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The new Mercedes-Benz GLC – Dynamic, powerful and exclusively with electrified drive

ByDave Stopher

Jun 23, 2022

The most dynamic model in the successful SUV family from Mercedes-Benz

The new Mercedes-Benz GLC – Short version
Stuttgart. Modern, sporty luxury The new GLC embodies this in every detail. It is the most dynamic model in the successful SUV family from Mercedes-Benz Even at first glance, this is underlined by its design with unique proportions, dramatic surfaces, precisely moulded edges and a clearly laid-out, high-quality interior. It also impresses with its driving performance and efficiency. The GLC is available only as a hybrid: either as a plug-in hybrid or as a mild hybrid with 48 volt technology and an integrated starter-generator.

The plug-in hybrids offer a range of more than more than 100 kilometres (WLTP) – perfect for predominantly electric everyday driving. The GLC is at home on any terrain: whether on or off the road, it impresses with its comfort and agility. The new rear axle steering makes it even more manoeuvrable and safe. Off the road, it scores with numerous features such as the standard 4MATIC, purely electric off-road driving in the plug-in models, the off-road screen and the “transparent bonnet”.

“With the new GLC, we are continuing a success story into the future: Since its introduction, 2.6 million customers have decided in favour of a model in this popular SUV series. As the best-selling Mercedes-Benz model in the last two years, it is one of the most important vehicles in our product portfolio. I am confident that the new GLC with its combination of dynamic driving enjoyment, modern design and functions such as the off-road cockpit and our MBUX augmented reality navigation will thrill both adventurers and families,” says Britta Seeger, member of the Board of Management, Mercedes-Benz Group AG responsible for Sales.

The high standards of the new GLC are evident in every detail. For example, the latest generation of the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system makes it even more digital and intelligent – both the hardware and software have made a major leap forward: Brilliant images in the driver and central display make it easy to control vehicle and comfort functions. Both LCD screens offer a holistic, aesthetic experience with information presented in a structured and clear manner. The full-screen navigation gives the driver the best possible route guidance. MBUX Augmented Reality for navigation is available as an option. A camera registers the surroundings in front of the vehicle. The central display shows the moving images and also superimposes virtual objects, information and markers. These include, e.g. traffic signs, directional arrows, lane-change recommendations and house numbers. This can make navigation much easier, especially in urban areas.

The dialogue and learning ability of the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant is based on state-of-the-art algorithms; it increasingly adapts itself to the wishes and preferences of the user. Music streaming providers can be seamlessly integrated into MBUX, therefore customers can also enjoy their personalised music experience in the vehicle. The customer is kept fully and individually informed by the new “Newsflash” feature, which comes free of charge: on request, MBUX issues short news reports of up to two minutes in length. With the MBUX Smart Home function, the GLC becomes a mobile control centre for the home: temperature and lights, shutters and electrical appliances can be remotely monitored and controlled.

“The new GLC comes with all the attributes that make a Mercedes-Benz SUV what it is: uncompromising handling safety on the road, outstanding driving dynamics and superior performance when off-road,” is how Jörg Bartels, Head of Overall Vehicle Integration characterises the new GLC. “With its high level of ride comfort and convincing overall acoustics, the GLC is a superb long-distance companion and great fun to drive.” For SUV-specific applications, our superbly innovative “transparent bonnet” ensures enhanced awareness when driving off-road, for example. For towing operations, we have introduced an optimised route planning function and Trailer Manoeuvring Assist for the first time”.

Design: Sensual purity, intelligence and emotion
The new GLC is immediately recognisable as a member of the Mercedes-Benz SUV family. Standard equipment includes the AVANTGARDE exterior with Chrome package including chrome window surrounds and a new, chrome look simulated underguard. This adds striking design features and enhances the unique proportions of the vehicle. One of the defining design highlights of the GLC is the redesigned front end, with headlamps that connect directly to the radiator grille to emphasise the vehicle’s width, and the new radiator grille as part of the standard AVANTGARDE exterior, which now has a chrome surround and a sporty louvre in matt grey with chrome trim. The AMG Line has a radiator grille with Mercedes-Benz pattern.

“The new GLC continues our design philosophy with its sensual purity, and like the entire SUV portfolio, exudes intelligence and emotion”, says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Mercedes-Benz AG. “With its beauty and exceptional flair we have been able to create the modern luxury that is the hallmark of Mercedes- Benz.”

