Mercedes reveals AMG-powered GLC43

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43

Arriving in the fourth quarter of 2016, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4Matic will make for a spicy offering in the premium compact crossover segment. And if you find Mercedes’ recent revamping of its naming strategy confusing, you’re not alone.

The full-blown AMG vehicles with hand-built V8 turbo engines carry the Mercedes-AMG 63 moniker (with the exception of the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car). The mid-level performance AMG rides formerly known as Mercedes-Benz AMG Sport are now Mercedes-AMG 43 models (i.e. what was Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG last year will be Mercedes-AMG C 43 next year). Got it?

As such, the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 shows a pretty potent makeover when compared with the base four-cylinder 2.0L turbo GLC 250. Chief among these upgrades is a 3.0-litre direct-injection biturbo V6 that kicks out 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. It is hooked to Mercedes’ new nine-speed automatic, here programmed for quicker shifts. Figure on a sprint to 100 km/h in about 5 seconds.

Other mechanical upgrades include AMG Ride Control sport suspension and AMG-tweaked 4Matic all-wheel drive with a front to rear torque split of 31:69. Variable ratio steering, some upgraded suspension hardware and bigger brakes factor into the equation, as does additional negative camber for more alert reflexes in the bends. And just so your neighbours are well aware of your new purchase, the exhaust system has been tuned for the classic AMG bad-attitude blare.

The GLC43 gets the AMG appearance package, a chrome front splitter and black-capped mirrors. Inside we see a flat-bottom steering wheel and some red stitching. A full roster of optional driver assist systems is available.

The specimen here at the NYIAS, done up in black and riding on 21-inch alloys certainly looked ready to rough it up with its crosstown rivals, the BMW X4 M40i and Audi SQ5. No pricing yet, but figure on 60 grand and up.

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Peter Bleakney

Peter Bleakney

Peter is a Toronto-based auto writer and member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. Peter bought his first car when he was 15 — a ferrous 1968 Austin Mini — and learned how to swear while porting the head, installing twin SU carburetors, a header and Thrush muffler.