Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 (X 253), 2016 Exterieur: Obsidianschwarz; Interieur: Leder Schwarz, Performance Sitze Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert (l/100 km):  8,3 CO2-Emissionen kombiniert (g/km): 189 exterior: obsidian black; interior: leather black, performace seats Fuel consumption, combined (l/100 km):   8.3 CO2 emissions, combined (g/km):  189

The wraps have come off the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 – a semi-pumped-up version of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 rival – ahead of its world premiere at the 2016 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). A halfway house between the cooking GLC and the upcoming AMG GLC 63, it’s ready to take on the BMW X4 M40i, and is powered by the same engine as the C 43, the recently-unveiled E 43, the GLE 450 and the SLC 43.

That engine happens to be a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 that pushes out 367 hp from 5,500 to 6,000 rpm and 520 Nm of torque between 2,500 rpm and 4,500 rpm. All this is sent through a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission and the 4Matic all-wheel drive system – the latter is a rear-biased system that splits torque 31:69 front-to-rear. Zero to 100 km/h is done in just 4.9 seconds.

Under the skin, there’s a sports suspension based on the Air Body Control air suspension, plus ADS Plus adaptive damping. At the front, the four-link suspension has been equipped with special steering knuckles and load bearing joints. Both front and multi-link rear axles have more negative camber for improved lateral dynamics, and have more rigid elastokinematics; the net result is improved agility and dynamics.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 (X 253), 2016 Exterieur: Obsidianschwarz; Interieur: Leder Schwarz, Performance Sitze Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert (l/100 km):  8,3 CO2-Emissionen kombiniert (g/km): 189 exterior: obsidian black; interior: leather black, performace seats Fuel consumption, combined (l/100 km):   8.3 CO2 emissions, combined (g/km):  189

Meanwhile, the brakes have been uprated with 360 mm cross-drilled discs and four-piston callipers at the front and 320 mm cross-drilled discs with single-piston callipers at the rear. The steering has been tweaked as well, with a speed-sensitive, variable-ratio sports rack added.

Gearshift speed, suspension damping and steering power assistance are all controllable via a five-mode (Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual) Dynamic Select system. Sport and Sport Plus modes also provide a sharper throttle response and blip the throttle on downshifts; on the other end of the spectrum, the Eco mode has a coasting function that decouples the engine off-throttle at speeds between 60 and 160 km/h.

All this performance is communicated visually through a sportier AMG front apron with chrome fins and a chrome front splitter, as well as a diamond grille with chrome pins and gloss black louvres with chrome inserts and AMG badging. There are also gloss black wing mirrors, “Biturbo 4Matic” badging on the fenders and an AMG rear diffuser insert with integrated quad exhaust exits.

As standard, the GLC 43 sits on 19-inch AMG five-twin-spoke alloy wheels in a two-tone gloss black and high sheen finish, wrapped in staggered tyres measuring 235/55R19 at the front and 255/50R19 at the rear. You can also specify 21-inch two-tone items as an option, along with a Night package.

Inside, you’ll find a flat-bottomed steering wheel, along with sports seats and Artico faux leather and Dynamic microfibre upholstery with red stitching. A unique AMG instrument cluster with chequered-look dials are also fitted, while performance seats (with increased lateral support), carbon fibre trim and real leather upholstery are available as options.