The body design is characterised by a full, spanned surface design enriched with precisely shaped edges in the sides. These emphasise the proportions, accentuate the muscular wheel arches and create a balance between elegance and off-road performance. Wheel arch liners in the vehicle colour are available from AMG Line upwards for the first time. These accentuate the sportiness of AMG Line, as optional equipment in conjunction with mixed tyres. Also available as an optional extra are easy-entry running boards and, from AMG Line upwards, a Night package.

Other features of the sporty, confident appearance are the wide track and flush wheels in 18 to 20-inch size. Several of the wheels available ex factory not only feature a modern design with a high-sheen finish and bicolour surfaces, but are also aerodynamically optimised.

The new two-section rear lights have an interior with a three-dimensional look and emphasise the width of the rear end. This too has a simulated chrome underguard, which encases the simulated chrome-look tailpipes.

Interior: modern, sporty luxury
Welcome to the modern, sporty luxury of Mercedes-Benz: this is the message the interior of the new GLC with AVANTGARDE line already sends out in its standard configuration. The dashboard is clearly structured: the upper section has a wing-like profile with new, flattened round nozzles reminiscent of the engine nacelles of an aircraft. The lower section has a generous trim area that flows harmoniously into the curved centre console. The 12.3-inch (31.2 cm) high-resolution LCD screen in front of the driver appears to float freely before the wing profile and trim area. The 11.9-inch (30.2 cm) central display rises seamlessly and without joints from the centre console, and likewise appears to float above the trim area. Like the dashboard, the screen surface is slightly angled towards the driver.

The modern, highly reduced design of door panels frames both ends of the dashboard. The door centre panel with integrated armrest evolves from a vertical surface into a horizontal orientation. Reflecting the design of the centre console, the front section takes the form of a metallic high-tech element. It can be used as a grab or closing handle, and houses the power window controls. Another highlight is the floating control cluster, into which the door opener and seat adjustment controls are integrated.

The avant-garde seat design of the new GLC plays with layers and contoured surfaces, lending them visual lightness. The head restraints and their connection to the backrest with an enclosed cover have been redesigned. The new GLC is available with a leather-lined dashboard with nappa-look beltlines (optional, standard for AMG Line). Some trim elements have innovative surfaces. These include new interpretations of open-pored veneers in brown tones, as well as an open-pored, black wood veneer featuring fine, form- following inlays in real aluminium.

Dimensional concept and practical details: great day-to-day operating convenience
The key dimensions of the new GLC emphasise the SUV’s even more dynamic and powerful appearance. With a length of 4716 mm, it is 60 mm longer and 4 mm lower than its predecessor. The track widths have been increased by 6 mm at the front (now 1627 mm) 23 mm at the rear (now: 1640 mm). The longer vehicle length benefits the wheelbase and the front and rear overhangs. The vehicle width has remained the same at 1890 mm.

The luggage capacity benefits from the larger rear overhang and has increased significantly to 600 litres (+ 50 litres compared to the preceding model). This is noticeable in day-to-day driving, also during holiday journeys with the family or for everyday transport requirements. The GLC has the EASY-PACK tailgate as standard. This opens or closes conveniently at the touch of a button: using the button on the ignition key, the switch in the driver’s door or the unlocking handle on the tailgate.

Improved aerodynamics: now Cd = 0.29
In its aerodynamically most favourable configuration, the minimal drag coefficient of the GLC is Cd = 0.29. This makes it two tenths better than its predecessor (Cd = 0.31) – a notable advance for an SUV with conventional drive. Optimisation of the vehicle with respect to aerodynamic drag and wind noise was carried out with the help of extensive digital flow simulations (CFD – Computational Fluid Dynamics), as well as tests with real vehicles in the aeroacoustic wind tunnel.

The new GLC is a pleasantly quiet vehicle with a serene sound signature and low rolling and wind noise. This was achieved with acoustic optimisation of the bodyshell and sophisticated sound insulation. An acoustic membrane in the windscreen is standard equipment, for example. The optionally available, acoustically effective thermal insulation glass meets even higher comfort expectations.

