The shifts snap cleanly and quickly, though the jolt goes from zero in Comfort mode to oh-there-it-is in Sport and just keeps going until the exaggerated thumps of Race mode. It’s also so ridiculously clever in Sport and Sport+ that you’re better off forgetting about the paddle shifters and just letting it do it all for you.
Besides borrowing the engine from the armada of AMG models, the GLC63 S coupe also borrows heavily from their suspension features. It scores a three-chamber air spring system, active damping, more negative camber and a four-link front end with unique steering knuckles. The rear end steals heavily from the E63 S’s five-link rear end architecture and wheel bearings sit further out than the standard Merc version.
A cold, wet road test on squishy winter tires isn’t conclusive, but it does leave some questions to answer once the ball of fire is finally here in April. Does it handle? We’re not absolutely sure. There’s plenty of grip even when you start throwing it around, but its weight means it doesn’t wash the same calm sense of assurance over the driver that a Macan Turbo does.
It was also difficult to feel truly at one with in the bends and its skid-control systems chimed in so hard, so early, that it must have felt the same lack of power-down confidence we did. Or the conditions were just that bad. It improved in Sport and Sport+ modes, where the skid-control let the car slide just a little on the way out of corners. At least half the problem in the winding, saturated roads we had was that there is just such a broad range of ferocious thump from the V8 even at half throttle that it’s giving everything, almost all the time.
That’s going to be a lot less critical on dry roads and less critical again on faster, open bends where the SUV felt tremendously stable, with its nicely weighted steering making it easy to point and the effortless power always at the ready.
It’s also quiet when it’s cruising and the ride is relaxed enough in its Comfort setting to be an everyday car.
There is the usual luxurious array of AMG leather work draping the cabin.
So, maybe it doesn’t go around corners like a Macan Turbo. And maybe it does, when we get it on the right tyres and it’s not raining and a few degrees above freezing. But we do know this: it sure flings you out of corners in a hurry. And just keeps flinging you.