2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S E Performance First Drive Review: Monster Mash

Automakers throughout the globe are nicely on their solution to electrifying their whole lineups, both transitioning to full BEV or hybridizing the remaining combustion choices. Mercedes-Benz is definitely no exception, and although the advantages of a clean trip and substantial gasoline effectivity supplied by e-motors goes hand in hand with MB’s luxurious guarantees, it creates challenges for the efficiency facet of issues.

It’s a very difficult path for AMG, the in-house efficiency division for Mercedes recognized for making monsters out of an already power-packed lineup of vehicles. What does a model recognized for brute drive options do when the order of the day is “much less is extra?” It’s a query that hovers over the 2025 Mercedes AMG GLC63 S E Performance, a strong – if quirky – efficiency SUV that makes use of each trick in AMG’s ebook to remain forward of the pack on its solution to full electrical efficiency.

Fast Specs 2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S E Efficiency
Engine Turbocharged 2.0-Liter 4-Cylinder Hybrid
Output 671 Horsepower / 752 Pound-Toes
Battery 6.1-Kilowatt-Hour Lithium-Ion
0-60 MPH 3.4 Seconds
Base Worth TBD
On-Sale Date Summer time 2024
2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S E Performance First Drive Review

Lightning In A Bottle

The most popular GLC63 makes use of M-B’s M139L engine, the identical unit present in AMG C63, distinctive in that it’s a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electronically assisted turbocharger. By itself, the four-banger can squeeze out a formidable 469 horsepower and 402 pound-feet of torque. On this car, AMG marries that powerplant to a plug-in hybrid system made up of a completely excited synchronous motor on the rear axle that may add round 201 horsepower and 236 pound-feet to the combo.

Automotive math implies that the entire output of the US-spec variations of the AMG GLC cutting-into-my-word-count is anticipated to be round 671 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque. Put to full use, the GLC63 S E Efficiency can dash to 60 mph in about 3.4 seconds, in response to Mercedes-Benz, and tops out at an electronically-limited 171 mph.

It is a setup that mirrors the one within the equally long-named C63 efficiency PHEV, although the hybrid system is unique to this car. The GLC’s 400-volt battery is designed for quick energy supply, a operate made doable by the battery’s revolutionary cooling system. Every of the 560 cells is temperature-controlled individually to take care of consistency, a lesson realized from the hybrid techniques of the model’s Formulation 1 vehicles. AMG hasn’t specified the all-electric vary obtainable, however the 6.1-kilowatt-hour capability of the battery and the predominance of the combustion engine signifies electrical mode is greatest used for brief, gradual jaunts.

2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S E Performance First Drive Review
2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S E Performance First Drive Review

Whereas the e-motor impacts the rear axle immediately, energy is in any other case routed to the AMG’s all-wheel-drive system by means of a multi-clutch nine-speed automated transmission. This works in tandem with the lively dampers and dynamic trip suspension, together with 2.5-degree rear-wheel steering, working to just about shorten the GLC’s wheelbase or so as to add elevated stability at pace.

The AMG GLC has eight pre-programmed settings that profit from what the powertrain and dynamic trip suspension have to supply. The aforementioned electrical mode can be utilized conditionally at as much as 78 mph, whereas consolation splits the utilization for optimum effectivity. Battery maintain limits the e-motor’s utilization in favor of recharging the battery, and three efficiency modes improve the aggressiveness of the system’s output, together with different points. All techniques change steering, damping, throttle, and gearbox response in accordance with their ranges of consolation or sportiness, and they are often individually configured for the AMG GLC’s closing setting.

Blinded Me With Science

This model of the GLC retains its modern but dense mid-size SUV stature, even with the AMG touches. The additional bits like a singular grille, air intakes, and rear diffuser panel don’t overwhelm the GLC’s streamlined appears. Even aero components like a delicate rear wing hold the SUV from wanting too wacky, although these limits will be pushed with sure gear packages. On the within the AMG sport seats and the choice to carbon fiber all of the issues hammer house the AMG-ness of the GLC a bit extra, as does the AMG steering wheel with its multitude of capacitive inputs and performance dials.

2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S E Performance First Drive Review

Talking of tech, the AMG GLC is stuffed to the gills with all one of the best Mercedes-Benz gizmos. An 11.9-inch central touchscreen dominates the dashboard whereas the driving force additionally has a 12.3-inch gauge cluster at their disposal, together with a 3rd customizable head-up show, all of which is powered by the most recent MBUX working system. It makes for fairly a showcase of options however it stays an business commonplace for distracting, overwrought UIs. Whereas voice instructions assist, there’s no getting across the quantity of animated graphics meant to point out off the system’s vibrancy that’s actually dazzling to behold and prioritized over ease of use.

