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The All-New Mercedes-AMG GLC: Performance SUV in Two High-Performance Versions


The new Mercedes-AMG GLC replaces its highly successful predecessor with many innovations. The performance SUV is available in two performance levels and trim levels: as the entry-level model GLC 43 4MATIC (combined fuel consumption: 10.2‑9.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 232-223 g/km) and as the first performance hybrid SUV GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE (combined fuel consumption: 7.5 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 170 g/km, combined power consumption: 12.7 kWh/100 km).

In the GLC 43 4MATIC, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with electric exhaust gas turbocharger produces 310 kW (421 hp) and has an additional boost of 10 kW (14 hp) via the belt-driven starter-generator in the lower speed range.

The standard rear-axle steering, the AMG Performance 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission with wet start-off clutch and the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with Adaptive Damping System also contribute to the dynamic driving experience.

The hybrid powertrain exclusive to Mercedes-AMG in the GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE is a technical masterpiece. It combines the AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine with an Electric Drive Unit (EDU) on the rear axle for an exhilarating driving experience with high efficiency.

In addition to the noticeable thrust, the independent hybrid layout also ensures a balanced weight distribution – benefiting driving dynamics and handling in equal measure. The immediate response of the electric drive on the rear axle, the fast torque build-up and the rapid power delivery are exceptional features.

 Depending on the drive program and driving conditions, the electric motor boosts power and torque according to the situation, thus conveying an exceptionally comfortable or performance-oriented driving experience. Electric-only mode is also possible.

The electric powertrain and the high-performance battery with 400 volts are AMG-exclusive in-house developments. Like in Formula 1™, the battery is specifically designed for fast power output and draw with innovative direct cooling of the cells. The combined system output is 500 kW (680 hp), and the combined maximum system torque is 1020 Nm.

 Another highlight is the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive for more driving pleasure. Added to this is the standard active rear-axle steering, which combines agility and stability.

On the outside and inside, numerous AMG-specific details underscore the dynamic and high-quality character of the new Mercedes-AMG GLC variants in equal measure. The exterior design includes the AMG‑specific radiator grille with vertical struts and the AMG front apron with flics, sporty air intakes and chrome-plated trim elements.

Flics, large inlets and air curtains direct the airflow to the various functions. Harmoniously integrated side sill panels, the diffuser-look rear apron (GLC 43) or additional diffuser board (GLC 63 S) and the two twin tailpipe trims (round on the GLC 43, trapezoidal on the GLC 63 S) round off the design.

AMG seats in ARTICO manufactured leather/MICROCUT AMG microfibre with distinctive graphics and upholstery add a sporty touch to the interior. Optional and Nappa leather upholstery with embossed AMG crest in the front head restraints are available. The AMG Performance seats are also known as an option.

The AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather (GLC 43) or Nappa leather/MICROCUT microfibre (GLC 63 S) is also fitted as standard. It is flattened at the bottom, perforated in the grip area and equipped with silver-coloured aluminium gearshift paddles.

The two round AMG steering wheel buttons allow fast and unerring operation of various dynamic driving functions and the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs. AMG sports pedals, floor mats and illuminated door sill panels with AMG lettering round off the sporty-luxurious atmosphere.

The MBUX infotainment system includes various AMG-specific displays and functions. These include unique shows in the instrument cluster, on the portrait-orientation multimedia central display in the centre console and on the optional head-up display.

The AMG exclusive “Supersport” style allows displaying various contents via a vertical structure. This includes a set-up menu that displays the current settings of the suspension or transmission. In addition, the driver can have a navigation map or consumption data displayed in “Supersport” style.

Also integrated is AMG TRACK PACE (standard in the GLC 63 S, optional for the GLC 43), the data logger for use on the racetrack. The software records over 80 vehicle-specific data such as speed, acceleration and steering angle ten times per second while driving around a race track. Also informative is the display of lap and sector times and additional training and analysis tools.

At the heart of the new Mercedes-AMG GLC models is the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which combines innovative technologies and high performance with exemplary efficiency. The power unit remains true to a tradition typical of the brand: It was developed entirely at the company’s Affalterbach site and installed there per the “One Man, One Engine” principle.

In doing so, Mercedes-AMG combines the craftsmanship of its highly qualified employees with the latest production methods of Industry 4.0 and a high degree of digitalisation.

 The M139l engine, known internally (l for longitudinal installation), is the only production engine in the world to date that is turbocharged with an electric exhaust gas turbocharger. The system is a direct derivative of the technology that the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1™ Team has used successfully in the premier motorsport class for many years.

The new form of turbocharging guarantees particularly spontaneous response across the entire rev range. This leads to an even more dynamic driving experience while at the same time increasing efficiency.

