2018 Mercedes-AMG GlC 63 S Sports Car Essentials: Good Book, Poor Cover

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What is it: The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S Coupe is the swoopy “four-door coupe” cousin of the GLC63 SUV. It gets the company’s now-ubiquitous 4.0-liter biturbo V8, connected in this application to a nine-speed multiclutch transmission. The AMG range includes this 503-hp 63 S, a 479-hp GLC63, a 362-hp GLC43 and the basic GLC, which makes 241 hp using a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four.

Key Competitors: BMW X4, Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Base Price: $81,745 As-Tested Price: $103,300

Full review: 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S

Highlights: For 2018, the GLC coupe lineup added heated windshield wipers, performance exhaust on AMGs and new entrance lamps as standard features. This GLC63 S gets an electronic limited slip differential with Mercedes’ 4Matic plus all-wheel-drive system, as well as three-stage ride control with AMG’s sport suspension.

Our Opinion: I just got done blasting the BMW X4 for its shape so I can’t turn around now and praise this one, even though I had three guys over for a BBQ on Friday and none of them hated the styling. Like the X4, this car is really fun to drive, but that alone does not a good car make.

OK, the engine is glorious. I’ve said that it and Jag’s V8 are two of the best out there right now. Speed and acceleration are stomach-lightening and braking from the $5,400 ceramic discs is just as abrupt. In sport plus mode the pipes open up and it sounds even better than in comfort mode. Thankfully for us here in the snowbelt I could set the suspension to soft and the engine to sport plus. That mode means a super sensitive throttle and hard shifts from the nine-speed. It has no torque converter, but it does feel smoother at slow speeds than an average dual-clutch box.

But fast is easy, just throw a big engine under the hood and a trans that can take it. Cushy is a little big tougher.

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