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HomeFEATUREDThe Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S is Affalterbach's temptress

The Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S is Affalterbach’s temptress

It forever tempts you, writes DEON VAN DER WALT. It tests your self-control. Constantly. Ferociously. Just one more nudge, just once more. The turbos start to sing and mechanical hell breaks loose. There’s no tyre-squeal drama, just violent power delivery that we reckon closely resembles a zero-gravity environment. It’s addictive it is, this bellowing of the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S engine…

I found myself in the possession of the Affalterbach-branded keys after a Saturday of driving to and from and in an electric supercar. It seemed like a welcome proposition; exchanging the overall tranquillity of the futuristic electric motor for an old-school brute of a V8. Generated exhaust notes for mechanical thunder.

MERCEDES-AMG MUSCLE

Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S

The aforementioned V8 belongs to a Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S. Visually it is more reserved than, say, that supercar, yet it boasts a certain uncouth charm. Our test unit was coated in a gunmetal grey jacket and featured the optional 21” inch wheels that was wrapped in only a thin strip of tyre.

What was most important to us, however, was the engine that lurked underneath that bloated bonnet line. You might have noticed that the name of this GLC63 has an ‘S’ added to it.

This ‘S’ represents something rather special. It means more power; more grunt and ultimately, if you are one of the lucky few that will own one of these brutes, more enjoyment.

See, the 4.0-litre V8 with its bi-turbo-breathing apparatus produces 375 kW and 700 Nm of torque. That’s 25 kW and 50 Nm more than the middle-of-the-road AMG GLC63. And, before you dismiss this as just another brisk-ish SUV, it might be of note that it catapults from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. That’s not only supercar territory; it is also capable of out-accelerating the mighty and significantly more powerful BMW X5M (423 kW / 750 Nm) by 0.4 seconds.

SCARE TACTICS

Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S

Stepping inside the well-appointed cabin, you’d never guess the true agenda of this Merc. For instance, plush two-tone black and platinum white AMG-sport seats hugs you, and this is complemented by a centrepiece trim of piano black. It’s all very civilised, and luxurious and luxury SUV-like.

Press the stained silver Start/Stop button, and it at least has the courtesy of warning you of its intent with a dramatic over-ref before it settles back into an irregular V8 burble.

Select ‘Comfort’ mode in the AMG Merc’s Dynamic Select programme, and the exercise of driving this beast is still very cultured with a creamy V8 soundtrack that penetrates the cabin and even the slightly ironically appointed stop/start functionality takes over when stopping at traffic lights.

Through the Sport and Sport Plus modes, though, it gets progressively more impatient with this whole cruising business. Dare to flick through to Race, however, and it’s like a caffeinated-petrol mixture that takes hold of the SUV’s personality.

It now responds to the smallest throttle inputs in an excessively brutal fashion. The 4Matic all-wheel-drive system grips the road without hesitation as it thrusts the SUV forward. All the while, the engine screams its quadruple-exhaust baritone while you cling on for dear life pressed against the seatback.

Slow down, and it will, before long tempt you to go at it again. It’s relentless temptation with such pure mechanical power that is accessible only through subtle right-footed commands.

IS IT AN AMG FOR EVERY DAY?

Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S

It can be, yes. Away from the realms of brutal performance and acceleration statistics, it settles down into quite the good-natured cruiser.

This is helped by the Mercedes-Benz Distronic Plus system that not only offers adaptive cruise control that aids in keeping following distances by automatically accelerating and braking, but also Steering Pilot. In short, the latter ‘reads’ the road and enables the car to steer itself. Combined with the cruise control system, it also imitates the steering behaviour of the car ahead.

LAST WORD

The Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S, without optional extras, costs a rather dear R1,579,282. And while that is relatively expensive, as far as cars go, it isn’t all that much for a performance SUV. See, for this amount, you can buy one of the fastest people and luggage carters on the market, only to be outdone by the Lamborghini Urus that reaches triple digits in 3.6 seconds. And that is an engineering feat in itself by the AMG Performance-Haus. And did I mention, it’s quite special too…

Report & Images by DEON VAN DER WALT

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