The dynamic-expressive styling of the GLC Coupé concept was a centre of attention at its world premiere in 2015 in Shanghai. It unites the typical stylistic elements of a coupé with the design language of current SUV models. Just one year later, this promise has become a reality: the new GLC Coupé translates the design idiom of the show car, with its distinctive basic structure and stretched greenhouse, virtually unchanged into series production. At the same time, the sports car among Mercedes-Benz’s mid-size SUVs impresses with its brand-typical safety, modern assistance systems and an especially sporty-dynamic character. The as-standard sports suspension as well as more direct sports steering, DYNAMIC SELECT and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive with 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission combine effortlessly superior ride comfort with decidedly sporty agility. Two suspension variants with continuously adjustable damping are optionally available: the new DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL with steel springing as well as the already familiar AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension. Both options make for further enhanced driving dynamics and comfort.
“The GLC Coupé reflects our iconic Mercedes-Benz coupé design while symbolizing the bipolarity of our brand – it is ‘hot and cool’,” said Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “With its design idiom of sensual purity, it perfectly embodies our styling philosophy while at the same time representing contemporary luxury.”
The combination of multifunctional SUV and emotively appealing coupé constitutes a skillful fusion of emotion and intelligence. With an exterior length of 4.73 meters, a height of 1.60 meters and a wheelbase of 2.87 meters, the GLC Coupé is dynamic and compact in appearance. This makes the Coupé almost eight centimeters longer and some four centimeters lower than the multi-talented GLC, with which it shares its basic architecture. The GLC Coupé owes its distinct character to a typically coupé-esque, single-louvred diamond radiator grille and a restyled, dropping roofline. The A-pillar is less steeply raked, while the continuation of the roof outline is lower, terminating in the elegantly flowing, muscular rear end typical of a coupé. The rear window dispenses with a wiper, as the airflow does not break away until after the spoiler lip, which means that water is unable to strike the rear window.
Perfect combination of design elements from two different worlds
The striking features of the front end are its dominant, steeply raked diamond radiator grille with single louvre and integral star, short overhang and SUV-inspired override guard. The innovative headlamp concept, optionally in LED High Performance technology, sports the now characteristic Mercedes-Benz light signature. A striking injection of sports car genes is provided by the large lateral air inlets.
The perfection with which the intrinsically opposed design worlds of coupé and SUV have been brought into harmony is revealed by the side view of the 1.60-meter-high GLC Coupé with its typical, stretched roofline of a sports coupé. The squat greenhouse blends in perfectly with the side of the vehicle to underline its coupé character. The interplay between high belt-line and wide shoulders results in proportions that lend the GLC Coupé its dynamic looks. This interaction is given added emphasis by the drawn-in waist between the dropping line and the lower, rearwards ascending light-catching contour.
A clear clue to the vehicle’s distinctive SUV heritage is given by the optionally available side running boards. Flush with the outer edge of the body, wide wheels up to a size of 50.8 centimeters (20 inches) together with ample ground clearance underpin the GLC Coupé’s sporty-dynamic ambitions on unpaved tracks and unsurfaced roads.
Rear end with athletic looks
The styling of the rear end gives added emphasis to the vehicle’s coupé genes. With its pronounced shoulders, muscular bumper design with integral exhaust tips and under-ride guard in the form of a diffuser, the wide rear end of the GLC Coupé underlines the vehicle’s athletic looks while enabling the Coupé to hug the road. Narrow, split tail lights, a centrally positioned brand star and a sharp spoiler lip reflect a design that made its debut with the S-Class Coupé and which all Mercedes-Benz coupé models have since followed. Relocated to the lower section of the bumper, the number plate as well as the typical form of the rear window with its rounded upper area are among the further stylistic features. Like the headlamps, the night design of the LED tail lights sports the typical light signature of Mercedes-Benz.
