Mercedes-Benz and the Transylvanian Alps: 1,700 km across the Transalpina and Transfagarasan. Here, the GLC 250 4MATIC Coupé is the ideal companion for a group of adventurers on their road trip through spectacular landscapes from Graz in Austria via Hungary through to Bucharest, the capital of Romania.
|GLC 250 d 4MATIC Coupé:|
|Fuel consumption combined: 5.4–5.0 l/100 km;|
|combined CO2 emissions: 143–131 g/km.*|
|GLC 250 4MATIC Coupé:|
|Fuel consumption combined: 7.3–6.9 l/100 km;|
|combined CO2 emissions: 170–159 g/km.*|
The Transfăgărășan was earmarked as the highlight of the #ChasingStars road trip. But we wouldn’t be doing justice to the unbelievable 1,700 kilometre long journey from Graz to Bucharest if we judged it solely on the basis of this famous pass road. First things first: the legend. The G-Class. On the market since 1979 and for the most part still built the way it was 40 years ago. A tour of the factory reveals how much of the work on the body construction and in the upholstery shop is hand-finished, as well as the self-assurance and skill of the staff. Later, on the way up to the summit of the Schöckl – the testing and development route on the local mountain in Graz – the off-road vehicle can then show its strengths to the full and demonstrate why it is the best of its kind.
Of course Graz is more than just a production site for the G-Class and a place for mad off-road experiences. The old part of the city is a Unesco world heritage site. The spectacular view over the city and the mountains is best enjoyed at sunset on the Schlossberg (Castle Hill) in the shade of the clock tower. On the whole, it is that detailed, romantic quality of Austria which sweetened the start of the road trip. We definitely didn’t want to take the shortest route to the Hungarian border, but drifted on as the mood took us.
The new GLC 250 d 4MATIC Coupé was the ideal companion in our search for the extraordinary along the route to Bucharest. The sports coupé with the “G” genes unites dynamic agility on the pass roads with solid off-road capability for small trips off the beaten track, whilst also providing the driver with the relief necessary for relaxing travel on this long journey. All of this comes paired with the very best ergonomics and the most modern Intelligent Drive assistance systems.
And thus it was above all during the long trek across Hungary that the 204 PS diesel engine was pushed discreetly into the background by the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. Instead, it was the COMAND Online infotainment together with the Burmester sound system that provided a real road trip feeling. Because nothing is more pleasant than just unwinding with your favourite playlist coming out of the speakers and inspiring your thoughts while foreign landscapes roll by.
And this is precisely the reason I prefer every road trip to flying: because this way, I’m really travelling and am not just suddenly “there”. You see something of the country, the change in vegetation, the architecture and above all the people. Just being able to stop any time, to be able to make contact with locals, listen to their stories, and to discover new things. For example, that wonderful clear but spicy interpretation of goulash soup at Lake Balaton, the nightlife in pulsating Budapest or the wonderfully restored Alba Carolina in Alba Iulia.
However, the absolute highlight was not the picturesque towns on the tour but the Transalpina and the Transfăgărășan. These pearls of the Carpathian Mountains and the Transylvanian Alps are not just worth a trip on their own, the combination of the two will take your breath away. Starting from Alba Iulia, it takes a full day to complete the Transalpina and halfway along the route you drive into the Făgăraș mountains – at this point the route couldn’t be any more fantastic. Every kilometre that the strip of asphalt twists up towards its summit at 2,145 metres rewards you with even greater driving pleasure.
GLC 300 4MATIC Coupé: Fuel consumption combined: 7.8–7.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 177–169 g/km.*
Long curves, followed by snaking bends, and then steep climbs which alternate with light downhill slopes. But above all, there is next to no traffic. At the top, just below the cloud cover, you are rewarded with a view which just has to be seen. Being able to take the GLC Coupé on a detour off the beaten track and along the mountain ridge further intensifies the experience. Stopping off in one of the traditional shepherd huts where you can immerse yourself in the unadulterated culture of Romania whilst enjoying mutton goulash and polenta is definitely to be recommended.
The Transfăgărășan can no longer offer so much intimacy. It has possibly become a victim of its own fame, but a view from the summit on to the northern section is simply spectacular. It actually appears as if Nicolae Ceaușescu lined up the most beautiful bends of the world’s best racing circuits and put them here in the mountains. However, in order to really be able to enjoy the route, you need to be patient and wait until the tourist traffic starts returning in the direction of Bucharest. The end of the day, when you have the road all to yourself, is the perfect time to enjoy the DN7C – and it doesn’t matter if that means the route itself or this breathtakingly starry sky.
#ChasingStars? Oh yes. And we didn’t just chase them, we found them, too!
All statements in this article are personal opinions and impressions of the author and sometimes not of the Daimler AG.
The new Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 4MATIC+ is a quite special vehicle: highly sporty and dynamic while at the same time offering inherent extreme driving stability – an SUV that can be driven with high precision and agility even on a high-speed lap of the race track. With our V8 biturbo engine, we hold a decisive USP in the Performance market. What is more, with SUV and Coupé, we offer the widest choice in the segment.
|Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ and GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupé:|
|Fuel consumption combined: 10.7 l/100 km;|
|combined CO₂ emissions: 244 g/km.*|
As early as 1999 Mercedes-AMG set a milestone with the ML 55. The combination of high-performance engine in the skin of an SUV opened up an entirely new market segment. The performance and sports car brand now occupies a unique position in the competition again as it presents its new mid-size performance SUV at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 4MATIC+ SUV and Coupé plus the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ SUV and Coupé. For the first time, a mid-size SUV is now also available with the powerful eight-cylinder biturbo in two output variants.
|Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 4MATIC+ SUV & Coupé:|
|Fuel consumption combined: 10.7–10.3 l/100 km;|
|combined CO₂ emissions: 244–234 g/km.*|
“For us, the new GLC 63 4MATIC+ is quite a special vehicle. It is no easy job designing an SUV to be highly sporty and dynamic while at the same time offering inherent extreme driving stability. This required us to put our heart and soul, along with our many years of SUV expertise, into the development of this vehicle. The result is an SUV that can be driven with high precision and agility and which, if required, is equally at home on a high-speed lap of the race track.
