Mercedes-AMG GLC ups the ante with hybrid power for 2025

A raft of refinements, upgraded performance parts, and the first hybrid powertrain to be fitted into a Mercedes-AMG SUV are the highlights of the brand’s new AMG GLC models announced today.

A number of exterior and interior design elements have changed in both the hybrid and purely gas-powered SUVs. The latter of which, the AMG GLC 43, puts out 416 horsepower with a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor and permanent all-wheel drive.

The hybrid powertrain exclusive to Mercedes-AMG in the GLC 63 S E Performance combines the above AMG M139l 2.0-liter turbo engine with an Electric Drive Unit (EDU) on the rear axle to deliver a 671 horsepower combined system output and 752 lb-ft combined system torque.

The 201-horsepower electric motor is positioned at the rear axle, where it is integrated with an electrically shifted two-speed transmission and the electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential in a compact electric drive.

Mercedes says that the independent hybrid layout also “ensures a balanced weight distribution.” For purists, the electric-only mode enables all-electric driving under “certain conditions” — weather and terrain permitting, we’d guess. The 400-volt battery mimics the power pack utilized by the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team in Formula One racing: specifically designed for fast power output and draw with direct cooling of the cells.

A multi-clutch (MCT) transmission features in both GLC models, using a wet start-off clutch to replace the torque converter. The result, according to a press statement, is software that offers “extremely short shift times as well as fast multiple downshifts if required.” And let’’s not forget to mention the “RACE START” function, AMG’s version of launch control, which ensures optimal acceleration from a standstill.

In the GLC 63 S E Performance 4MATIC+ system, the engine torque can be allocated continuously and as required from 50/50 between the front and rear axles up to 100 percent to the rear.

On the subject of stopping, the high-end hybrid is designed with six-piston fixed calipers at the front (15.4 x 1.4 inhes internally ventilated and perforated brake discs) and one-piston floating calipers at the rear (14.6 x 1 in). The (relatively) more budget Benz is equipped with four-piston calipers in front.

The GLC 63, instead of using an electronic stability braking program when wheel slip is detected, reduces the drive torque of the electric motor, which is transmitted to the wheel via the limited-slip rear differential. As a result, the company says, “ESP does not have to throttle the combustion engine, enabling the engine to be operated at higher torque. This improves agility and the otherwise reduced power can be used to charge the battery.”

Regarding creature comforts, leather and “performance” seats are options. The MBUX infotainment system features AMG-specific displays and functions. These include special displays on the instrument cluster, central multimedia display and optional head-up display. The AMG-exclusive “Supersport” style offers the option of showcasing driver-focused content in a vertical format.

The gasoline-only GLC 43 is for 2024, while the hybrid GLC 63 S E Performance is a 2025 model. No pricing was given for either. The current AMG GLC 43 Coupe starts at $68,200 plus destination.

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