Take a deep breath; the all-new 2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance is a compact, 671 horsepower, luxurious and family-friendly plug-in-hybrid SUV that has 752 lb-ft of torque, and an impressive and complex powertrain. It is, in a nutshell, everything all at once.
While AMG spent much of the 20th century delivering ever larger and more thunderous V8 engines, in the 21st century the company has rapidly embraced hybrid and electric propulsion. In both centuries, however, the net result from AMG has horsepower, lots and lots of it.
The GLC 63 S E Performance is essentially two cars in one, just like the similar C 63 sedan and the even-more-powerful GT 63 fastback.
Drivers get to enjoy a turbocharged four-cylinder engine up front, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. That motor produces 469 hp (a huge amount considering its tiny 2.0-litre displacement). And, at the rear, there’s a 201 hp electric motor paired to its own two-speed transmission and rear-mounted battery. A central driveshaft shuffles power between the front and rear, with power going down to the road through all four wheels.
The electric motor alone can deliver 107 hp continuously, or a 201 hp boost for up to ten seconds. When it comes to charging the battery, drivers have choices: onboard recharging via recouperation, plugging into a public charging station, or charging at home through any outlet.
The whole system can be fully controlled by the driver, who can select recuperation or boost or a myriad of other modes. (The rotary dial on the steering wheel that commands the many modes lets anyone feel like Lewis Hamilton, if only for a moment.) Of course, if you’d prefer not to think about the technical wizardry, the car can automate everything to optimize charging and performance on the fly.
The battery is a high-performance 400-volt design with a direct cooling system. “A high-tech coolant based on an electrically non-conductive liquid flows around all 560 cells and cools them individually,” the company explains. In developing it, AMG collaborated with the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 Team’s High Performance Powertrains (HPP) engine shop in Brixworth, England.
“The battery is designed for fast power delivery and draw rather than longest possible range,” the company says.
No electric driving range is given, but remember, this is AMG. Drivers come to AMG for power and speed. If you want an EV with maximum range, or a PHEV that’ll do your daily commute gas-free, Mercedes has plenty of other options. But, for power-mad driving enthusiasts who aren’t yet ready to go all-electric, AMG’s 63 series is quickly becoming the perfect compromise.
When will the 2025 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S E Performance Arrive?
The new 2025 AMG GLC 63 will land in Canadian showrooms in the third-quarter of 2024. But, if you can’t wait that long, AMG is offering up a less extreme take on the formula that will arrive earlier next year.
Wait, There’s More?
Yes, the new models are coming thick and fast from Mercedes these days. In addition to the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63, the all-new E-Class, and the CLE coupe and cabriolet, the company also just announced the new 2024 GLC 43.
Enter the GLC 43: A More Mild AMG SUV
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 has the same 2.0-litre engine as its more-extreme sibling, but it does without the rear electric motor and plug-in hybrid system.
The GLC 43’s 2.0-litre gas-powered engine is helped by an electric exhaust gas turbocharger, producing 416 hp, and boosted by an additional 13 hp from a belt-driven starter-generator that kicks in at lower engine speeds to try to eliminate turbo lag.
The 43 gets standard rear-axle steering, rear-biased all-wheel drive, adaptive dampers, and a nine-speed automatic transmission. It may be the more mild of the two new AMG SUVs, but it’s still a technical marvel.
How AMG engineers managed to cram all tech into the compact GLC — Mercedes’ second-best selling vehicle in Canada — while still leaving plenty of room for kids and cargo, we’ve got no idea. If you’re shopping for one car that can be everything to all drivers, either of these new AMG SUVs would be a strong choice.