An­other su­per-fast SUV? Mercedes says yes

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

com­mut­ing and lots of mo­tor­way driv­ing.

From our base at the Yea Pep­per­corn Ho­tel, we set out on drive loops us­ing some of the area’s more en­ter­tain­ing coun­try roads.

Price range: $184,900 (wagon) to $189,900 (coupe).

Pow­er­train: 4.0-litre biturbo-petrol V8 (375kW/700Nm). Nine-speed au­to­matic, AWD.

Body styles: Wagon or coupethingy.

On sale: Now. im­pres­sive cor­ner­ing pace. It’s a tallish SUV rather than a sports car, but there are few ve­hi­cles in theAMGrange that can de­ploy that biturbo-power in cor­ners bet­ter. It’s a hoot.

The choice be­tween wagon and coupe will come down to style and space.

If you fall in love with the coupe on the ba­sis of looks you’ll be happy to pay an ex­tra $5000 and forgo that rear head­room (it’s not ter­ri­ble though), rear­ward vis­i­bil­ity and around 100 litres of rear load­space.

Mercedes-Benz NZ ex­pects the sales split to be 70/30 in favour of the wagon. It’s the top of the tree in terms of Mercedes-AMG SUV per­for­mance, so it’s re­ally some­thing spe­cial.

It’s also a Mercedes-AMG that has no direct ri­vals from the Ger­man com­pe­ti­tion – there’s no proper RS version of the Audi Q5 or full M-in­car­na­tion of the BMWX3. The Porsche Ma­can Turbo is nowhere this level of per­for­mance. Maybe Jaguar’s forth­com­ing F-Pace SVR will give it some­thing to think about. Ac­cel­er­a­tion aside, this is still quite a lot of money for a medium SUV.

Those big wheels and tyres also bring some op­por­tu­nity cost in road noise and ride.

You’ll know it when you see it: GLC 63 S wears the ag­gres­sive AMG Panamer­i­cana grille.

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