Comfort appointments: Improvements in many details
The cross-functional ENERGIZING networks different comfort systems to provide a more effective driving experience. The optional ENERGIZING package Plus brings them to life at the touch of a button or by voice command, and bundles them into worlds of experience in up to seven comfort programmes. At the same time, the system creates a matching atmosphere in the interior – for example, invigorating in case of fatigue or relaxing in case of an elevated stress level. The ENERGIZING COACH suggests an appropriate fitness or wellness program based on vehicle and trip data. It also factors the information about sleep quality and stress level into its intelligent algorithm if the driver has a suitable wearable.

The AIR-BALANCE package is also part of the ENERGIZING package Plus. It offers an individual, subtle fragrancing experience in the interior – according to personal preference and depending on the mood. Thanks to refreshing ionisation and filtering of the outside and interior air, it also helps to ensure improved air quality and a greater sense of well-being. The optional ENERGIZING AIR CONTROL intelligently monitors the air quality of the vehicle interior. It uses air quality and fine particle sensors for this purpose. If limiting values are exceeded, it switches the air conditioning to air recirculation mode. A two-stage filter concept can additionally filter fine dust and a large proportion of pollutants from the air.

The new GLC is available with a new panoramic sunroof as an optional extra. The lined cross-strut is slimmer than in the previous version, providing an almost uninterrupted view through the larger glass roof area. If required, the panoramic sunroof can be covered with a roller blind.

Standard equipment: significantly upgraded
Based on the luxury strategy of Mercedes-Benz, the standard equipment of the new GLC has been significantly upgraded and offers the customer a highly attractive vehicle right from the start. The AVANTGARDE line is standard, for example, as are popular features such as the large displays, smartphone integration, wireless charging and heated front seats.

In addition, the packaging logic has been considerably simplified to reduce the effort of choosing from numerous individual options. Functional features that are frequently ordered together are now bundled into equipment packages on the basis of actual buyer behaviour. There are only very few functional options available beyond this. Where design options such as paint finish, upholstery, trim and wheels are concerned, our customers can configure their vehicles individually as before.

Engines: systematically electrified four-cylinder units
The new GLC is available only as a hybrid: either as a plug-in hybrid or as a mild hybrid with 48 volt technology and an integrated starter-generator. The engine range has four-cylinder units from the current FAME (Family of Modular Engines) Mercedes-Benz engine family. Accordingly, the engine range plays a major role in the flexibility of the international production network, with needs-based electrification. Four of these engines are mild-hybrid units which receive intelligent support in the low rev range from a second-generation integrated starter-generator (ISG). Three further engine variants are full hybrid units with additional electric power of 100 kW and an electric range of more than 100 kilometres.

The ISG already ensures excellent power delivery. The system includes the 48-volt electrical system, which enables functions such as “gliding”, boost or recuperation and thus significant fuel savings. In addition, the engines start very quickly and comfortably with the help of the ISG, so that the start-stop function is almost imperceptible to the driver, as is the transition from “gliding” with the engine stationary to powerful propulsion with engine power. When idling, the intelligent interaction between the ISG and the combustion engine ensures outstandingly smooth running.

Plug-in hybrids: more than 100 kilometres electric range (WLTP)
The GLC has also been given the fourth-generation plug-in hybrid drive. Using the identical basic engines, electrification has taken another big step. With an electric output of now 100 kW, a torque of 440 Nm and an all-electric range of more than 100 kilometres (WLTP), day-to-day routes can mostly be managed all- electrically. The improved hybrid driving mode provides electric driving mode for the most appropriate sections of the route. Electric driving is prioritised on longer journeys in urban areas, for example. Whether with one of the two petrol engines or the diesel: as plug-in hybrids, they are not only very efficient but also extremely dynamic on the road.

The range simulator: an indicator of individual electric range
For many customers, the electric operating range is an important factor when deciding on an electrified vehicle. Mercedes-Benz helps its customers to easily find out the influences that the individual operating conditions have on the actual electric range.

Where the GLC as a product is concerned, external factors such as the ambient temperature, route profile and climatisation requirements can be combined to see at a glance what range customers can expect in day-to- day driving. This clarifies under what conditions the actual electric range may deviate from the certificated figure.

Noticeably more electric driving experience
The high power density of the hybrid drive unit comes courtesy of a permanently excited internal rotor synchronous motor. The 440 Nm peak torque of the electric motor is ready to go right from the start, resulting in high agility when moving off, along with dynamic driving performance. The electric power is available up to 140 km/h. In the new GLC, Mercedes-Benz uses a vacuum-independent, electromechanical brake booster which automatically controls the flexible transition between hydraulic braking and recuperation depending on the driving situation, and thus always ensures the best energy recovery. As a result, the maximum recuperation power of up to 100 kW can be achieved more frequently than with a conventional, purely hydraulic braking system.

