Aimed at the BMW X4, Porsche Macan and upcoming Jaguar F-Pace, the high-riding five-door made its public debut at the New York motor show and will initially be offered with the choice of a 2.1-litre diesel in two different states of tune. The starting price carries a premium of around £5000 over the standard GLC.
Standard equipment includes sat-nav, active park assist, keyless start, reversing camera and heated front seats, while top-spec AMG Line adds an AMG sports steering wheel and sporty styling flourishes for an extra £1495.
Originally previewed as a lightly veiled concept at last year’s Shanghai motor show, it shares the GLC’s C-Class-based underpinnings and will be produced alongside the C-Class at Mercedes’ Bremen plant in Germany.
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The GLC Coupé shares its bonnet, front wings and lower door panels with the GLC, but it has new, more sporty looking bumpers, a more heavily angled windscreen, a plunging roof structure with a large liftback-style tailgate and a significantly longer rear overhang than its more practical sibling.
In addition to the basic steel spring arrangement, the GLC Coupé comes with the choice of two suspension set-ups with variable damping control, including a new steel spring Dynamic Body Control set-up and the Air Body Control system with air springs already available on the regular GLC. The Coupé also has a lower ride height than the GLC.
At 4730mm long and 1600mm high, the GLC Coupé is 60mm longer and 30mm lower than the X4. It has a wheelbase that is 60mm longer than the BMW’s, at 2870mm (the same as the GLC SUV) and rides on wheels up to 20in in diameter.
Inside, the GLC Coupé has the same C-Class-sourced interior set-up as the GLC, including a 40/20/40 split/folding rear seat.
At launch, the GLC Coupé will come with a 2.1-litre diesel offering 168bhp and 295lb ft in the GLC 220 d 4Matic Coupé and a gutsier 201bhp and 369lb ft in the GLC 250 d 4Matic Coupé.
All versions will have Mercedes’ 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox and 4Matic four-wheel drive as standard.
The model is likely to receive further engine options, including a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel with 254bhp and 457lb ft in the GLC 350 d, but no petrol options will be coming to the UK.
Also under development is a petrol-electric-powered GLC 350 e 4Matic Coupé plug-in hybrid model that is claimed to provide a zero-emissions range of up to 19 miles and a 0-62mph time of 5.9sec. It combines the GLC 250 4Matic Coupé’s 2.0-litre petrol engine and a gearbox-mounted electric motor for a combined system output of 315bhp.
Joining the line-up early next year will be the GLC 43, the first of two planned AMG models. It runs a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine with 362bhp and 383lb ft, which is sufficient to provide the GLC 43 with a claimed 0-62mph time below five seconds.
Mercedes-AMG sources have also confirmed to Autocar the existence of plans for an even more powerful GLC 63 4Matic Coupé. It will receive AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine producing up to 503bhp.
In an effort to broaden the model’s appeal, Mercedes says it will, in time, offer the GLC Coupé in rear-wheel-drive guise and with a six-speed manual gearbox, although only with selected engines.