2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic Coupe Review

It’s worth remembering, as the leaves change color and the air begins to chill, that sooner or later most of us are hammered by a winter virus. We just got it done sooner than most, in the forests of Germany’s Schwabian Alps, from an unlikely assailant.

AMG’s 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 is the kind of European winter virus we like, though. It’s relatively tiny, given the damage it can mete out. Wherever it spreads, it takes machines born from corporate business plans and turns them into snarling, bellowing brutes. Take the GLC 63 and the GLC 63 Coupe. Friendly, cheerful and solid as the donor Mercedes-Benz GLC might be, the bite of the 4.0-liter virus turns it all belligerent and shockingly fast.

Mercedes-Benz plans to bring “63” gristle to the GLC from somewhere around $68,000 for the GLC 63 4Matic and about $5,000 to $7,000 more for the same power level in the GLC 63 4Matic Coupe, with the S version of the Coupe body style demanding early-$80K money. The S version will only be available in the Coupe bodystyle.

At least half the problem in the winding, saturated roads we had was that there is just such a broad range of ferocious thump from the V8 even at half throttle that it’s giving everything, almost all the time. The torque peaks at 1,750 rpm and stays there until 4,500, while the power peak hits at 5,500 rpm and doesn’t fall away until 6,250. There’s no linearity in the power delivery, and the first three gears are all so short that throttle modulation demands enormous attention.

That’s going to be a lot less critical on dry roads and less critical again on faster, open bends where the SUV felt tremendously stable, with its nicely weighted steering making it easy to point and the effortless power always at the ready. It’s also quiet when it’s cruising, and the ride is relaxed enough in its Comfort setting to be an everyday car. And there is the usual luxurious array of AMG leatherwork draping the cabin.

So, maybe it doesn’t go around corners like a Macan Turbo. And maybe it does, when we get it on the right tires and it’s not raining and it’s a few degrees above freezing. But we do know this: It sure flings you out of corners in a hurry. And just keeps flinging you on.