The second-generation GLC seems a risk-free reinterpretation of the familiar theme. Yet it introduces a brand new platform that catapults it technologically miles ahead.
Sharing its chassis with the new C-Class, the GLC is 4 mm longer, while the track at the front and rear have also been widened slightly. The boot benefits from the increased rear overhang and has grown by 50 litres. Compared to its predecessor, the new GLC also gains two hundredths in terms of drag coefficient: it drops below 0.30.
Four-wheel drive and steering
Every GLC comes with four-wheel drive as standard. As an option, you can now order rear-axle steering. In this case, the rear wheels can turn up to 4.5 degrees. At speeds below 60 km/h, the rear wheels rotate in the opposite direction of the front wheels. This virtually shortens the wheelbase, making the car as agile as a city car.
At speeds above 60 km/h, the rear wheels steer up to 4.5 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels. This virtual increase in wheelbase has noticeable benefits in the form of improved driving stability and safety at high speeds. Especially in evasive manoeuvres the difference is said to be significant.
Only four-cylinders and automatic transmission
The new GLC is only available with hybrid four-cylinders, which are paired with the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission as standard. The range begins with the mild hybrid two-litre petrol, which produces 195 kW. The mild hybrid two-litre diesel puts 190 kW on the road. Both engines receive up to 17 kW and 200 Nm of electrical support from a 48-volt integrated starter generator (ISG).
In most markets, however, the bulk of sales will be accounted for by the plug-in hybrid versions. Two of these rely on a petrol engine for support, the third on a diesel. The maximum torque of 440 Nm from the electric motor is available instantly, resulting in great liveliness when starting off. The full electric power is available up to a maximum speed of 140 km/h.
100 electric kilometres
The 31.2 kWh high-voltage battery, combined with more efficient energy recovery and improved aerodynamics, deliver an electric driving range of over 100 kilometres - a record in this segment. As a paying option, the battery can even be fast-charged using a CCS plug, so that half an hour is enough to reach 100 per cent state of charge.
The dashboard seems to come straight from the C-Class - and that's a good thing. The upper section has a wing-like profile with flattened circular fans reminiscent of airliner engines. The lower section has generous surfaces that flow harmoniously into the curved centre console.
In front of the driver is a free-standing high-resolution LCD. This driver's display is 12.3 inches in size and can be personalised extensively. The central 11.9-inch display in portrait orientation is the heart of the MBUX infotainment system. It is the ultimate in ease of use and readability. Of course, all the necessary connectivity is provided, and the software can be updated over-the-air.