With our V8 biturbo engine, we hold a decisive USP in the Performance market. What is more, with SUV and Coupé, we offer the widest choice in the segment. Also, the technical closeness to our sports cars is visually underlined by the Panamericana grille, which was previously reserved for our AMG GT models,” says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Mercedes-AMG thus meets the wishes of those customers who, also in a mid-size performance SUV, are looking for a combination of superior power delivery along with a highly emotive, unmistakable engine sound. SUV and Coupé are available as basic and S-model variants: the proven AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine puts out 350 kW (476 PS) or 375 kW (510 PS) with a maximum torque of 650 or 700 Nm. Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h is completed by the GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ in just 3.8 seconds, while the GLC 63 4MATIC+ takes 4.0 seconds. The top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited).
The 4.0-litre eight-cylinder biturbo engine is already used in numerous AMG Performance vehicles. It is also installed in the AMG GT sports car with dry sump lubrication. A characteristic feature is that the two turbochargers are positioned not on the outside of the cylinder banks, but inside the cylinder “V”. The main advantages of this design are the compact engine construction, optimal response and low exhaust gas emissions. One mechanic assembles each engine in the engine shop in Affalterbach according to the “one man – one engine” principle.
The new GLC 63 4MATIC+ and GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ feature the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission, which made its debut in the Mercedes-AMG E 63 4MATIC+. The driver benefits from extremely short shift/response times. Fast multiple downshifts and the double-declutching function make for a highly emotive gearshift experience. A start-off wet clutch replaces the torque converter. This saves weight and optimises the response to the driver’s accelerator pedal input, particularly on acceleration and during load changes.
|Mercedes-AMG E 63 4MATIC+:|
|Fuel consumption combined: 9.1–8.8 l/100 km;|
|combined CO₂ emissions: 207–199 g/km.*|
After the E-Class from Mercedes-AMG, the GLC now comes with AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive, too. This intelligent system unites the advantages of different drive concepts: the fully variable torque distribution to the front and rear axles ensures optimal traction right up to the physical limit. The driver is also able to rely on high driving stability and handling safety under all conditions, both in the dry and in the wet or in snow.
An electromechanically controlled clutch connects the permanently driven rear axle fully variably to the front axle. The best possible torque distribution is continuously computed according to the driving conditions and driver’s input. Transitions are seamless and based on a sophisticated matrix. Alongside traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel drive also improves the longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.
A striking characteristic of the exterior design is the expressive front end: the new GLC 63 4MATIC+ is the first Mercedes-AMG Performance vehicle to feature the Panamericana grille, which was previously reserved for the AMG GT family of sports cars. This design statement affirms the consistently dynamic design of the new Performance SUV and Coupé. A wide front apron inspired by the design of a jet wing, with a large front splitter, impressively embodies the power of the new models. By dispensing with a fine-meshed grille, it gives a view of the cooling technology – a typical attribute from the world of motor sports and a further differentiation from the other GLC models.
Driver and front passenger are enclosed as standard in sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather, combined with DINAMICA microfibre, which unite excellent lateral support with functional ergonomics tailored to the job of driving. The instrument panel is trimmed in black ARTICO man-made leather with contrasting topstitching. The high-grade look is underlined by aluminium trim.
The S-model variant comes with an even more extensive equipment package, including a Performance steering wheel in black nappa leather / DINAMICA microfibre, AMG badges in the front head restraints in combination with leather appointments and AMG instrument cluster with red highlights.
The SUV and Coupé variants of the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 4MATIC+ and GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ are also available at launch as an “Edition 1” special model: the exclusive combination of equipment details turn the special model into the flagship of the range. In both body variants, the Night package in high-gloss black enhances the racing-inspired looks. The sports stripes on the sides of the vehicle are in yellow or matt graphite grey, depending on the paint colour and model variant. The matt black 21-inch cross-spoke forged wheels are provided with highlights in the form of yellow or high-sheen rim flanges. The Aerodynamics package also draws its inspiration from the world of motor sport. The racing feel is carried over into the interior. The sports seats are upholstered in black nappa leather and reprise the colour yellow in the contrasting topstitching of the specific diamond pattern.
The new mid-size Performance SUV celebrate their world premiere in April 2017. Start of sales is on 16 June 2017, while the market launch begins in September 2017.
The new GLC 43 4MATIC Coupé combines a sporty, elegant design with the brand’s hallmark Driving Performance and all the advantages of an SUV. The 270 kW (367 PS) 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine, the automatic transmission 9G-TRONIC with shortened shift times and the AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive configured with a rear bias form the basis for an especially dynamic on-road driving experience. GLC 43 4MATIC Coupé: Fuel consumption combined: 8.9–8.4 l/100 km; combined CO₂ emissions: 203–192 g/km.*