The lack of a Mercedes-Benz competitor against the revolutionary BMW X6 was resolved in late 2014 with the introduction of the GLE Coupé. The arrival of its exuberant AMG version reminds us that an SUV can also be a sports car. However, this is far more than an ordinary new release. The GLE 63 AMG has a sports chassis developed especially for the occasion. Together with the AMG Ride Control suspension and Mercedes Benz´s new technologies–Active Curve and Direct-Steer– the vehicle uses dampers to ensure maximum precision and minimum rolling. Read about our selection of luxury cars.
As it is usual in AMG’s recent models, this radical SUV is available with two levels of power. The 5.5-liter V-8 direct injection engine with twin turbochargers can develop the same 549 hp of the standard version or the 577 hp of the GLE S 63 AMG version.
The latter is the best candidate to surpass the current X6 M, which generates 575 hp and acceleration from 0-60 mph in just 4.2 seconds, a figure identical to that of its rival BMW. The standard version, meanwhile, is only one-tenth below in this sector, although they are equally efficient: both consume 11.9 liters per 100 kilometers and emit 279 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
The mechanical options work with the seven-speed AMG DCT gearbox, which offers five modes: Single, Comfort, Sport, Sports Plus and Slippery. The slippery transmission mode optimizes the grip provided by the all-wheel drive AMG Performance 4MATIC system, which distributes the drive power to all four wheels in a ratio of 60:40 in favor of the rear axle when road conditions are more stringent.
The GLE 63 AMG’s standards of excellence extend beyond what is found under the hood. Its design commands a marked differentiation and accentuates its sporting character. The vehicle introduces elements such as the A-Wing front bumper, sharp hood nerves, two visible chrome dual tailpipes, as well as the double chrome bar grille and the three-dimensional headlights with integrated LED lights. The 21-inch AMG wheels mounted on huge tires: 285/45 R21 at the front and 325/40 R21 at the rear complete the new look of this versatile SUV.
The new GLE 63 AMG Coupé was the star of Mercedes-Benz during the recent Detroit Auto Show, but no other information about it has been revealed including date of release or cost. However, everything suggests that the starting price will be no lower than $136,000. ■