A 510-Horsepower Riot

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Review: Ridiculously Over-the-Top Fun


December 17, 2017 Cars By Photo by Nick Caruso
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I know, I know. Crossovers, amirite? What’s the deal with these tall cars? Why not get a station wagon or hatchback? If you want a small SUV, get a Jeep! Purists, understand that I hear you and completely, 100 percent agree with what you’re saying. I, too, am a purist. I think crossovers are a poor excuse for rough and rugged SUVs they mimic and pointless exercises in stretched sedan dimensions. But let’s do a thought experiment: what if you actually wanted a crossover? What would you want out of it?

What you’d want is what I’d want: a really goddamn fun car to drive. One that looks a little aggressive or a bit more stylish than other, pedestrian, dumb crossovers. You’d want a fast, demonic-sounding, weirdly-proportioned car that’s a bit too upright and short for its own good. You’d want something the madmen at AMG took and made better, more evil. You’d want a Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S. You’d want its 510-horsepower, twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8. You’d want it’s raucous exhaust scream and overrun and its meaty tires and extra carbon bits and baubles. Because it goes really, really fast. (Fast enough that I was concerned the German Polizei wouldn’t bother ticketing me and instead just move straight to, I dunno… solitary confinement?). And it handles really, really well. (Well enough that even with 4Matic+ all-wheel drive it’ll fishtail around mountain switchbacks and then snap back in line without so much as a spike in my heartrate, thanks to a limited-slip differential.)

You want a spicy crossover that sprints to 60 in 3.8 seconds and has an actual “Race” mode, that allows its extra ponies and nine-gear transmission and spring rates and exhaust baffles to shine.

But you can’t have one. Sorry. The S is only available abroad, where, apparently, everything is a bit more fun. But you can indeed have the non-S version, which will only be slightly detuned (476 horsepower) and slightly slower (4.0 seconds to 60mph, same top speed) and slightly saner. This isn’t the very top-end of Mercedes‘ offerings, so the AMG GLC’ S’s interior materials leave something to be desired — it seems that M-B-AMG put most of the money into how brutal the thing is. But it’ll still look and sound the business. And it’ll still be really, really fun to drive. And, if we’re being honest, that’s exactly what you’re looking for anyhow.

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