An electric motor around four centimetres thin is integrated directly into the turbocharger shaft between the turbine wheel on the exhaust side and the compressor wheel on the intake side. This now drives the turbocharger shaft and is electronically controlled, accelerating the compressor wheel before the exhaust gas flow takes over the drive conventionally.

This significantly improves the response directly from idle speed and across the entire rev range. The combustion engine responds even more spontaneously to accelerator pedal input while driving as a whole feel significantly more dynamic. In addition, the electrification of the turbocharger allows higher torque at low revs.

This also increases agility and optimises acceleration from a standstill. Even when the driver lifts off the accelerator or brakes, the technology can always maintain boost pressure. This ensures a continuously direct response.

Powered by the 48-volt onboard electrical system, the electric exhaust gas turbocharger operates at up to 175,000 rpm, enabling a very high air flow rate. The turbocharger, electric motor and power electronics are connected to the combustion engine’s cooling circuit to create an optimal temperature environment at all times.

Compared to the GLC 43, however, the turbocharger in the GLC 63 S is significantly larger. This delivers a higher air flow rate and, thus, more power. In addition, the integrated electric motor is driven by a 400-volt high-voltage system.

The closed deck design of the M139l ensures high rigidity at low weight. This enables peak combustion pressures of up to 160 bar. The areas around the cylinders are primarily closed, and the cover plate is only pierced by smaller channels for the coolant and engine oil. Another outstanding feature of the engine is the two-stage petrol injection.

In the first stage, particularly fast and precise piezo injectors deliver the fuel into the combustion chambers at up to 200 bar pressure. The second stage adds intake manifold duct injection with solenoid valves, which is needed to achieve the engine’s high specific power output.

In the 2.0-litre four-cylinder in-line engine, the innovative technology helps the Mercedes‑AMG GLC 43 4MATIC to achieve a rated output of 310 kW (421 hp) at 6750 rpm. The maximum torque of 500 Nm is available at 5000 rpm. Depending on the situation, the system also briefly provides an additional boost of 10 kW (14 hp) by the belt-driven starter generator (BSG).

The second-generation RSG acts as a mild hybrid, providing this temporary power boost and functions such as gliding and recuperation for maximum efficiency. At the same time, the 48-volt technology also increases comfort, as the transitions between the start/stop function and the gliding mode function are almost imperceptible.

The GLC 43 4MATIC accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

In the GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE, the M139l produces 350 kW (476 hp) at 6725 rpm. This makes it the most powerful series-produced four-cylinder engine in the world. The maximum combustion engine torque of 545 Nm is available at 5250–5500 rpm.

In the performance hybrid, the 2.0-litre engine combines a permanently excited synchronous electric motor, a high-performance battery developed in Affalterbach and the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system.

The system output of 500 kW (680 hp) and the maximum system torque of 1020 Nm enable impressive driving performance: Acceleration from a standstill to 100 km/h takes just 3.5 seconds and only ends at an electronically governed 275 km/h.

The 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor is positioned at the rear axle, where it is integrated with an electrically shifted two-speed transmission and the electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential in a compact electric drive unit (EDU). Experts refer to this layout as a P3 hybrid. The lightweight, high-performance battery is also located in the rear above the rear axle. This compact design has numerous advantages:

The electric motor acts directly on the rear axle and can convert its power now into propulsion – for that extra boost when moving off, accelerating or overtaking. The inherent design of the electric motor means that its power can kick in straight away at full torque, making particularly agile starting possible.

In addition, the driver immediately experiences a noticeable performance increase thanks to the integrated, electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential: the hybrid model accelerates out of bends with great agility.

If slip occurs at the rear axle, the drive power of the electric motor is also transferred to the front wheels as needed for more traction. The mechanical connection of the fully variable all-wheel drive makes this possible, utilising the propeller shaft and drive shafts of the front wheels. Positioning at the rear axle improves the vehicle’s weight and axle load distribution. This forms the basis for the compelling handling.

The AMG concept offers high recuperation efficiency, allowing only minimal mechanical and hydraulic losses from the engine and transmission. With its specially calibrated gear ratio, the automated two-speed information at the rear axle ensures the spread from high wheel torque for agile starting to safe continuous output at higher speeds. An electric actuator engages the second gear at around 140 km/h at the latest, corresponding to the electric motor’s maximum speed of about 13,500 rpm.

With the increase in performance due to the additional electric motor, the development team was also able to improve the efficiency of the entire vehicle in parallel – and achieve lower emissions and consumption.

The development of the lithium-ion energy storage system is inspired by technologies proven in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team’s Formula 1™ hybrid racing cars. During the development, the experts from the Formula 1™ engine shop High-Performance Powertrains (HPP) in Brixworth exchanged ideas intensively with Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach.

The AMG high-performance battery combines high power that can be called up frequently in succession with low weight to increase the vehicle’s overall performance. Added to this are the fast energy draw and the high power density. This means that during a brisk drive in hilly terrain, drivers can immediately call on the full power potential on uphill stretches, while recuperation is muscular when driving downhill.