Interior with typical coupé flair and high-grade ambience
Following the exterior design philosophy, the interior welcomes the occupants with typical coupé flair and a high-grade ambience. The design idiom combines sensual purity with dynamic sportiness while embodying a convincing interpretation of modern luxury. Distinctive stylistic elements of the GLC Coupé are the dashboard and the centre console with its flowing lines, a large, one-piece console panel making an elegant sweep below the semi-integrated media display from the centre air vents to the armrest. These clear lines give a feeling of spaciousness while conveying a puristic modernity.
The optionally available AMG Line Interior provides a clear commitment to even greater dynamism and sportiness. This package includes, for example, sports seats with upholstery in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with the option of sports seats with bi-color look leather upholstery.
Sport program: DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL or AIR BODY CONTROL
The new GLC Coupé comes as standard with sports suspension including DYNAMIC SELECT with the five transmission modes ECO, COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+ and INDIVIDUAL. DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL sports suspension with steel springing and adjustable damping is optionally available. Also with this option, DYNAMIC SELECT allows the driver to adapt the individual character of the vehicle.
Uniquely in this market segment, the suspension can be equipped with fully supporting multi-chamber springing and electronically controlled, continuously adjustable damping. The AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension combines excellent driving stability and optimal comfort with sporty agility. Specific characteristics are preselected depending on the DYNAMIC SELECT settings. In Sport+ mode, the occupants feel as if they are sitting in a sports car with a high level of lateral dynamics due to the even stiffer suspension, which is lowered by 15 millimeters. COMFORT mode ensures an especially comfortable ride with soft suspension. To guarantee maximum possible driving safety also in this mode, the spring/damper forces are instantaneously adjusted, for example in case of a sudden evasive maneuver. Further benefits of the system include reduced roll when cornering, automatic load sensing and lowering of the load compartment sill by 4 centimeters for more convenient loading and unloading.
Another key parameter for the sporty characteristics of the GLC Coupé compared with the classic GLC SUV is the retuned Direct-Steer system, which, with 15.1:1 (GLC: 16.1:1), offers a more direct steering ratio together with even sportier characteristics of the power assistance in the SPORT and SPORT+ modes.
Key parameters for high energy efficiency
The design has also bestowed superlative aerodynamics on the new GLC Coupé. With a cd value of 0.31 and a drag area of 2.53 m2, the Coupé clearly leads its segment with cd x A = 0.79. Apart from the vehicle’s streamlined basic form, this exceptional aerodynamic performance also results from a host of detail solutions, such as sealing of the radiator and headlamp surrounds, a radiator shutter and optimized underbody panelling.
Despite generous exterior dimensions and a long wheelbase – both of which benefit especially the occupants and the luggage compartment – as well as a full equipment configuration, the vehicle weighs in at just 1710 kilograms (GLC 250 4MATIC Coupé), which puts it among the leaders in this market segment. The main contributory factor in this is the all-new body, which features an intelligent mix of materials, comprising aluminum and high- to ultra-high-strength steels. Aluminum components additionally reduce the weight of the suspension, which also benefits ride comfort due to the attendant reduction in unsprung masses. The optional, fully supporting AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension features spring elements in lightweight yet robust glass-fibre-reinforced plastic, which reduce the system weight in comparison to conventional air suspensions. The use of the new compact transfer case as an add-on module and the 9G-TRONIC with its magnesium transmission housing results in a 12 kg weight reduction in comparison to the previous versions installed in other models.
Eight model variants, top-of-the-line model from Mercedes-AMG
The new GLC Coupé is available in a total of eight model variants: customers can choose between four diesel and four petrol engines, including a plug-in hybrid as well as a powerful Mercedes-AMG model.
The entry-level models are the four-cylinder diesel-engined GLC 220 d and GLC 250 d 4MATIC coupé with outputs ranging from 125 kW (170 hp) to 150 kW (204 hp) as well as the four-cylinder petrol engined GLC 250 4MATIC coupé rated at 155 kW (211 hp). Market launch will be in the autumn with these engine line-ups. Further models will follow at the end of 2016.
