We’re introduced to the GLC Coupé, the newest addition to Mercedes-Benz’s line-up, at the grandly named Centre Of Excellence on the outskirts of Stuttgart, where its most valued customers come to specify and collect their cars.
Parked on the forecourt of the plush showroom, the pre-production prototype of the high-riding four-door lift back has only minimal disguise just over a week before the BMW X4 rival makes its world debut at New York motor show.
Originally previewed in concept car guise at the 2015 Shanghai motor show, there are no big surprises when we get up close for the first time. Predictably, some of the more obvious concept car design flourishes have been toned down on the way to production.
However, the GLC Coupé, which goes under the internal codename C253, boasts an impressively assertive appearance with heavy stylistic influences from the more practical GLC SUV; both are produced at Mercedes-Benz’s Bremen plant in Germany.
As you’d expect, the GLC Coupé shares its mechanical package with the GLC. Still, the only common body panels are the bonnet, front wings, and lower doors. The remainder of the body is unique.
The sporty sibling’s design
The exterior design is distinguished by a confident-looking front end, with its bold grille, structured bumper and heavily decorated headlamps graphics. But it is in profile, where added rake to the windscreen, heavily plunging roofline and shallow glasshouse are shown to full effect, that the sporty nature of the new Mercedes-Benz is fully emphasised.
Together with nicely integrated C-pillar treatment, a sloping liftback-style tailgate and high-set rear deck, the styling of the GLC Coupé is arguably more attractive than its bigger brother, the GLE Coupé.
More than the styling, though, it is the self assured stance that leaves it mark. Sitting on optional 20-inch wheels shod with a combination of 255/45 profile front and generous 285/40 rear tyres, the new Mercedes-Benz appears nicely poised.
The GLC Coupé stretches 76mm beyond the GLC SUV at 4736mm owing to a longer rear overhang. The more heavily raked windscreen and a relatively shallow glasshouse also make it 40mm lower than its closely related sibling at 1600mm.