The high-voltage battery is an in-house development by Mercedes-Benz, and has a total capacity of 31.2 kWh. Even if the battery is completely drained, it is possible to effect a full recharge with the optional 60 kW DC charger in around 30 minutes. A standard-fit 11 kW charger (depending on the market) is available for three- phase charging at a Wallbox connected to the domestic AC mains.

Suspension: Agility and safety
Key components of the GLC’s dynamically designed suspension system are a new four-link suspension at the front and a multi-link independent rear suspension mounted to a subframe. The standard suspension already provides a high level of suspension, ride and noise comfort, agile handling and driving enjoyment. It is equipped with an amplitude-dependent damping system. As an option, the new GLC is available with the Engineering package which includes AIRMATIC air suspension and rear-axle steering. AIRMATIC is equipped with variably adjustable damping for compression and rebound. The plug-in hybrids have air suspension and level control at the rear axle as standard. Another optional extra is the Offroad Engineering package, which increases ground clearance by 20 millimetres and has an underride guard at the front and underbody protection. In conjunction with AMG Line Exterior, the GLC has a sport suspension.

The new GLC is particularly agile and stable with the optional rear-axle steering combined with a more direct steering ratio at the front axle. The steering angle at the rear axle is up to 4.5 degrees. This reduces the turning circle by 90 centimetres to 10.9 metres. The driver also needs fewer turns of the steering wheel from lock to lock.

At speeds of less than 60 km/h, the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels – when parking, by up to 4.5 degrees counter to the front axle angle. Depending on the situation, this virtually shortens the wheelbase, and the vehicle is more light-footed and agile as a result. When the speed reaches 60 km/h or more, the rear wheels steer in the same direction as the front wheels by up to 4.5 degrees. This virtual increase in wheelbase has noticeable advantages: in the form of improved handling stability and safety at high speeds, during fast lane-changes or sudden evasive manoeuvres. In addition, during dynamic manoeuvres such as driving on a country road, significantly less steering movement is required – and the vehicle responds more directly to steering commands.

Latest assistance systems: Supporting the driver
The latest generation of the Driving Assistance package contains additional and further improved functions. These reduce driver workload in day-to-day situations, for more comfortable and safe driving. When danger threatens, the assistance systems are able to respond to impending collisions as the situation demands.

Several advanced features can make driving even safer. Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, for example, can now react to stationary vehicles on the road at speeds of up to 100 km/h (previously 60 km/h). One of the new features of Active Steering Assist is lane detection with an additional 360-degree camera, which particularly offers advantages at low speeds, for example when forming an emergency lane. Traffic Sign Assist now recognises overhead gantries and roadworks signs in addition to conventionally signposted speed limits. For example, the system also recognises conditional signs such as “in wet conditions”, thanks to evaluation of all vehicle sensors. The stop sign and red traffic light warning functions are new.

Sophisticated parking systems: Support during slow manoeuvres
Thanks to more powerful environment sensors, the parking systems can better support the driver when manoeuvring, thus improving safety and comfort. Integration into MBUX makes operation more intuitive and is supported by the visual display. The optional rear-axle steering is integrated into the parking assistants, and calculation of the lanes (trajectories) is coordinated accordingly. Emergency braking functions also serve to protect other road users, and can increase road safety.

The new Parking package with 360-degree camera and the functions of Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC is available as an optional extra. It offers the best possible all-round visibility and facilitates the parking process, among other things by assisted parking and unparking. The central display clearly shows the direct vehicle surroundings during the parking or manoeuvring process. The display is composed of four individual camera images from the front, rear and both sides of the vehicle, and includes a virtual bird’s eye view. In addition, the display shows different viewing angles such as front, rear or trailer mode. The driver at the wheel decides whether to park manually or hand control over to Active Parking Assist.

