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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / The 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 63 S Coupe is a beast of an SUV.

Consider 3.4 seconds. A mere moment. About the time it takes to inhale and breathe out.

Now, imagine racing from a dead stop to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds ... in an SUV, possibly with a trail of tire smoke swirling behind you.

Oh, and forget about taking that normal, in-and-out breath. This week's tester is a true, hold-your-breath vehicle.

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 63 S Coupe is technically a compact luxury SUV. In simpler terms it's a land rocket, capable of ripping off quarter-mile times in the neighborhood of 11 seconds. When it comes to SUVs, that's a pretty exclusive neighborhood.

Trying to envision exactly who would buy this car, two A-words come to mind: affluent and adventurous.

You can actually buy a Mercedes-Benz GLC300, on which the AMG GLC 63 S coupe is based, with an engine half the size and horsepower of the AMG's outrageous 503-horsepower V-8. The four-cylinder is the sedate, and less expensive, choice.

FAST FACTS

* Model: 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 63 S Coupe

* Exterior color: Black

* Interior color: Black with yellow stitching

* Engine: 4.0-liter, V-8

* Horsepower: 503 Horsepower

* Transmission: 9-speed automatic

* Fuel economy: NA

* Local Dealer: Mercedes-Benz at Long of Chattanooga

* Price (as tested): $87,110

But if you're a driving enthusiast with deep pockets, there's something about this wolf in sheep's clothing that just might make you giddy. Still, it's hard to hide the intent of 20-inch wheels shod with mammoth Continental SportContact 6 tires on this beast.

Mercedes-Benz at Long of Chattanooga had seven GLC-class SUVs in digital inventory this week.

 

WHAT IS IT?

Our tester is a 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 63 S Coupe, which is a lot of letters and numbers that add up to "fast." The AMG is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

While four-cylinder GLC-class SUVs often fall into the $50,000-to-$60,000 range, the V-8 AMG starts at $84,100 and goes up from there. Our black tester has about $3,000 in options and delivery charges and rings up at $87,110.

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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / The black interior contrasted with metal accents gives the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 63 S Coupe a sporty vibe.

WHAT WE LIKED

The race-car-like performance is a given, but we actually found ourselves enjoying the visual aesthetics of the AMG GLC 63 S Coupe most of all. We loved the black-on-black color scheme, the egg-like shape, the audacious spoiler and understated wheels. Inside, the blend of black leather with yellow stitching and generous brushed metal trim is gorgeous. Too, the Burmester stereo served up sumptuous sounds.

 

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

The firm seats, just right for aggressive driving, are a bit too stiff for longer trips. Gas mileage is predictably pedestrian. We got about 20 mpg on a trip from Chattanooga to Birmingham, Alabama.

 

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

There's something about driving a car with a bottomless reserve of power that makes you smile. Our son was the first to notice that we were traveling 70 miles per hour at 1,800 rpms, which means the engine was almost laughably under-stressed. The suspension is somewhat stiff and the oversized tires made traveling the W-road switchbacks up Walden's Ridge a bit challenging. But the on-demand acceleration is awesome.

 

BOTTOM LINE

If your adrenal gland needs stimulating, this is the SUV to do it.

In the market for a new vehicle? To access hundreds of Mark Kennedy's Chattanooga Test Drive columns visit www.timesfreepress.com/testdrive.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.

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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / Twenty-inch wheels and quad exhausts hint at the awesome power of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 63 S Coupe
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