Bolder design and sportier handling highlight Mercedes-benz’s latest SUV coupé
IT is a bit like watching a tennis match, isn’t it? With car manufacturers either seeing a need to fill every possible niche, or responding to a new competitor, our heads are continually swivelling left and right to keep up with the game.
This particular match saw BMW first serve up the X6 and X4 – those swoopy coupé versions of the X5 and X3 – to which Mercedes-benz somewhat belatedly returned with the GLE Coupé and now its smaller brother, the GLC Coupé. With the X6, and to a lesser extent the X4, proving strong sellers for BMW, Mercedes-benz is confidently pitching for a slice of the market – a move surely based on the positive sales reception the GLC has received internationally as well as here in South Africa. Although Mercedes-benz SA doesn’t release sales figures for individual models, based on the number of GLCS on the road, we suspect it’s selling very well indeed. And that, of course, bodes well for the Coupé version.
The new model is markedly different to the standard GLC, and I’m not merely talking about its roof line. Yes, its profile is new, but the Coupé is also longer, wider and, curiously, higher, and cuts a distinctive dash.
Underneath, however, it is all GLC, albeit somewhat tweaked. The Coupé gets sport suspension as standard, together with a steering system calibrated to be sharper and more direct. In addition to the standard Dynamic Select adaptive system with its five modes (eco, comfort, sport, sport+ and individual), there are two further suspension options: Dynamic Body Control, which uses steel springs linked to adaptive dampers; and Air Body Control that features air suspension. At higher speeds, an Air Body Control-equipped GLC Coupé automatically lowers by 15 mm, while the driver can also lift the car at slow speeds. We’ll