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Mercedes Unveils 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe
AMG has been on a product blitz as of late with the in-house tuner unveiling a whole host of AMG-badged models to help expand its profile among customers. The latest model to benefit from the infusion of AMG-branded performance is also arguably its most design-focused model yet, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe.
The exterior styling of the GLC43 Coupe retains some of the basic traits that define its more mundane sibling, the GLC400 4-Matic Coupe. But AMG designers have amped up the aggression here with the model coming equipped with the AMG appearance package that helps the CUV look sinister, especially when paired with certain colors like the black that Mercedes chose to highlight its press photos. Like the other 43-badged models, the GLC43 is expected to be a "tweener" model that helps bridge the gap between its mainstream siblings and the all-out AMG models that strive for maximum performance. This status will improve the model's appeal to budget-minded performance buyers that want the AMG suite of upgrades, but in a package that is less expensive and more subtle than a formal AMG offering.
The interior of the GLC43 Coupe features model-exclusive sport seats with black MB-Tex and Dinamica microfiber that incorporates red contrast stitching and a meaty flat-bottomed steering wheel that also carries on the aforementioned color combination. A built-in Race Timer feature allows drivers to record lap times on a track day, while the gauges have a checkered flag background that helps provide a visual exclamation point to the interior's focus on driver-focused fun.
Performance for the GLC43 Coupe comes from the same 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that also sees duty in the regular GLC43 crossover, and provides 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission promises to deliver quick shifts, and allows the GLC43 Coupe to make the sprint to 60 mph in a brisk 4.8 seconds. An AMG-tuned all-wheel drive system is also on tap, and is rear-biased which allows the CUV to deliver on its performance promises of car-like acceleration and handling. For comparison, the GLC43 Coupe's nearest competitor, the BMW X4 M40i, is not quite as powerful as the Mercedes, but makes up for it by getting to 60 mph in a slightly lower 4.7 seconds. The rest of the performance hardware is largely identical to the other GLC43. It includes larger brakes with four fixed piston calipers up front and one-piece floating piston calipers in the rear. A modified version of the GLC's Air Body Control is also on deck; in addition to having several selectable modes, it can be raised or lowered for higher ground clearance. This would allow the GLC43 Coupe to do some light off-roading, but the decidedly street-oriented performance tires will keep it from tackling rough trails and muddy ditches the same way that a more off-road-oriented vehicle can.
Look for the GLC43 Coupe to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September with the model eventually reaching U.S. showrooms early next year. Eventually the model lineup could be balanced with a range-topping AMG model that could possibly be called the GLC63. This particular model would ditch the V6 in lieu of a twin-turbocharged V8 which would most likely receive the full AMG treatment and transform the CUV into a fire breathing beast capable of going toe-to-toe with bigger rivals like the BMW X6 M.
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