DIGITAL LIGHT: Extremely powerful with optional projection functions
The new GLC has LED High Performance headlamps as standard. DIGITAL LIGHT is available as an optional extra. This revolutionary headlamp technology with its dynamics and precision creates almost unlimited possibilities for high-resolution and targeted light distribution according to the local conditions. The result is excellent visibility for the driver without impairing that of other road users. DIGITAL LIGHT with projection function is available as an option. This innovation offers extra safety for the driver, especially when driving at night, and allows communication with other road users. For example, it can make driving safer with projected guidance lines, symbols and animations. The intelligent technology highlights pedestrians in the danger zone with a spotlight function and clarifies their position with projected direction points. Customers driving the wrong way on motorway entry ramps or in one-way streets are warned by a symbol. The same warning symbol appears before running red lights or stop signs.

Over hill and dale: Off-road with the GLC
As before, the new GLC has also been explicitly designed for off-road driving, and is prepared for this use with several new features and systems. Standard equipment includes an off-road driving mode and DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation). The plug-in models of the new GLC already offer a driving experience of the future: all-electric off-road driving. This comes with many advantages: since the electric motor’s full torque of 440 Nm is available from the very first engine revolution, its power is very easy to control at all times. This allows highly precise, controlled driving even in challenging terrain. In addition, because the electric motor only consumes energy when it is actually moving the vehicle, and the power demand is comparatively low when driving slowly as is usual when off-road, a long all-electric driving time is possible even in demanding terrain.

In off-road mode, the GLC with 360-degree camera offers a “transparent bonnet”: The central display shows a virtual view under the front of the vehicle, including the front wheels and their steering position. This is extremely helpful: it enables the driver to recognise obstacles such as large stones or deep potholes in his/her path at an early stage.

The new off-road screen uses both displays for clearly arranged information, controls and functions. Among other things, the driver’s display shows, inclination, gradient, topographical altitude, geo-coordinates and a compass, as well as road speed and engine speed when operating with an internal combustion engine. The central display additionally shows e.g. the current position of the SUV in the terrain as well as the steering angle of the front wheels, and if rear-wheel steering is available, the steering direction of the rear wheels. All the driving functions relevant for off-road operation can be controlled very easily on one screen.

The Engineering package (optional) with AIRMATIC air suspension including level control and rear-axle steering also brings its comfort advantages to bear when off-road, where it offers additional benefits. For example, AIRMATIC allows a high ground clearance off-road, regardless of the load, and a long suspension travel for the best possible traction. The rear-axle steering increases off-road manoeuvrability even further.

Trailer menu and towing route planner
The GLC is a popular towing vehicle, and the new edition is specifically designed for this purpose. The towing route planner for the navigation system is a new feature: in the central display, routes can be planned that are suitable for driving with the previously defined trailer. In doing so, it takes into account e.g. passage widths and passage heights. The trailer to be used is defined via the trailer menu in MBUX. As soon as the ballhead is engaged and an electrical connection exists, the system inquires about the intended use of the trailer coupling: Is it a small trailer? Or something larger, such as a caravan or horsebox? Or is a bicycle carrier installed? The towing route planner takes the information into account. The aim of these and numerous further advanced functions for operation as a towing vehicle is to make towing as safe and pleasant as possible. The 4MATIC all-wheel drive provides outstanding traction on any surface.

The enhanced Trailer Manoeuvring Assist (optional) in the new GLC SUV makes manoeuvring with a trailer even easier, more comfortable and safer. The system automatically regulates the steering angle of the towing vehicle up to a speed of 5 km/h and an uphill gradient of up to 15 percent. It is also integrated into MBUX and can be operated intuitively. In addition to stabilising the combination when reversing, the system can for the first time also guide it around freely selectable bends of up to 90 degrees. The steering of the towing vehicle is operated automatically so that the selected angle is maintained. This allows precise and safe positioning of a trailer. The driver can also select the “pull straight” function when the trailer has reached the desired direction and is to reverse straight ahead. The entire manoeuvring process can be followed from different camera perspectives on the central display. Dynamic guide lines show the trajectory, vehicle width and distance from recognised objects.

Success story: Mid-Size SUV from Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz entered the mid-size SUV segment in 2008, with the GLK. “Trendsetter in a booming vehicle class” – that’s how the press kit at the time described it. Its exterior design was unmistakably derived from the G-Class, the forefather of all Mercedes-Benz SUVs. in 2015 the brand presented its successor under the name GLC. This also impressed with the excellent safety typical of the brand, state-of-the-art assistance systems, energy efficiency and high dynamics. Since the introduction of the GLC, and of its direct predecessor the GLK, Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 2.6 million examples worldwide. The GLC presented now is the third generation, and seamlessly continues this success story.