A prototype of the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 was spotted carrying the production front bumper looking very aggressive.

With Mercedes-Benz trying to fill out every possible niche out there, it’s no wonder the company with the three-pointed star logo is about to give the GLC the full-on AMG treatment, something which the old GLK never received.

Seen here is an early prototype of the GLC 63 spotted near the company’s test center at the Nürburgring track. It looks pretty much like the recently introduced GLC 43, but there is however one big difference noticeable at the front where the compact crossover has a new bumper. Although its design is masked by the black tape, it’s still easy to notice those huge air intakes denoting there’s something powerful lurking underneath that hood.

It’s actually a biturbo 4.0-liter V8 which will be substantially more powerful than the 362-hp biturbo 3.0-liter V6 engine in the aforementioned GLC 43. Details about how much grunt the V8 will deliver in the “63” version are not available at this point, but in the C63 S it has 510 hp (375 kW), so it will probably be close to that.

We do know from Mercedes-AMG boss, Tobias Moers, the GLC 63 will use the E63’s drivetrain which means it will come with a newly developed all-wheel-drive layout tweaked to deliver a RWD-like experience. The E63 will have up to 612 hp (450 kW) coming from an evolution of the same V8, but that’s unlikely to be the case for the GLC 63.

The cream-of-the-crop GLC model will be considerably quicker than the “43” version which runs to 60 mph (96 kph) in 4.8 seconds and tops out at an electronically-capped 155 mph (250 kph). We won’t be surprised if the “63” will be half a second quicker in the sprint and will also have a less restrictive top speed limiter.

The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 will likely be introduced in the first half of 2017 and will be followed shortly by the GLC 63 Coupe.

Gallery: 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 spy photos