The GLC is the most popular car Mercedes made. Last year, Mercedes sold 355,413 cars, vans and Smarts. By far, the GLC was the best seller. Mercedes sold 69,727 GLCs in 2018, which rounds out to nearly 20 percent of all sales.
The 63 S version was shocking in how much it felt like a real sports car. Tight and tidy in the corners, it was fast and powerful, despite a higher center of gravity. It was powerful and fast.
This time comes courtesy of a handcrafted 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 making 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. It’s not as powerful as the GLE 63 S with 603 horsepower, but we were hardly missing it on the way to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. Yowza, it’s fast. Since it’s an S, the top speed is 174 mph, as opposed to the 155 mph top speed of the non-S. Mercedes’ nine-speed multi-clutch transmission does the shifting, offering quicker response than a traditional torque converter automatic. Mercedes adopted the lightly refreshed 2020 GLC-Class Coupe styling in the full-on AMG model, and it also provided a big update to the tech. This car is running Mercedes’ newest MBUX infotainment system that debuted on the A-Class, a big improvement in speed and functionality over last year’s infotainment tech.
MBUX’s voice recognition function is no more maddening than the raucous thrum from the available 21-inch Pirelli tires or the uncomfortably tall lift-over height and small cargo hold of the Coupe. With a maximum of 49.4 cubic feet of space, the Coupe’s hatch is down 7.1 cubes to the upright GLC 63.
The GLC 63 S Coupe is a fine automobile to drive on dry roads, too. Try out launch control somewhere safe with a lot of empty road in front of you. It’s mind-bending how quickly this beast gets up to speed. Since our car was equipped with winter tires, it wasn’t the grippiest around corners, but the chassis is still superb. The suspension stiffness is controllable via the various mode selectors throughout the car — it’s remarkable how livable the suspension is in Comfort mode, and it’s not especially horrible in Sport+ either. Mercedes’ nine-speed dual-clutch transmission works well when you’re up to speed, but low-speed maneuvers were a nightmare of choppiness.
Switch to Sport, Sport Plus, or – the S-exclusive – Race driving modes (there’s also a Slippery mode, as well as a configurable Individual setting), and the powertrain’s responsiveness improves, the heavy but direct variable-ratio steering gets even weightier, and the air suspension’s already rigid ride gets even firmer. Swapping drive modes also adjusts the distribution of torque between the front and rear wheels, the thresholds of the stability control system, and the parameters of the electronically controlled locking-rear differential.
At $81,800, the GLC 63 S Coupe stickers for $7,700 more than the entry-level GLC 63 Coupe (which itself costs $3,300 more than the standard GLC 63). Alongside its additional 34 horses, the S model pumps peak torque up from 479 pound-feet to 516 and adds adaptive engine mounts to improve noise, vibration, and harshness.