Mercedes-Benz’s second generation SUV has been renamed GLC (from GLK) and represents a big step forward on several fronts. Visually, the body follows the clear and sensual design idiom that was demonstrated so successfully by the GLC Coupé showcar concept in Spring 2015, and which also serves as the standard for future SUV families.
The design philosophy behind the new GLC essentially favors sensual purity and a modern aesthetic over the classic off-road look.. The GLC represents a departure from its progenitor– the G-Class – but only in terms of appearance. On a technical level, it sets new benchmarks in all disciplines and the mid-sized SUV’s off-road capabilities remain as outstanding as ever.
The characteristic SUV front with a short overhang, upright, three- dimensional radiator grille with a twin louver and centrally positioned brand star follows the successful new design line. Striking headlamps, optionally available as LED High Performance lamps, lend the GLC a self-confident look that is further emphasized by their distinctive night design.
The side view showcases the almost coupe-like greenhouse, which together with the 4.6-inch (118-millimeter) larger wheelbase lends the GLC an elegant long profile.
The rear is characterized by the broad, muscular shoulders, the horizontal orientation of the contour lines and the split LED rear lamps featuring a distinctive night design.
The model change signals a marked upgrade for the interior. The GLC’s interior conjures up the feel-good atmosphere that is a brand hallmark courtesy of high-class materials featuring hand-crafted character, such as nappa leather or open-pore wood trim, meticulously finished details and an appealing overall touch and feel. Last but not least, substantially more space is available for occupants and luggage.
Energy efficiency: crucial parameters
Mercedes-Benz has applied an extensive package of measures to enhance the GLC’s energy efficiency and performance substantially. New drive systems, outstanding aerodynamics and intelligent lightweight design are the primary factors behind the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. In the United States, the GLC 300 and GLC 300 4MATIC will be powered by a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine. Preliminary data shows this fuel-efficient powerplant will produce 241 horsepower at 5,500 revolutions per minute and 273 pound-feet of torque at the 1,300- to 4,000-rpm range.
Innovative air travel
The new GLC features the agility control suspension with steel springs and a variable damping system as standard. The air body control suspension combines excellent driving stability and sporty agility with optimum comfort and outstanding off-road capabilities. Specific characteristics are pre-selected according to the settings of the dynamic select driving dynamics program. In Sport+ mode, the GLC’s occupants feel as if they are sitting in a sports car with a high level of lateral dynamics because of the tauter connection of the chassis, which is additionally lowered by 0.6 inches (15 mm). Comfort mode offers the very opposite ride experience, focusing on particularly comfortable running with soft connection of the chassis.
Agility, dynamism and comfort à la carte
The new GLC offers the dynamic select handling control system with five driving programs as standard. The eco, comfort, sport, sport+ and individual settings will be familiar to drivers from other Mercedes-Benz models.
The 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive models feature a basic drive torque split of 45 to 55 percent between the front and rear axle. In cooperation with the ESP, ASR and 4ETS dynamic handling control systems, this provides for superior and clearly predictable handling. The multiple-disc clutch in the center differential assists the system in the event of really low-friction coefficients between tire and road, for example on snow or ice. A basic locking force of 37 lb-ft (50 newton-meters) between the front and rear axles brings about a significant increase in traction with the same high level of driving stability.
Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive
Almost all of the driver assistance systems that are familiar from the C-, E- and S-Class are available in the new GLC. As part of the Intelligent Drive concept, these systems combine data from various sensor technologies to substantially enhance comfort and safety. Collision prevention assist plus, crosswind assist, active highbeam assist and attention assist are on board as standard.