Presumably the most important offender is the placement of this GLC’s brake regen change. Whereas the EQ fashions make the most of the provision of vestigial steering wheel paddles, the hybrid GLC is pressured to cover this inside one of many AMG’s wheel-mounted driver setting dials. One faucet of the best button permits the driving force to set as much as three ranges of regenerative brake drive, however good luck discovering that in case you don’t understand it’s there. These dials will be personalized and all of their capabilities will be accessed elsewhere in secondary menus, however this method eluded us till I tracked down an engineer for assist, chatting with the inside’s lack of intuitive performance.

Efficiency Discordance

Placing energy to the pavement on this iteration of the AMG GLC is efficient, although not with out compromise. Hearth it up and the seams start to make themselves often called the sound of the miniature energy plant permeates the car. Although Mercedes has completed its greatest in manipulating the engine notes, it may’t absolutely masks the churning of the two-liter. In reality, from the cabin, the processed sounds crib the identical sources because the engine-less EQ fashions, leading to a really unusual mixture of digital audio with analog sounds, not dissimilar to industrial techno.

I’m happening about this as a result of it is indicative of how the remainder of the AMG GLC looks like an unnatural amalgamation of sensations. It really works, usually fairly nicely, however the stitching varies in substance from system to system. Take the very coronary heart of this GLC for instance. The powertrain as an entire is one thing to be celebrated, beginning with the M139L engine. This alone is sort of a wonderful piece of labor and is among the finer examples of motorsport-derived tech making its solution to superior client choices. Taking that and mixing it with an electrical motor on the rear axle and a 400V battery is the type of mad genius that will get us enthusiastic about efficiency automotive engineering.

2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S E Performance First Drive Review

In follow, it’s very fast to supply up the facility it guarantees. It’s not prompt, and the driving force can really feel the e-motors at work to both spool up the engine’s induction or to make up for any lag, however it’s very fast. Spectacular for certain, however it isn’t seamless. For those who’re conscious of what’s happening behind the scenes, it’s much less jarring however it usually looks like watching a movie that randomly skips a body or two; it doesn’t smash the expertise however it takes you out of it for a second.

Not serving to that is the dearth of a assist construction to essentially make this fascinating amalgamation shine. The nine-speed multi-clutch automated transmission is generally positive, however stands out when the governing software program makes curious shifting choices. In both Consolation or Dynamic driving modes, the AMG GLC’s gearbox will draw consideration to itself with a “thunk” or two of engagement. Taking management with the paddle shifters will treatment this however the GLC will impatiently wrestle management again after a too-brief interval of not shifting.

Wood Sneakers

The weakest hyperlink within the chain is the AMG GLC’s brake system. Constructed for prime efficiency, the brakes clearly have the chops to deliver this speedy and hefty hybrid SUV to a cease when it counts, however the execution is off. Progressive as they could be, the brakes take a really deep and heavy foot to interact successfully. It is a problem when attempting to transition quickly from brake to throttle by means of a sequence of turns, requiring the driving force to habitually brake a full second earlier than they usually would to compensate.

All advised it’s a group of techniques which can be barely out of sync with one another like a band with every member enjoying with completely different timing. Individually, they’re not dangerous however they’re merely not in live performance with one another. In the identical vein, these are points that appear like they could possibly be fixable with completely different calibrations to the brakes and tweaks to the software program, significantly because the US fashions nonetheless have time to bake within the oven.

This additionally speaks to how a lot of the figurative and literal heavy lifting the suspension setup is doing. All through the drive, AMG’s trip management and lively dampers are working to make the AMG GLC and whomever’s behind the wheel a star. Pair that with the roll stabilization and the rear wheel steering, and the GLC is imbued with a level of efficiency that makes it a worthy contender with its rivals within the section, significantly these by different German producers.

2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S E Performance First Drive Review
2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S E Performance First Drive Review

It Was A Smash

The AMG GLC63 S E Efficiency is a monstrous mixture of sufficient efficiency elements to make Frankenstein blush. It’s an intriguing mixture of efficiency tech that finally succeeds at its mission, however there’s the lingering suspicion that there needs to be a shorter path to the identical end result. I’m not a efficiency automotive engineer, so take this commentary with a grain of salt, it simply appears as if that is an train in what could possibly be completed reasonably than what needs to be completed.

Powertrain apart, the GLC stays a modern, stout SUV, and the AMG glow-up is sufficient to add a contact of menace with out breaking apart the impression. It saves that for the inside with the brash however bolstered sport seats together with the standard racer-boi accents. With a large number of configuration settings, the chances are good that drivers will discover a setup that works for them, although the spongy brakes don’t encourage the arrogance wanted to take full benefit of the GLC’s up to date energy and dealing with.

It’s a curious addition to the AMG household, and whereas the massive soar energy and the benefits of an electrified system are compelling, it’s laborious to suss which clients are ready to leap into this iteration of the AMG GLC. They’ll have loads of time to consider it because the automotive doesn’t make its solution to the US by the tip of subsequent 12 months on the earliest, and there are many electrified choices to contemplate within the meantime.

2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S E Performance First Drive Review

Competitor Opinions

  • Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio: Not Rated
  • BMW X3 M Competitors: Not Rated
  • Land Rover Vary Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic: Not Rated


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