Mercedes-Benz Adds Hybrid to GLC Line

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2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 AMGDieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler-Benz, announced last week that the first plug-in hybrid propelled compact crossover Mercedes-Benz GLC will debut in 2016. It will be called the GLC 350e. In addition to the hybrid version of the new SUV, the German automaker will also introduce a coupe variant and several high-performance models. The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC is scheduled for release in mid-November 2015 and the coupe will go on sale next year. The GLC is expected to have a MSRP of less than $40,000.

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe will be outfitted with a 3.0-liter Bi-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 367-horsepower and 384 lb.-ft. of torque. The powerful engine will be mated to a 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. A four-pipe stacked exhaust system will give the Coupe a throaty rumble, without being overwhelming. Other features include running boards, LED headlights and taillights, front and rear underbody protection, and 21-inch wheels.

High Powered Crossovers

The high-performance model will be called the GLC 450 AMG Sport. Although it will offer a race track ready level of handling, it will share an engine with the Coupe. However, a second high-performance model is also in the offing. It will be called the GLC 63 AMG and it is expected to have the same engine as the C63 AMG. It is equipped with a bi-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that manages 476-horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque.

High Efficiency Crossover

Powering the GLC 350e is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder engine with a seven-speed automatic transmission bolted on. It also uses a lithium-ion battery pack powered 8.7-kilowatt electric motor. This combination provides the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system with 320-horsepower and 413 lb.-ft. of torque. The hybrid powerplant enables the GLC 350e to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9-seconds and yields an electronically controlled top speed of 146 mph. Charging the battery fully will take approximately four hours, with a level 2 AC power source, and will have an “electric only” range of 21 miles.

Driving modes for the GLC 350e will include all-electric, E-mode, an E-Save mode (maintains a specific level of battery charge), and charge mode that utilizes the internal combustion engine to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack for later use.

Low Volume Crossover

For those familiar with the old GLK Class, all GLC models will benefit from improved weight reduction practices. The GLC will weigh about 176-pounds less than the GLK. The use of more aluminum, high-strength steel, and fiberglass reinforced plastic components in the Air Body Control (ABC) system are primarily responsible for the weight loss. The ABC system is designed to adapt to many diverse driving conditions from off-road mudslinging (when accompanied with the optional Off-Road Engineering package) to high-performance competitive driving on the pavement. It automatically levels the vehicle “on the fly” and can lower the rear to make loading and unloading cargo much easier.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.

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