With the GLC 350 e 4MATIC Coupé, Mercedes-Benz also offers a plug-in hybrid that combines agile all-wheel drive with extremely low fuel consumption and exhaust emissions: with a top speed of 235 km/h, the mid-size SUV emits just 59‑64 g CO2/km* with a system output of 235 kW (320 hp), thus setting a new best-in-class value. The semi-electric vehicle can cover up to over 30 km in zero-emission all-electric mode, accelerating to 100 km/h in 5.9* seconds when needed, courtesy of the boost function.
For dynamically minded coupé fans, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4MATIC Coupé is the right choice: this powerful top-of-the-line model comes with perfect on-road performance, dynamic styling and an attractive equipment package. The V6 bi-turbo engine puts out 270 kW (367 hp), accelerating the coupé to 100 km/h in less than 5* seconds.
* Provisional figures
The models at a glance*:
|GLC 220 d
|GLC 250 d
|Output kW (hp)||125 (170)||150 (204)||155 (211)|
|Fuel consumption, l/100 km||5.1||5.1||7.0|
|CO2 g/km||from 131 g||from 131 g||from 159 g|
|0-100 km/h||8.3 s||7.6 s||7.3 s|
|Market launch||from 9/2016||from 9/2016||from 9/2016|
* Provisional figures
As different as the eight GLC Coupé models may appear at first glance, they are all characterised by high efficiency as well as compliance with the EU 6 emissions standard. Most models come with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, while, with the exception of the plug-in hybrid, all variants of the GLC Coupé are equipped with 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission. The GLC 350 e 4MATIC Coupé uses the 7G‑TRONIC PLUS transmission, which was specially optimised for the needs of a hybrid vehicle.
Equipment configuration: comprehensive and individual
The new GLC Coupé impresses even in its basic equipment configuration, which includes light-alloy wheels of 45.7-centimeter (18-inch) diameter, the Chrome package with visible exhaust tips, EASY-PACK tailgate, Audio 20 CD multimedia system, reversing camera, KEYLESS-GO start function and upholstery in ARTICO man-made leather. Also included as standard are assistance systems such as COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, Crosswind Assist, Headlamp Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST and ESP® with Dynamic Cornering Assist. Comfort and safety can be significantly further enhanced by additional driver assistance systems.
Mercedes-Benz also offers a wide selection of optional packages for its new SUV coupé. Customers can choose between AMG Line Interior and Exterior, EXCLUSIVE Interior and Night package. A highlight in terms of both looks and driving dynamics is provided by AMG light-alloy wheels of 48.3-centimeter (19-inch) or 50.8-centimeter (20-inch) diameter with mixed tires. The attractive light-alloy wheels are available in numerous design variants. An optional sports exhaust system for the petrol-engined models makes for a sporty engine sound.
GLC Coupé also available as especially exclusive EDITION 1
As familiar from other Mercedes models, the GLC Coupé will also be available from launch as an EDITION 1 model. Combining a series of exclusive appointments, such as AMG Line Exterior, 50.8-centimeter (20-inch) AMG light-alloy wheels with mixed tires, attractive design paint finishes as well as Bi-Color look leather upholstery, this special model turns the SUV coupé into a very special, attention-grabbing automobile.
However sporty and aesthetically appealing, the dynamic GLC Coupé also impresses with some highly practical features. With a capacity of 491 to 1205 liters, the luggage compartment leads this market segment. And the availability of space in both front and rear puts the GLC Coupé on a par with the multi-talented GLC in terms of comfort. Entrance height, shoulder room, elbow room and legroom are all identical.
Airbags, etc.: protection in an emergency – it goes without saying
In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz tradition, the body forms the foundation for exemplary crash safety. A high-strength safety passenger compartment forms the core of this concept. It is surrounded by specifically designed and crash-tested deformation zones, which ensure the best possible occupant safety by virtue of optimised force paths and a combination of die-cast aluminium components and ultra-high-strength materials.
In addition to 3-point safety belts with pyrotechnical and reversible belt tensioning and belt-force limitation for driver, front passenger and those in the outer rear seats, numerous airbags serve to protect the vehicle’s occupants in an accident. These include combined thorax/pelvis side-bags for driver and front passenger and an optimized window-bag extending over both seat rows, optional side-bags for the outer rear seats and a driver knee-bag.