Key topic: Driving enjoyment, on- and off-road: Dynamism, agility and ride comfort à la carte

Jun 17, 2015
Featuring a totally new chassis and suspension, the new GLC clearly surpasses its predecessor's performance. Numerous design measures have led to a further improvement in suspension and ride comfort accompanied by excellent driving dynamics and agility. Key measures here include the switch from a three-link to a four-link front suspension, the increased track width at front and rear and the larger tyre sizes of up to 50.8 cm (20 inches). The elastokinematics have also been optimised and the use of numerous aluminium components on the front axle and the five-link rear axle has resulted in weight savings while at the same time enhancing stability.
The GLC offers an AGILITY CONTROL suspension with steel springs and variable damping system as standard, optionally available with an emphasis on sporty performance, comfort or off-road performance:
  • The base version features the comfort suspension, an accomplished synthesis of sporty directness and superior suspension comfort
  • In combination with the AMG Exterior Line or as an individual option, a sports suspension based on the AGILITY CONTROL suspension is available, with harder springing and a reduced roll tendency
  • The GLC 350 e 4MATIC model and vehicles equipped with the Off-Road Engineering package feature a 20 millimetre higher driving level as standard for added ground clearance.
AIR BODY CONTROL with ADS Plus: innovative air travel
The GLC is the sole model in this market segment to offer the option of fitting the chassis with a full-support multi-chamber air suspension system and the electronically controlled, continuously adjustable adaptive damping system ADS Plus. This configuration combines excellent driving stability and sporty agility with optimum comfort and outstanding off-road capabilities. Specific characteristic are pre-selected according to the settings of the DYNAMIC SELECT driving dynamics program.
In SPORT+ mode the GLC's occupants feel as if they are sitting in a sports car with a high level of lateral dynamics due to the tauter connection of the chassis, which is additionally lowered by 20 millimetres. Comfort mode offers the very opposite ride experience, focussing on particularly comfortable running with soft connection of the chassis. To ensure maximum driving safety in this mode, too, the spring and damper forces adapt within 60 milliseconds in response to sudden evasive manoeuvres, for example. When the GLC is equipped with the Off-Road Engineering package, AIR BODY CONTROL optimises the wheels' surface contact, ensuring good progress in off-road terrain, by raising the driving level by up to 50 mm and providing for particularly soft basic tuning.
Further benefits of AIR BODY CONTROL include reduced rolling during cornering, automatic level control and lowering of the load compartment sill for convenient loading and unloading.
A perfect match: DYNAMIC SELECT and Off-Road Engineering package
The new GLC offers the DYNAMIC SELECT handling control system with five driving programs as standard:
  • ECO - places the emphasis on energy-efficient driving, with sailing function and ECO display in support of the most fuel-efficient driving style
  • COMFORT - well-balanced driving program, with comfortable suspension tuning, fuel-efficient set-up for the drive system
  • SPORT - more direct response of engine and automatic transmission and a more progressive steering characteristic support a sporty driving style, additionally taut, sporty suspension configuration in conjunction with AIR BODY CONTROL and ADS Plus
  • SPORT+ - even more direct response for maximum longitudinal and lateral dynamics
  • INDIVIDUAL - configuration of the driving experience according to personal preferences, within the bounds of combinations providing for safe and effective driving dynamics The COMFORT, SPORT and ECO settings for drive system, suspension and steering can be activated and combined according to personal preferences.
All DYNAMIC SELECT programs are visualised on the central media display.
In addition to the standard-fit DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control, the new all-rounder GLC can be combined with the Off-Road Engineering package and the AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension. In all, five programs are then available: Slippery, Trailer, Off-road, Incline and Rocking Assist. The characteristics in detail:
  • Off-road - easy terrain such as dirt roads, gravel or sand tracks, driving level is raised by 15 millimetres
  • Incline - optimises the GLC's climbing capabilities, driving level is raised by 15 mm
  • Rocking Assist - the ideal remedy, should the vehicle become stuck. Ground clearance is raised by 50 millimetres, the wheel-slip control thresholds are increased to enable the vehicle to work its way free. Active up to 20 km/h. Automatic switch to the Off-road program at speeds above this.
  • Slippery - ideal for low friction values, such as apply on muddy surfaces, wet grassland, on slippery snow or ice and when using snow chains
  • Trailer - facilitates manoeuvring with a trailer in adverse conditions, for example on wet grassland or on a boat ramp (only in conjunction with trailer coupling)
The Off-Road Engineering package additionally includes a robust Gemtex underride guard, which takes the stress out of heavy ground contact as on the previous model. Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) is also included for controlled downhill driving. The driver can pre-set a speed using the cruise control lever. This set speed is then maintained automatically on downhill stretches, without any need to operate the brake pedal.
As with the other DYNAMIC SELECT programs, the Off-road animations are also presented on the central media display. Various parameters, such as incline, tilt angle, steering angle, heading or the AIR BODY CONTROL settings, are displayed dynamically in real time.
4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive:the prime mover for excellent driving dynamics
The nine-stage 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission also comes as standard on the GLC 220 d 4MATIC, GLC 250 d 4MATIC and GLC 250 4MATIC. Depending on the mode selected for the DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control, the automatic transmission with torque converter boasts great agility and responsiveness or poised composure. The potential of the transmission is exploited to the full. It offers an impressively high shift speed and perfect transitions for energetic sprinting as well as with gentle, barely perceptible gear changes for enjoyable cruising.
The development engineers have fully revised the design of 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive in combination with 9G-TRONIC. In contrast to the former configuration, the single-stage transfer case is no longer integrated into the automatic transmission, but rather flange-mounted on the 9G-TRONIC as a separate system. This "add-on" solution combines the advantages of both concepts and results in increased efficiency. The new all-wheel-drive powertrain features the same compact design as with the previous, integrated solution, offers 50 newton metres of pre-lock torque and allocates the drive torque to the front and rear axles with a 45:55 split via a planetary differential. The add-on design also offers the following advantages:
  • Enhanced performance - use of particularly torquey engines possible
  • Separate oil circuits - lubricant properties tailored specifically to the 9G‑TRONIC and the transfer case, resulting in less wear and enhanced NVH comfort as a result of reduced friction loss
  • Weight advantage - magnesium housing of the 9G-TRONIC is retained with the add-on solution, resulting in weight savings of around 12 kilograms for the overall system compared to the integrated variant with aluminium housing which was employed on the previous model.
  • Improved system efficiency - as a result of the reduced weight, the lower friction loss, the broad gear ratio spread of the 9G-TRONIC and the resultant longer axle ratios
As with all hybrid models from Mercedes-Benz, the GLC 350 e 4MATIC is equipped with the latest version of 7G-TRONIC PLUS, which has been specifically optimised in line with the needs of hybrid applications and also combines high driving dynamics with excellent drive comfort and superior efficiency.