Let’s be clear: the origin of the word ‘coupe’ is from the past participle of ‘couper’, which means ‘to cut’. These days, just about any vehicle whose roofline plummets towards the pavement at a jaunty angle is called a coupe, door count be damned.
Enter the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. Building on the success of its predecessor, this new model continues to combine a fast roofline with all-wheel drive characteristics plus a heavy dose of it-can-only-be-a-Mercedes style.
Up front, a bold grille features the diamond-studded look that’s popping up across the Benz range, along with a company logo the size of a dinner plate. Silver trim under the front bumper gives the appearance of a skid plate but it would likely be a poor idea to bash this part of the car on sharp off-road rocks. It’ll likely weather the rigors of a condo parking garage just fine, though. The de rigeur grey trim circumnavigating the GLC’s wheel wells are standard fare for cars in this class asserting their go-anywhere pretensions.
The updated GLC Coupe will initially come equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged four banger engine producing 255 hp and 273 lb.-ft of torque. That’s an increase of 14 horses over the previous model. The GLC Coupe deploys a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission along with all manner of modern driving-assist nannies. Expect hot AMG versions in due time after the marketing noise from this initial introduction has died down.
Inside, shoppers will find a sumptuous interior befitting the Mercedes badging. A trio of round air vents live below the infotainment screen, a unit which measures either 7.0 or 10.25 inches depending on spec. The company’s excellent 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster will also be available. Taking a page from Star Trek (or SkyNet, depending on your outlook on life), the infotainment deploys something called Augmented Reality navigation. With this optional feature, navigation info is superimposed onto video taken from the front camera. This navigation feature should help the driver better understand exactly where to turn, or where a specific address is located. The opportunity for superimposing rude shapes onto an image of your friend’s home is appealing but likely not part of the deal.
Mercedes – and other luxury manufacturers – are playing a smart game with the ‘coupification’ of their SUV and crossover lineup. By offering a sportier-looking alternative that’s still endowed with all-wheel drive, the company can appeal to a broader customer base, thereby improving sales numbers while padding the bottom line. And the bottom line is one place in which they definitely don’t wish the term ‘to cut’ to appear.