It took BMW quite some time to start development on the BMW X3 M. The first two generations of the X3 were strangely without an M variant, despite the Bavarians having two generations of the X5 M and X6 M. However, BMW is currently in development of such an X3 M, which should be an exciting little SUV. However, it won’t be alone when it debuts, as the folks in Stuttgart have come up with an answer already — the Mercedes-AMG GLC63.

Based on the standard Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, the GLC63 AMG will be the fastest, most hardcore variant. It’s not to be confused with the Mercedes-AMG GLC43, though, which is more of a competitor for the upcoming X3 M40i. The ’63 AMGs are the proper fast ones, comparable to BMW M cars, while the ’43 AMGs are the middlingly quick ones, comparable to BMW M Performance vehicles like the M240i and X4 M40i.

The Mercedes-AMG GLC63 will be available in two body variants, the traditional SUV style and the “Coupe”, which is the competitor for the BMW X4. Both variants will come with the same 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine as-standard, which will make 469 hp and 479 lb-ft. However, only the Coupe will come in the optional “S” trim, which cranks the twin-turbo V8 up to 503 hp and 516 lb-ft. Regardless of body style or engine variant, the AMG GLC63 will use the brand’s nine-speed automatic and send power to all four wheels via AMG’s 4Matic+ system. According to Mercedes, the GLC63 will hit 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and 3.7 seconds for the GLC63 S Coupe. That’s faster than a BMW M4 GTS, by comparison.

This new 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system made its debut on the AMG E63 and is capable of sending 100 percent of power to the rear wheels. It’s a far more performance-oriented all-wheel drive system and makes a bit more sense on AMG GLC63, rather than the safe and secure standard system. It also gets limited-slip differential at the rear, which should really help in the corners.

As for suspension, the GLC63 will get air suspension as-standard, which will be electronically adjustable and come with three different modes. To be honest, this will likely give the GLC63 an edge over the X3 M, at least as far as customers go, as it will offer a more plush and comfortable ride than the typical BMW M suspension. It’s a smart move by AMG, as customers of this sort of car only really want the idea of being to lap race tracks while being comfortable on the road. So air suspension is wise.

From the outside, I actually like the way it looks. The standard GLC, to me at least, is one of the most boring looking cars on the road, with it’s little bubbly shape. However, in AMG form it has just the right amount of aggression and muscularity to make it attractive. I also like that “Panamericana” grille that AMG is putting on its vehicles lately. I wasn’t sold on it at first, with the AMG GT C looking a bit odd, but it’s growing on me and looks good on this.

Inside, it’s every bit as handsome as every other AMG vehicle. The design is similar to every other product AMG makes and looks very good, very high quality. In my personal opinion, the most important aspect of a car’s interior is its steering wheel. It’s the the you touch most while driving, so it has to be good. AMG wheels look great, with a chunky rim that’s covered in Alcantara.

BMW hasn’t yet shown us what the X3 M will be or look like but we can assume that the Bavarians are watching this new AMG very closely. Much like how Jaguar halted the F-Pace when it saw the Porsche Macan debut, so they could reassess and make the F-Pace more competitive, BMW will likely be watching this AMG GLC63. This new Mercedes-AMG GLC63 looks good and we’re excited to see the battles between the two cars soon.