A few months back, we were rather surprised when Mercedes India got the GLE Coupe. It wasnt that it was going to be a great number muncher and that it would make a lot of difference to Mercs SUV portfolio. But we were happy, nevertheless.
The GLE Coupe was made only with one objective in mind\: rival the BMW X6. This, the GLC Coupe, is made with an objective to compete against the X4. You ask what the X4 is? Well, its a smaller X6. Exact replica, except that its tinier in every way.
The GLC Coupe, too, looks almost identical to the GLE Coupe, albeit for its dimensions. It is 164mm lesser in length compared to the GLE Coupe. Just like the GLE Coupe, the roof rapidly slopes down at the back, giving it a character of itself and distinguishing it from the regular GLC. Things start to change drastically, in terms of design, from the B pillar, as against the GLC. It gets a much smaller glass area and the rear windscreen is at an angle that youll seldom find in other SUVs.
The biggest problem with the BMW X6 – the pioneer of the SUV Coupe clan – was the headroom for rear passengers. In the GLC Coupe, however, theres ample of it, even if you have passengers who are six feet plus. Unlike the GLC, the Coupe gets carbon fibre inserts for the centre console and some other bits in the cabin. Most bits of the cabin, otherwise, remain similar to that of the regular GLC.
The GLC Coupe is based on the C-Class platform, but the engineers have tried to tune certain bits of the chassis to handle more speed and on-road torture than the GLC, that gives it flexibility even off-road. The suspension this SUV Coupe sits on is much stiffer than that you find on its SUV sibling. Its more proactive around corners and has better body control. Its not that it has no body roll whatsoever; its a bit less than conventional SUVs.
Theres no word on which engine would come to India with the GLC Coupe, but there are high chances of it coming with the 2.0-litre four-pot petrol. Yes, its the same engine that we first saw in the GLC 300. It develops 241bhp and 370Nm of torque. Despite being assisted by a blower, it develops its peak torque just over idle – at 1,300rpm. The more fascinating bit is that the torque curve remains flat right till 4,000 revs, after which the all the 241 horses come galloping out till the engine hits its redline at 6,000rpm. Its a wonderful piece of kit, this. Its modern, free of vibrations, has brilliant power delivery and some gimmickry with the exhaust system that can make some exciting sounds.
The power that the engine makes is put down to the road through a nine-speed transmission. It transfers the torque to both axles depending on which axles require more of it. At times where not much traction is required, only some of the power is sent to the rear wheels, but theres no time where only one of the axles is fed with power. Its an all-time AWD system. The mechanicals are tuned in a way that maximum traction is squeezed out of tarmac, avoiding understeer and oversteer to give sharp handling.
The GLC Coupe that we sampled in and around the city of Turin, Italy, ran on 18-inch wheels. Even with them, it soaked up irregularities of the Italian roads without much fuss. A bit of the credit will extend to the 60 profile tyres along with the suspension setup.
For now, BMW has no plans to get the X4 to India in the near future. And that gives the GLC Coupe a free run. Theres no direct rival to it, and if you broadly have to think, the Range Rover Evoque is the only one that you could probably name. Yes, youre right, its not any coupe, but the only lifestyle oriented and sporty SUV in that segment.
The GLC Coupes pricing will sit between the regular GLCs and the GLE Coupe. Considering that the GLE Coupe is available only with a part-AMG spec, therell be a healthy price gap between the two SUV coupes. If we were to take a guess, the GLC Coupe, in the 300 spec, will cost you around Rs 65-70 lakh (ex-showroom).
The GLC Coupe will offer exclusivity without compromising on things like the rear-seat space. This one ticks the right boxes if the styling of a car plays an important role in making a decision. Needless to say that responsive handling and a long list of features come as an icing on the cake with the package.
1991cc, 4cyl, petrol, 241bhp, 370Nm, 9A, AWD, 0-100kph\: 6.5 seconds*, top speed\: 236kph* LxWxH\: 4732x1890x1602mm, kerb weight\: 1785kg
Verdict\: Looks nice and does not compromise on cabin space. Engine has sufficient go and is nice to drive too