The Panamericana style grille is a dominant feature of the new models
The Panamericana style grille is a dominant feature of the new models
Image: Supplied

If you’re up to speed on your Aesop’s fables, there’s one about a scorpion that hitches a ride across a river on the back of a frog, then stings him, dooming them both.

“I can’t help it,” the scorpion explained. “It’s in my nature.”

And that’s all the rationale you need to understand why AMG is shoehorning its biturbo 4.0l V8 into the smallest SUV yet, complete with big power, better handling and an active all-wheel drive system.

Stuffed inside both the Mercedes GLC and GLC coupe bodyshells, the new baby monsters are the only cars in the class with biturbo V8 power, in either 350kW (basic) or 375kW (S) forms.

Boasting the vertical bars of the GT coupe’s Panamericana-style grille, the GLC63 S (in SUV and coupe forms) will bellow out 700Nm of torque (up 50Nm on the standard GLC63) from the wet-sump version of the V8 and all models are limited to 250km/h.

It also gets a unique AMG rear-axle carrier that gives the SUV twins a wider rear track for better handling, and it also sits on a three-chamber air suspension system with three levels of tuning, from Comfort to Sport and Sport Plus.

The interior gets the familiar AMG treatment
The interior gets the familiar AMG treatment
Image: Supplied

The GLC63 will ride on 235/55 R10 front and 255/50 R19 rear tyres, while the 63 S models will use bigger, grippier 265/45 R20 front tyres and 295/40 R20 rear boots.

Like other AMG cousins, the base GLC63 will use a mechanical limited slip rear differential, while the faster S has an electronically-governed limited slip unit that is supposed to be more sensitive and faster to deliver changes in torque.

AMG is making no performance claims for the SUVs, which are expected in SA in September 2017, but sub-five-second sprints to 100km/h would seem to be attainable.

"For us, the new GLC63 4Matic+ is a quite special vehicle,” Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers says.

“It is no easy job designing an SUV to be highly sporty and dynamic while at the same time offering inherent extreme driving stability and efficiency. 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 coupe, 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,” he explains.

The new GLC63 and S will be available in both regular and coupe styles
The new GLC63 and S will be available in both regular and coupe styles
Image: Supplied
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