG GLC43 is also emphasized by a wide range of optionally available equipment ranges from performance seats with increased lateral support, to through leather upholstery, carbon-fiber trim, a Night package and 21-inch wheels in a bi-color design.
The new Mercedes-AMG GLC43 celebrates its world premiere in March 2016 at the New York International Auto Show and will be on sale in US dealerships by the end of 2016.

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