Mercedes-Benz GLC

Sales have opened in Europe for Mercedes’ new GLC crossover, now available exclusively as a hybrid.

First launched for 2015 to replace the outgoing GLK (Mercedes’ first crack at the mid-sized SUV market in 2008), the new second-generation GLC arrives with two gasoline-fueled four-cylinder options, and two diesel-fueled four-cylinder alternatives, each of which is mated with a nine-speed automatic gearbox, an electric motor and a “high-voltage” battery pack.

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Of these options, the 300 e 4MATIC is the only one as of yet confirmed for a Canadian launch next spring, though MSRPs will only be announced closer to the North American launch date.

The 2.0-litre turbocharged “mild hybrid” four-cylinder at the heart of the GLC 300 e sends 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. For a little added grunt in the lower revs, Mercedes has also introduced an ‘integrated starter-generator’ for the second-generation, which adds 23 hp and 148 lb ft of additional electric “boost,” resulting in a steady 6.2-second sprint time and a 210 km/h top speed.

Though full specs on the battery haven’t been confirmed for North America (Europe’s example features a 31.2 kWh battery), charging options include an 11 kW AC port, and/or 60 kW DC fast-charge, the latter of which tops up to full in “around 30 minutes.’ The GLC is also equipped with what Mercedes calls a “vacuum-independent, electromechanical brake booster,” which, where possible, prioritizes regenerative braking for more efficient energy recovery, thus extending the EV range.

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Indeed, weighing in at 1,925 kg doesn’t seem to bother the hybrid system, with the GLC capable of more than 100 km of pure electric running.

As a hybrid, the second gen GLC carries over an updated version of its predecessor’s MRA platform, and is now 60 mm longer than before, though a bigger difference is the revised bodywork. This reduces the mid-sized crossover’s drag co-efficient to an impressive 0.29 cd, a drop of the first generation’s 0.31 cd. Notable cosmetic tweaks include the redesigned front end, which connects the headlamps directly with the new, wider front grille, chrome detailing around the windows and front valance, and more muscular wheel arches to emphasize the slightly wider track both front (+ 6 mm) and rear (+ 23 mm).

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