Mercedes has reached the final stages of developing its brand new GLC SUV, which will arrive this autumn with hybrid power, a redesigned interior and a refurbished interior loaded with the firm’s latest infotainment technology. Our pictures show the model through a final winter test in Sweden, where its effectiveness, handling and comfort are being tested at sub-freezing temperatures.
If GLC passes this engineering test, Mercedes will start trial production after 2022 before the car is launched. So far, the brand says the GLC has demonstrated strong thermal performance, sound insulation and protection, making it “the most dynamic SUV in any terrain.”
The new GLC uses a new MRA2 platform borrowed from the latest C-Class, resulting in improved packaging, interior space and a larger 600-liter boot. Starting with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, a selection of light-hybrid and plug-in variants will be available that use a 48-volt starter-generator for a total of 255bhp and 400Nm of torque. The diesel is a 2.0-liter unit, again with 48 volt technology, producing 261bhp and 550Nm of power.
These two engines form the basis of three plug-in hybrid models – two petrol and one diesel – which will be integrated into a 9-speed automatic gearbox by a 134bhp, 440Nm electric motor. Mercedes has promised a pure-electric range of more than 62 miles.
The new GLC will be available with a driver assistance package that includes Lane Keep Assist that uses a 360-degree camera and operates up to 130mph. The car’s adaptive cruise control is more advanced than ever, capable of responding to stationary vehicles at speeds up to 62mph.
The optional driving package includes air suspension with adaptive damper and four-wheel steering, with the rear wheels rotating at a maximum of 4.5 degrees to make GLC more stable at speeds and increase its agility at slower angles.
As shown by our exclusive image, the styling will be an evolution on the outgoing GLC, a pair of narrow lighting and more clear surfacing will make it compatible with the latest Mercedes models. Joining Evolutionary Styling will be a completely new interior, with a new steering wheel with touch controls and the brand’s latest MBUX infotainment suite.
A 12.3-inch digital instrument display with an 11.9-inch panel in the center of the dashboard will sit in front of the driver. The system will offer smart home functionality and music streaming, along with a “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant and an augmented reality system. It can add additional information to an external camera feed on infotainment displays, such as home numbers, for example. A ‘transparent bonnet’ option allows drivers to view virtual images of the ground beneath the front of the vehicle while tackling off-road obstacles.
Mercedes’ 2022 model is aggressive
But when the next GLC aims to splash into a market space that is a safe haven for Mercedes, much of what is being created behind the scenes at the brand’s headquarters will see the brand go an undiscovered path, as well as rethink old ideas with new ones. Momentum.
A new G 4×42 is being prepared for launch this year, and has been tested more than once by spy photographers. The layout looks similar to previous versions of the Luxury Monster Truck, adapted by a portal axle and a fit of huge off-road tires that enable huge ground clearance. The new car will benefit from its serious off-road support system as well as the latest G-Class updated platform and driver technology.
We will also see an electrical stabilization for the regular G-Class, though not until 2024. Mercedes has confirmed that it wants to make its off-road legend fully electronic, and the EQG nameplate has been trademarked. The technical details are unknown at this time, but the brand is expected to electrify the existing car stair chassis, rather than become a purpose-built EV platform like the new EVA system under EQS Limo. The brand is likely to preview this EQG with an idea sooner than expected in 2024.
Electric SUVs are in vogue and Mercedes has already released the seven-seater EQB this year. This will be followed by two electric SUVs built on the brand’s Fit-for-Purpose EVA platform. EQE and EQS saloons will have SUV Stablemate by the end of 2022, integrating both their lower-riding drivetrain and cabin technology.
The EQS SUV will probably become the longest-range electric SUV on the market, with some downgrade estimates on the official 484 miles of the EQS Saloon. It will also aspire to be the most luxurious electric car on the planet, as the EQS SUV will receive a Maybach version in 2023. We’ll see a preview of this model soon, but the transformation will probably be in line with it. The Maybach compares to the regular version of the GLS brand’s flagship SUV: the bespoke styling and badging, with unique touches in a finely crafted cabin and two full-size seats at the rear.
Instead of a complete electrical setup, hybrid technology will be used in the next C63 saloon and estate. The next iteration will drop the V8 power in favor of the development of the A45’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol turbo combined with an electric motor, targeting at least 500bhp from both power sources.
One AMG hybrid we’ve seen for some time – but not in production form – is the AMG One Hypercar. It uses a version of the 1.6-liter V6 hybrid turbo used in Mercedes’ All-Conqueering 2016 Formula One car, with 986bhp and modified to enable pure-electric driving. Dental problems have delayed its arrival, but we should see it on the road in 2022.
In 2023 the braking cover will be a car with a new name, CLE. Also coming as a coupe, it will cover the new ground for Mercedes as a bridge between C and E-Class convertible and coupe models, replacing both to reduce line-up complexity. This means that Mercedes is ready to limit the next generation of E-Class, in 2023, only to salons and estate companies.
And CLE is not the only new badge to appear in the near future. The brand recently teased the T-Class, which will be a van-based MPV based on the same platform as the latest Renault Kangaroo. Like Renault, Mercedes is planning an all-electric version – the EQT, which has already been previewed in concept form. It will be launched towards the end of next year.
Click here for a list of our best SUVs for sale right now …