Following the introduction earlier this year of its all-new and newly-renamed Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV, the automaker introduces a hotter performance variant, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43. This enthusiast-oriented 5-passenger AWD hauler slots between the new Mercedes-AMG GLA45 and the Mercedes-AMG GLE63, adding more power, bolder styling, and an upgraded suspension.

Visually, the new Mercedes-AMG GLC43 stands apart from its GLC300 and GLC300 4Matic siblings with edgier fascias highlighted by a unique grille insert and larger air intakes up front and a lower apron and dual-paired chrome exhaust outlets. High-gloss black and chrome trim accents add more eye appeal while the GLC43 rides on staggered-width tires – 255/45s up front and 285/40s at the rear – wrapped around 20-inch AMG light alloy wheels that are also finished in gloss black.

Also: Class of 2016 -- New Cars Ready to Roll

Performance on demand

The GLC43’s hardware upgrade starts with AMG-spec 3.0-liter Bitrbo V6 that makes 363 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of peak torque. It’s backed by a custom-programmed version of the 9-speed AMG 9G-Tronic automatic that offers driver-selectable Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus settings along with a Manual mode. With motive force heading to each corner through its AMG-tweaked/rear-biased 4Matic all-wheel drive system, the new GLC43 can sprint to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, 2.4 ticks quicker than the GLC300 4Matic. It also raises the electronically limited top speed from 130 to 155 mph. While performance is its forte, the engine has a start/stop mode when in Eco to enhance fuel efficiency and can completely decouple the engine from the drivetrain when the vehicle is travelling 37-99 mph when the driver lifts off the accelerator.

To bolster its handling, the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 features a taut sport suspension that brings together AMG-tuned versions of M-B’s Air Body Control and Adaptive Damping systems plus a more direct, speed-sensitive variable-ratio sport steering. Like its throttle and transmission mapping, those chassis elements in the GLC43 also can be modified using the AMG Dynamic Select system.

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2016

Cabin upgrades

Beyond standard equipment found in the GLC300, the cabin of the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 gets an AMG instrument cluster, a flat-bottom multifunction sport steering wheel and more deeply contoured sport buckets. Those seeking a bit more distinction can swap the MB-Tex faux leather for real hides, opt for full AMG Performance Seats and add carbon-fiber trim as well as heighten the exterior appeal with a Night Package and a 21-inch wheel/tire upgrade.

Aimed at the Audi SQ5 and the BMW X3 xDrive35i, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 will arrive in showrooms here by the end of the year. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

More Mercedes-Benz and AMG News…

The remade 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class will replace the existing GL-Class  

The all-new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class goes on sale here in November

The new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe lineup include AMG Sport-spec touches


 

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