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This is Mercedes-AMG’s 362bhp GLC 43 Coupe

Thought Mercedes had run out of places to put its new bi-turbo V6? Think again

The democratisation of AMG continues, and the genre of Quite Fast Family Crossover grows ever-stronger. This is your first look at the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe before it arrives at the Paris Motor Show.

A silly mouthful of name then, but what we can decipher is that Mercedes got bored after shoving its new 362bhp bi-turbo V6 engine in the SLC Roadster, C-class Estate, saloon and Coupe, so it’s injected some entry-level AMG mirth into its newest soft-roader. Look, it’s even got a ducktail. Normal GLCs don’t get that.

Fitted as standard with rear-biased all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic gearbox, Mercedes claims the AMG-verylongname Coupe will go from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds, and is limited to a 155mph top speed. Air suspension is standard too, which allows extended ride height for what Mercedes terms ‘occasional off-road excursions’.

It’s the on-road handling the GLC43 needs to be smarter at, given its rivals are a seriously talented bunch. You might not like the idea of a Porsche Macan GTS, a Jaguar F-Pace S or a BMW X4 as the world’s purest driving machine, but the fact is for tall, heavy family buses, all are extremely sorted to drive quickly. Add Audi’s unbelievably good SQ5 Plus to that list too. AMG will have to go some to own this slice of niche-topia.

So, while the 300mm wading depth and 2.5-tonne towing capacity is all very, well, it’s the adaptive suspension that independently varies each axle’s damping stiffness to cut body roll that’ll define the GLC43’s standing at fast SUV boot camp. A kerbweight of 1780kg – some 160 less than the freakishly pointy 355bhp Porsche – ought to help that cause.

The car you see here wears 21in rims, which in turn render the 360mm front discs a little lost in the middle. But if you’re not bothered by the fake tailpipe trim, piffling brakes aren’t likely to worry you either. 

So, it’s fast, brash, on sale in October 2016 and likely to cost the thick end of £50,000. It’s a lot of badging for your money, but what do you reckon to the rest?

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