By on April 16, 2019

Mercedes-AMG is updating the GLC 63 model line for 2020, not that it really needed to. The performance variants of this compact crossover already trounce their mainstream counterparts in terms of looks — even the oddly squat GLC “Coupe.”

However, as the manufacturer was not content to simply rest on its laurels, it decided to provide a brief but well-rounded list of upgrades.

Output remains the same for the 2020 model year, but AMG hasn’t left any sane person wanting. The 63’s 4.0-liter V8 biturbo still banks a respectable 469 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, while the S version creeps things up to an enviable 503 hp and 516 lb-ft. AMG fans may find all that power more useful, as the next batch are said to receive an electronically controlled locking differential as standard equipment. AMG wanted to minimize slippage on the rear inside tire during cornering and appears to have succeeded, as the GLC 63 S remains the fastest crossover to tackle the North Loop of the Nürburgring.

Similarly new is the galvanized, flat-bottom steering wheel. On the S model the unit is trimmed with black Nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber — though you can have it customized to incorporate more of what you like, even if what you like happens to be high-gloss carbon fiber. S models also receive AMG’s “Drive Unit” as standard, allowing drivers to customize drive modes via the steering wheel. Those include Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, Individual, and Race (with the latter being S-only).

The manufacturer also says it upgraded its electronic stability program to better complement these driving modes — tailoring engine/transmission response, torque distribution for the 4Matic all-wheel drive system, steering inputs, and suspension settings for each.

Mercedes’ MBUX debuts on the infotainment display and is operable through either the standard means or that dope-sounding steering wheel’s touch controls. However, you can just talk to it if your fingers are otherwise occupied. The system is also smart enough to detect whether it’s a driver or passenger reaching for it and performs some predictive reasoning to give each what it thinks they might need.

Everything else is in service of the vehicle’s aesthetics. Headlight and taillamp designs are slimmer than in the past, and the AMG GLC 63 adopts a trapezoidal twin tailpipe design. There’s also a new exterior paint option, but it’s a rather predictable gray. Mercedes’ new upholstery (with the contrasting yellow stitching) is far more exciting, if perhaps a little too bold for some tastes.

The only real downside we can see is that the manufacturer still insists on offering the roomier AMG GLC 63 SUV without the superior engine. If you want the S you have to buy the GLC 63 Coupe.

Both should begin arriving at U.S. dealers toward the end of this year.

[Images: Mercedes-AMG]


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