Hopefully Mercedes is only making room for something better.
When Mercedes rolled out facelifted versions of the GLC and GLC Coupe, which have been around since 2015, it gave the base models a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Then it followed them up just a few months later with the twin-turbo V8 version of the small crossover, the AMG GLC 63.
Because the pre-facelift GLC was available in a milder AMG 43 flavor that made 362 horsepower courtesy of a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, and because of the huge power gulf between the 255-hp facelifted GLC 300 and the updated 469-hp AMG GLC 63, we assumed the AMG 43 would be back, even if it saw its V6 swapped for Mercedes’ newer turbocharged inline-6 unit.
Motor1, however, is claiming that won’t be the case. The outlet received a leaked order guide for the 2020 Mercedes GLC from a reader claiming to be a dealership employee, and a simple glance at it reveals that the AMG GLC 43 is missing.
Now, it would be strange for Mercedes to completely axe the model given the popularity of "performance-lite” SUVs like the BMW X3 M40i and Audi SQ3. And given the fact that the order sheet specified that pricing and information weren’t yet final, it’s totally plausible for the AMG GLC 43 to hit the market at a later date. But if that’s not the case, then what could Mercedes be planning?
The most obvious alternative to an AMG GLC 43 would be an electrified AMG 53 that uses Mercedes’ EQ boost hybrid system in conjunction with the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six to give the SUV serious performance without making it a car that’s well-known around the local fuel stations. That setup makes 435 hp, though - bringing it too close to the GLC 63. What Mercedes could do instead is surprise us all and use its new and highly impressive 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder M139 engine, which will give the AMG A45 and AMG GLB 45 either 382 horsepower in base trim and 416 horsepower at full tilt.
Only time will tell what Mercedes’ strategy is, but in the meantime, it’s worth noting that the order guide also shows the 2020 GLC 63 with a base price of $73,750, up from the current GLC 63’s $70,800 base price. Hopefully, it’s because the new version is that much better.