The high-performance battery in the GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE offers a capacity of 6.1 kWh, 80 kW continuous power and 150 kW peak power for ten seconds. Charging occurs via recuperation or the installed 3.7 kW onboard charger with alternating current at a charging station, wall box or household socket.

The battery is designed for fast power delivery and draw, not for the most extended range. Nevertheless, a kilometres electric field of 12 kilometres allows a practical activity radius, for example, for quiet and all-electric driving from the residential area to the city’s outskirts or the motorway.

The basis for the high performance of the AMG 400-volt battery is its innovative direct cooling system: for the first time, a high-tech coolant based on an electrically non-conductive liquid flows around all 560 cells and cools them individually. Every battery needs a defined temperature for optimum power delivery.

If the energy storage unit gets too cold or hot, it temporarily loses noticeable power or has to be turned down not to be damaged if the temperature level is too high. Therefore, the consistent temperature of the battery has a decisive influence on its performance, service life and safety. The AMG system is designed to ensure even heat distribution in the storm.

 The battery is always within a consistent, optimum operating temperature window averaging 45 degrees Celsius, no matter how often it is charged or discharged. The average temperature may be exceeded when driving at high speeds. Therefore, The protection mechanisms are set so that the maximum power can be drawn from the battery to lower the temperature level again through direct cooling.

The basic operating strategy is derived from the hybrid power pack of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. As in the top motorsport class, maximum propulsion is always available when the driver calls it up by kick-down – to accelerate powerfully out of corners or overtake quickly. The electric power can always be called on and frequently reproduced via high recuperation performance and needs-based recharging.

The control of vehicle dynamics also benefits from the hybrid drive. Instead of braking intervention by ESP®, the electric motor can also control traction as soon as a wheel signals too much slip. To achieve this, the intelligent control system reduces the drive torque of the electric motor, which is transmitted to the wheel via the limited-slip rear differential.

The result is that ESP® does not have to intervene at all or only later. Advantage: The combustion engine can thus be operated at a higher torque. This improves agility afterwards and increases efficiency. In addition, the power otherwise “destroyed” during braking can charge the battery.

The power is transmitted in both Mercedes-AMG GLC models via the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission (MCT = Multi-Clutch Transmission), in which a wet start-off clutch replaces the torque converter. Thanks to its lower inertia, it reduces weight and optimises response to accelerator pedal input, especially during spurts and load changes.

The elaborately calibrated software ensures extremely short shift times and fast multiple downshifts if required. In addition, the double-declutching function in the “Sport” and “Sport+” drive programs delivers a particularly expressive shifting experience.

There is also the RACE START function, which ensures optimal acceleration from a standstill. The ECO start/stop function is automatically activated in the “Comfort” drive program; the “Glide” function can be activated in “Individual” mode.

In the GLC 43, the AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive features a permanent power distribution between the front and rear axles of 31 to 69 per cent. The rear-biased configuration provides enhanced dynamic handling, including higher lateral acceleration and improved traction.

In the GLC 63 S, the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive transmits the drive power to the road. The engine torque can be allocated continuously and as required from 50/50 between the front and rear axles up to 100 per cent to the rear.

The AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs (five for the GLC 43, eight for the GLC 63 S) enable a wide range of vehicle characteristics from comfortable to dynamic. The distinct driving modes offer an individual driving experience tailored to different driving conditions.

The integrated “AMG DYNAMICS” driving dynamics control system is added as part of the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs. This enhances the Electronic Stability Program ESP® stabilising functions with interventions to add agility to the steering characteristics and additional ESP® functions. When cornering at speed, for example, a brief braking intervention at the inner rear wheel generates a defined yawing moment around the vertical axis for responsive and precise turn-in.

 The extent and efficiency of these interventions depend on the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT program selected, whereby the driver can determine the set-up in the “Individual” model. The ESP® can be adjusted in three stages. “On” is the standard selection that offers high safety, adapted to the sporty character of the overall vehicle. “Sport”, on the other hand, allows higher drift angles, while “Off” allows the system to be switched off entirely for a particularly sporty driving style on closed-off race tracks.

Both models have the AMG RIDE CONTROL steel spring suspension with Adaptive Damping System. It combines sporty driving dynamics with high long-distance comfort. The basis for this is provided by the front axle, with specially developed steering knuckles and suspension joints on the spring control arm, and by the rear axle, which also features elasto-kinematics designed for driving dynamics.

Complementing this, the Adaptive Damping System continuously adapts the damping at each wheel to the current demand – always considering the preselected suspension level, the driving style and the road surface condition. In addition to improving ride quality and comfort, this leads, above all, to an increase in driving safety. There is a choice of three different damping maps (“Comfort”, “Sport”, and “Sport+”).

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