Medium AMG SUV a mon­ster

Sunday Star-Times - - DRIVETIMES - DAVID LIN­KLATER

The new GLC 63 S is far from the largest SUV made by MercedesAMG. But it is the fastest: its 4.0-litre biturbo V8 en­gine and four-wheel drive sys­tem pro­pel it to 100kmh in just 3.8 sec­onds.

The en­gine is in the same state of tune as the pow­er­plant in the C 63, but the GLC is the first model to pair it with an AMG Speed­shift nine-speed au­to­matic gear­box. It also has Race Start and an ex­tra Race mode on the drive-mode selec­tor.

The ‘‘4Matic+’’ all-wheel drive hard­ware is de­rived from the mon­ster E 63 S, in­clud­ing fully vari­able torque dis­tri­bu­tion (there’s no set torque split) and a rear-axle lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial.

There’s an up­graded brake pack­age and Kiwi cars come as stan­dard with the AMG Per­for­mance Ex­haust sys­tem.

The GLC 63 S is also the sec­ond AMG to wear the ‘‘Panamer­i­cana’’ grille – the one with the ver­ti­cal lines that’s now be­ing used to iden­tify the brand’s most se­ri­ous per­for­mance mod­els.

There are two ver­sions: a wagon and the ‘‘coupe’’ – still a five-door but with a lower, ta­pered roofline. The for­mer costs $184,900, while the lat­ter is $5000 more ex­pen­sive at $189,990. Apart from styling, rear-seat and bootspace, the two mod­els have iden­ti­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

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