28 Feb 19

6 days to Geneva: Restyled Mercedes GLC talks, adds 48 Volt, nearly drives by itself

As the Geneva Motor show is almost upon us, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled an updated version of its GLC-Class. Some minor modifications in style are apparent, including three small rectangular sections to the rear of the front end and rectangular lights at the rear.

Hey Mercedes!

Where technology is concerned, the GLC-Class receives the MBUX infotainment system with its digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen in a wide span across the dashboard. A revised multi-function steering wheel has new controls for using the updated infotainment system.

The biggest added value probably comes from the natural speech technology, nick-named "Hey Mercedes". With this command, you wake the virtual assistant, who responds to questions you may have in the infotainment, climate, telephone or navigation department.

Mild hybrid

The new model will go on sale in Europe in the middle of this year, with a choice of two petrol engines offering 194 and 255 hp, and three diesels (161, 192 and 241 hp). The petrol engines come with a 48V electric system and are indeed mild hybrids. A belt-driven starter-alternator acts as an electric motor to assist the ICE during acceleration, delivering maximum 10 kW to the powertrain. That is also the power it can recover during deceleration.

As such, the GLC 200 4Matic and GLC 300 4 Matic can switch off their combustion engine regularly during coasting, saving precious fuel. At 161 g/km (correlated NEDC), the CO2 ratings do not seem spectacularly low, though. To dive below 50 g/km you need a fully-fledged plug-in hybrid. Still, there is no sign of a new GLC 350e in the press kit. 

Guardian angel

Mercedes has a reputation to uphold in the active safety department. The latest GLC now has access to a plethora of ADAS with intriguing names as Emergency corridor function and Evasive steering assist. Autonomous driving seems even more realistic now that the cruise control adjuts the speed ahead of bends, roundabouts, toll plazas, T-junctions as well as before making a turn/exiting motorways/expressways. It even slows the vehicle down when a traffic jam has been detected through the navigation system.

Interestingly, Mercedes says its now has Car-to-X-Communication that supports the driver by providing him with up-to-date information and warnings of hazardous situations on the road. The radio-based exchange between vehicles as well as between vehicles and the traffic infrastructure informs the driver visually and/or acoustically of potential hazards, the press kit reads.


Authored by: Dieter Quartier