By: IOL Motoring Staff
Affalterbach, Germany - Watch out, BMW X4, there's a new gun coming to town, as Mercedes-Benz extends its GLC Coupé line-up to include the GLC 43 4Matic, packing the same 270kW/520Nm three-litre V6 turbopetrol as its SUV sibling, and staring down Munich's 225kW/400Nm xDrive 35i without a blink.
It's quick on the draw too, launching to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds and topping out at an electronically governed 250km/h, at a nominal cost of 8.4 litres per 100km.
With its 9G-Tronic transmission mapped for shortened shift times and 31 : 69 percent rear-biased 4Matic all wheel drive, its focus is on blacktop dynamics - to the extent that its multiplate centre clutch shifts more torque to the rear axle under hard acceleration. Nevertheless, its standard-issue adaptive air suspension can also be raised to increase ground clearance at the touch of a button, for the occasional soft road excursion.
The four-link front axle has special knuckles and load-bearing joints, the bushings are stiffer all round and there's more negative camber than on non-AMG models. In Comfort mode the steering varies from neutral to mild understeer, while in Sport and Sport Plus modes it becomes progressively more oversteer-biased, with different spring rates at front and rear.
More than that, it automatically stiffens the spring rate of whichever wheels are more heavily loaded during fast cornering, foot-flat acceleration or hard braking. The GLC 43 comes with gloss black 19 inch rims shod with 235/55 front and 255/50 rear radials; larger rims sizes - up to 21 inches - are available.
The transmission offers five modes - Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual - with key parameters such as accelerator, shift speed and steering response becoming increasingly tauter; or you can press the M Button to go to manual mode via the shift paddles.
The interior is trimmed in back and red with grained aluminium-finish trim elements, including a multifunction sports steering wheel in black leather with red top-stitching and a flattened bottom section.
The seats and door panels are upholstered in a mix of black Artico synthetic leather and Dinamica microfibre, with red top-stitching and seatbelts, while the two large dials have a chequered-flag motif with race-style lettering, and the 140mm central colour multifunction display includes a lap timer for track days.
The standard infotainment set-up includes a radio/CD player with a 178mm display, Frontbass, Bluetooth connectivity for music streaming and two USB ports. The Garmin Map Pilot option adds a full-on navigation system, with software and map data on an SD card - but opting for Comand Online gets you a 213mm screen, hard-disc navigation, live traffic information, a wi-fi hotspot function and voice control.
For the true audiophile, however, there's an optional 13 speaker, 590 watt Burmester surround sound system.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4Matic Coupé will make its world debut on 28 September at the Paris motor show, and will be released in South Africa early in 2017. Pricing will be made availble on 6 October.
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