METZINGIN, GERMANY – The global launch of the latest addition to Mercedes' burgeoning SUV lineup, the GLC, took place here on the 'campus’ of Hugo Boss, near Stuttgart. The two companies first established a relationship in Formula 1 where the upscale clothing company’s name is prominently displayed on the winning Mercedes Grand Prix cars.
Hugo Boss is a market leader in the premium and luxury segment of the apparel market. With 13,000 employees and sales in 130 countries it, like Mercedes, is a truly global operation.
It's a natural tie-in and a choice location for introduction of this latest addition to the Mercedes-Benz SUV lineup. The GLC will arrive in the fourth quarter of this year, after the GLE SUV and the all-new GLE Coupe. They will be followed by the GLC Coupe and finally the GLS – based on S-Class – as the halo vehicle.
In the company’s new nomenclature, the third letter in the SUVs designation corresponds with the parallel car in the Mercedes hierarchy so the GLC replaces the former GLK and the ML becomes the GLE.
Mercedes has found a ready market for SUVs alongside its well-known cars. The best seller among this lot is the GLK, with more than 650,000 sold to date.
The second generation model, now called GLC, is worthy of its new name to match its new look – there is no comparison to the box it replaces, thus the tie-in with Hugo Boss and emphasis on style.
While the swoopy exterior is clearly a afresh way of thinking, the interior is almost startling in its transformation. Shapes, tones, fit and finish are all of an exceptional level befitting luxury cars.
The wheelbase is 118-mm greater than for the GLK, allowing 57-mm more legroom in both front and rear seats. Shoulder room is up 54-mm up front and 28-mm in the rear.
The sloping roofline may have hurt rear seat headroom a bit but it is much easier on the eyes. The rear seat is split 40/20/40 allowing multiple cargo/people configurations. Cargo area with and without the seats folded is increased by about 100 litres.
The GLC becomes the first vehicle in its segment to offer an electronically-controlled air suspension system.
The GLC will arrive at Canadian dealers in the fourth quarter of this year in just one guise – the GLC 300 4Matic. It will be powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine used in the C300 4Matic sedan.
It will also get Mercedes' newly-developed nine-speed automatic transmission and the latest iteration of 4Matic, along with a lengthy list of comfort, convenience and safety features .