The wait is over for Mercedes‘ answer to the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. The new GLC will have the covers taken off it tonight, but a new teaser video show’s what we can expect from the new model. Our snappers have also seen the midsize SUV out testing with only minimal diguise, and we’ve had a gruelling off-road passenger ride in the car.
Although Merc has offered a car in the class for a few years now – the GLK – The UK never received it due to the engineering complexities of converting the SUV to right-hand drive. An all-new modular platform now solved the issue with the GLC, which will go on sale very soon for deliveries in November. There will also be a swoopier GLC Coupe to challenge the BMW X4, expected next year.
Based on the recently introduced C-Class, the GLC will adopt the more curvaceous styling from the saloon. The current GLK employs a rather boxier stance, with squared off panels and sharp edges, but this gets a softer design approach. Inside, the GLC is pure C-Class, with the free-flowing centre console and liberal use of plush gloss black materials.
Despite its soft-roader appearance. Merc is insistent the GLC is every bit as capable off-road as any rivals. All models will come with four-wheel drive as standard initially, with a cheaper rear-wheel drive version joining the range next year. Both steel springs and air suspension can be optioned, with an off road pack available to give five different ride heights and several different driving models for surface changes.
Unsurprisingly, the engine range will be adopted from the C-Class. Our prototype was fitted with a 208bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, and Merc’s familiar four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines will be the only offered initially, with a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid to come. Merc sources also hinted at a GLC 450 AMG Sport with the same 362bhp twin-turbo V6 as the C 450 AMG Sport, and a more rear-biased four-wheel drive system is likely to follow in due course.
We’re estimating the GLC range will kick off from somewhere between £30-35,000, with range toppers nudging £50,000. A full-fat AMG version is unlikely, as the larger GLE and GLE Coupe will take care of that with an AMG-GT sourced 4.0-litre biturbo V8.
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