Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring


Hard to resist Mercedes-AMG’s superb GLC 63 S Coupe

If this car’s numbers won’t bowl you over, its looks and sound will.


The builder who was overseeing the construction work around my house just couldn’t myself looking more at the car in my driveway than the bricks being laid. I don’t blame him either. It’s rare that a Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe is stationary – or travelling slow enough - for long enough for anyone to examine it up close and personal. “Please take me for a spin,’’ he pleaded. “This is my dream car. I have to take a video of the trip to show her what I’ll be driving within the next year.” And that line sums up the…

Subscribe to continue reading this article
and support trusted South African journalism

Access PREMIUM news, competitions
and exclusive benefits

SUBSCRIBE
Already a member? SIGN IN HERE

The builder who was overseeing the construction work around my house just couldn’t myself looking more at the car in my driveway than the bricks being laid.

I don’t blame him either. It’s rare that a Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe is stationary – or travelling slow enough – for long enough for anyone to examine it up close and personal.

“Please take me for a spin,’’ he pleaded. “This is my dream car. I have to take a video of the trip to show her what I’ll be driving within the next year.” And that line sums up the impression this beautifully sculpted 4.0-litre V8 powered beast makes on a daily basis better than I could in 2 000 words.

Whether you are a proper car enthusiast like my builder appreciating its every kilowatt of power or maybe more like his former missus who’ll no doubt turn green with envy at the sheer sight of it, there are very few people who can resist this smouldering temptress.

A petrolhead will tell you its 375kW/700Nm 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 powerplant, a usual suspect in top AMG products, is sent to all four wheels via AMG Speedshift MCT 9G transmission. And the fact that it features the 4Matic+ drive system means that the GLC 63 S, despite weighing almost 200 clicks more at 1 945 kg, can actually outgun the C63 S in a drag race. The GLC 63 S is claimed to reach 100km/h from a standstill in 3.8 sec, while the rear-wheel driven C63 S which is equipped with the same drivetrain is rated at 3.9 sec.

We could not take the GLC 63 S for a proper road test at Gerotek as the stormy season had the last laugh during our time with the car, but we can safely assume that we would had gotten a figure close to the claimed amount, as the case usually is with AMG machines. Neither do we have any reason to doubt its limited top speed of 280 km/h.

An enthusiast will also appreciate the myriad of technology that will make anyone feel a much better driver than they actually are. These include AMG Ride Control+ air suspension with adaptive damping adjustment, an electronically controlled differential lock and dynamic engine mounts.

Six drive programs, Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual and “Race” are linked to the AMG Dynamics agility control in order for the driver to choose the best handling characteristics for the driving conditions. These include Basic, Advanced, Pro and Master which will each determine certain settings like torque distribution and the interventions of the electronically controlled locking differential.

The Master setting, which is only available on S models, helps the driver enjoy this car in its purest form. It offers a neutral vehicle balance and more agile steering to allow the driver to fully exploit the dynamic potential on race tracks. And matching the GLC 63 S’ exhilarating acceleration is its stopping power. It features internally-ventilated, perforated compound discs at the front and rear. Six-piston fixed calipers do duty at the front, while the rear features single-piston floating calipers.

For those less concerned with numbers and performance specifics, the sheer sight, feel and sound of the GLC 63 S should be enough to bowl even the toughest crowd over. You don’t have to look twice to see that this car means business.

In addition to the wide front apron in a jet-wing design, wider wheel arch claddings, muscular tail end which is accentuated by the wide rear apron and diffuser two trapezoidal twin tailpipes, which all differentiates it from other GLC models, S models are given extra special exterior treatment. This include 20-inch light-alloy wheels, longitudinal member panels with inserts in matt iridium silver and the rear apron with diffuser fins and diffuser board with a trim strip in matt iridium silver.

The show just gets better on the inside. Here you get sports seats in Artico man-made leather which in used in combination with Dinamica microfibre. Dinamica microfibre is also used in combination with nappa leather on the steering wheel. Artico leather is also used on the instrument panel which features contrasting top stitching and is underlined by aluminium trim.

The car also features the interactive MBUX system, but we hardly bothered with operating the infotainment system or navigation as the exhaust notes was just to intoxicating to spoil with music. Speaking of which, these sounds are generated by an exhaust system which features flap technology.

These flaps are automatically operated depending on the Dynamic Select drive program, the power demanded by the driver plus the engine speed. The optional Performance exhaust system – a must have in our book – allows the notes to be accentuated through a button which will definitely announce your arrival should the crowd mysteriously not have sighted your entry already.

In spite of all the performance and luxury it has to offer, what makes the GLC 63 S even more desirable is its versatility seeing that it is still a crossover SUV in essence, albeit one with serious racing pedigree. It offers very generous 500-litre boot space, decent leg and headroom for rear passengers, Trailer Manoeuvring Assist, generous ground clearance and of course all-wheel-drive should you be so brave to take its sophisticated rims off the tarmac.

The only little snag during our short stint in this superb ride was the fuel consumption. We achieved 22.4L/100km over the 357 km distance we travelled, which was almost as bad as our week in the monstrous G 63 S. But then again, anyone forking out R2 140 480 on a car shouldn’t have too much trouble footing exorbitant petrol bills.

Whether or not a GLC 63 S will reunite my builder with his ex remains to be seen, but should that not happen, he’ll have no shortage of potential future brides lining up for him to take for a spin.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Read more on these topics

Motoring News

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits