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The Fastest SUV On The Ring Updated For 2020

2019 New York Auto Show / 6 Comments

Tip your cap in reverence to the new Mercedes-AMG GLC63.

About a month and a half ago, Mercedes-Benz rolled out a facelifted version of its GLC crossover. A few weeks later it did the same with the GLC Coupe. But as expected, it's waited until now to reveal the versions we've been looking forward to most.

Trotted out just in time for the 2019 New York Auto Show are the refreshed versions of the Mercedes-AMG GLC63. And yes, you read that right: versions, plural. Four versions in all, though one of them (once again) won't be offered in the market in which they've been unveiled.

The GLC63 packs AMG's ubiquitous 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. First introduced in the C63 sedan and AMG GT coupe, it's the engine that's been incrementally replacing the old 5.5-liter version (which by now has only found quarter in the SL63). It comes mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive – both uniquely tuned for AMG's performance models – and will once again be offered here in two states of tune: 469 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque in the "standard" GLC63, or 503 hp and 516 lb-ft in the GLC63 S.

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All that muscle translates to a 0-60 time as low as 3.6 seconds, a top speed as high as 174 mph, and a Nürburgring lap time as blitzkriegingly fast as 7.49.369 minutes, which made it the fastest SUV ever clocked around the Nordschleife.

"The lap record on the North Loop has proven to impressive effect that the GLC 63 is right at the top of its segment in terms of vehicle dynamics," crows AMG chief Tobias Moers. "With our V8 biturbo, we hold a decisive USP [unique selling point] in the competitive environment."

"This makes the GLC 63 an all-rounder for every occasion." That it undoubtedly does, but with one caveat: the record was clocked in the (outgoing) GLC 63 S with the more conventional roofline, which (as before) is the only version of the four that won't be offered in North America. Over here, the more potent engine is only available in the GLC63 S Coupe.

The main differences, however subtle, between the outgoing model and the new one are largely shared with the conventional (read: non-AMG) Mercedes-Benz versions we've already seen in both body styles.

They feature subtly reshaped sheetmetal, new head- and tail-lamps, and an updated interior with the latest MBUX infotainment system, running on a 10.25-inch touchscreen to complement the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. But even those have been upgraded for the performance models (with available AMG Track Pace telemetry). But the enhancements don't stop there.

The AMG versions also get their own visual cues to make them look as powerful as they really are. The interior features a new flat-bottom steering wheel, optional seats with beefier bolsters, and sportier trim. And a new set of 3.5-inch exhaust pipes help that potent engine exhale.

The good folk of Affalterbach have also fitted a specially tuned adaptive air suspension, speed-variable steering rack, locking rear differential, and optimized the electronics that control it all. The S model even features active engine mounts.

Want to get your hands on one? They'll start reaching US dealers later this year, at which point we wouldn't expect pricing (still to be announced) to venture too far from the outgoing versions, currently priced at $70,800 for the GLC63, $74,100 for the GLC63 Coupe, and $81,800 for the GLC63 S Coupe.