The growth of the Mercedes-AMG sub-brand shows no sign of slowing, and the next model to enter the stable is the GLC43 coupe, a derivative of the Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe. The GLC43 coupe was almost a no-brainer, as it can be spun up quickly from the mechanically similar and conventionally bodied Mercedes-AMG GLC43.
The GLC43 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 tuned to make 362 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 384 lb-ft of torque from 2500 to 4500 rpm. The power is channeled to all wheels through a nine-speed torque-converter automatic that’s programmed to deliver quicker shifts than in non-AMG models. AMG also has tweaked the all-wheel-drive system to operate with a 31:69 front-to-rear torque split, which is more rear biased than on regular Mercedes-Benzes.
The sprint from zero to 60 mph takes just 4.8 seconds, says Mercedes, while top speed is governed at an inexplicably low 130 mph. That’s slower than any German-market GLC-class, including the pedestrian GLC220 diesel. Are you serious, Affalterbach? When the high-performance brand expanded its portfolio to include six-cylinder models, we didn’t expect that it would bring the advent of 130-mph AMGs.
Fortunately, the GLC43 coupe should prove entertaining at lower speeds. The GLC coupe already has a capable chassis, one that AMG has reworked for 43 duty, including a stiffer suspension that promises less body roll and improved cornering capabilities. The steering, if the other variants of the GLC are a template, ought to feel direct and responsive. The standard wheels are 20-inch pieces wearing 255/45 front and 285/40 rear tires. Twenty-one-inch wheels are optional. The brakes also have been upgraded, and the Sport and Sport+ modes that control throttle response, suspension, and steering have been made more aggressive.