Revealed to the world at last year’s Shanghai Motor Show, we caught first glimpse of what was set to be Mercedes’ most sporty G model ever. Since then, Stuttgart has been stepping up preparations to bring its sleekest crossover concept to a showroom near you. A year on, and the sheets have officially been thrown off of the all-new production-ready Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé at the 2016 New York Auto Show.
Sticking true to the 2015 concept debuted in China, the GLC Coupé will be marketed as the practical Merc with flair and will have its sights firmly set on the tail lights of the X4 from those perennial noisy neighbours over at BMW.
The new Coupé’s design is a purposeful departure from the rather less adventurously styled GLC base model, unveiled in 2015. A more steeply raked diamond radiator grille with single louvre and Merc star emblem very much dominates the front end which is also notable for its SUV-inspired override guard and amply proportioned side air inlets.
Side running boards are optionally available for those who wish to conserve a very visual reminder of the GLC’s SUV DNA, however this is most definitely a car for the lovers of fastback-inspired coupé dynamics.
The rear is where the GLC Coupé really sets out its stall as a true stand-alone independent model and a sporty alternative to the standard SUV. Below that elongated, sloping roofline are a pair of narrow, split tail lights and further down, the chunky bumper is punctuated by twin integral exhaust tips plus a small rear diffuser.
The GLC is as opulent as any Mercedes on the inside and that premium theme is naturally carried over to the Coupé. No longer as spacious as its bigger sibling – headroom and luggage space in particular have been chopped – the Coupé should still however seat five passengers in customary Mercedes comfort. Up front, it boasts a similar one-piece centre console panel to that of the GLC SUV which sits below the semi-integrated media display. AMG Line leather sports seats are also available as an option.
The big news on the powertrain front is that the new Mercedes GLC Coupé will be offer with both an AMG and plug-in hybrid versions from launch. These help make up a total roster of eight petrol and diesel powertrains, of which the 170-204 bhp GLC 220 d and GLC 250 d models are your best entry-level options.
Prefer something a tad brisker? For a highly tempting combination of sharp coupé looks and rapid AMG engineering, the top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 should be your weapon of choice. Its V6 biturbo engine throws out 367 bhp, and promises to hit 62mph from a standing start in under 5 seconds.
Finally, the green at heart will be glad to see a 2.0 litre petrol/electric plug-in hybrid enter the ranks of the GLC Coupé line-up. The GLC 350 e Coupé musters 320 bhp and is capable of covering over 18 miles in all-electric mode. The battery can also be engaged to provide an extra kick in a sprint, propelling the hybrid GLC coupé from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds.
Most of the above models feature Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive, while the whole stable, save the hybrid, comes equipped with nine-speed automatic transmission.
Underpinning the GLC Coupé package is a five mode sports suspension with steel springing and adjustable damping available if desired. Steering is also more responsive, ensuring lighter handling in corners compared to the standard GLC.
New York-based sources have confirmed the new Mercedes GLC Coupé will arrive stateside by early next, with European sales set to commence before 2016 is out.