For most city-dwellers, the idea of owning more than one vehicle is laughable. So what’s an enthusiast urbanite to drive if not something that is both sporty and practical? Weekend getaways out of the city require cargo space, ground clearance and all-wheel-drive, even if the vehicle rides on performance-oriented summer tires. Just about any midsize SUV will tick those boxes, but high-performance examples seek to deliver a genuinely enjoyable driving experience on top of the practicality.
Not a tall order if going fast in a straight line over and over is your idea of a good time. However, when the road gets twisty, a legitimately powerful vehicle should scare you a little just before that big smile arrives. The GLC 63 is capable of shaming a few sports cars, yet it will happily swallow up all your ambitious adventure gear. It’s one of those rare vehicles that is comprised of contradictions, yet works oh-so-well as a whole.
Like any AMG product, attention first goes to the engine. The GLC 63 makes use of the exceptional 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 used in other Mercedes-AMG products where it has to pull less weight. In this application, it cranks out 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. What’s more, is that all that torque is available from 1,750 rpm to 4,500 rpm. The sprint from 0-60 mph happens in 3.8 seconds, and that’s in a vehicle which weighs 4,462 lbs and boasts 56.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down.
Impressive numbers and systems are certainly integral parts of any performance vehicle, but take most modern cars, strip away the tech and the luxury and you’re left with something pretty dull. The GLC63 is a different story. Underneath all the accouterments that come with a Mercedes-Benz, there’s still an AMG hot rod. Few companies do the V8 engine justice like AMG.
One necessary option box is the AMG performance exhaust system. It announces the engine starting up with a bark, settling into a burbling rumble at idle. Perhaps most enjoyable is the crack-of-lightning that comes when downshifting high in the rev range.
With a push of a button, however, “utterly ridiculous” turns to “mild-mannered” and you can fly under the radar of anyone who doesn’t appreciate the eight-cylinder symphony broadcast at full blast. The GLC 63 is many vehicles rolled into one excellent package, and it’s worthy of praise in its own right.