Mercedes Reveals New GLE 53 Coupe
This crossover is all about making a statement.
The latest SUV from Mercedes-Benz, well, isn’t. See, it’s not really a Mercedes-Benz, and they don’t want you to call it an SUV. Instead, it’s the new GLE coupe. And the only one we’re getting for now is the AMG version. This is the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe.
This crossover is all about making a statement. Which is probably why they’re only showing us the AMG-lite version for now. With a muscular stance, wide sills, and the AMG Panamericana grille in the nose. At 4,691 mm long the new GLE coupe is 20 mm longer than the outgoing GLE coupe, but it’s still 60 mm shorter than the full-fat GLE SUV crossover which helps to give it a more sporting side profile. As do the standard 21-inch wheels.
Under the hood of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupe (and that’s the only time we’re going to use the car’s full name, unless it’s in trouble) is a 3.0L inline-six. It uses a turbocharger plus the electric compressor that the Mercedes 48V electrical system now supports in order to make 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. On top of that, this is a mild hybrid. Adding the Mercedes EQ Boost starter-alternator to add 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque for short periods. That’s enough to send the GLE 53 coupe from 0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds.
The 48V EQ Boost hybrid system, Mercedes says, helps boost fuel economy as well. That includes allowing engine-off gliding, controlling idle speed, and improved start-stop. The 48V system also allows for thinner wires. The company says that weight savings reduces fuel use as well, but since the MBUX infotainment system (and most other vehicle functions) are still 12V this is likely a savings that only the likes of Lotus would appreciate.
The GLE 53 coupe will come with an AMG nine-speed automatic and 4Matic+ all-wheel drive. The plus means a more performance-biased power delivery that the automaker says improves balance and acceleration. There will also be an AMG Performance exhaust on the options list, adding some sound to the hybrid driveline.
Drive modes include the usual Comfort, Sport, and Sport+, but there are also Slippery, Trail, and Sand modes for when the pavement goes from stick to slick, or even to gone.
On the more practical side of things, Mercedes has made this big crossover more cargo friendly. At 1,790L all-in, there is room for 70L more stuff than the outgoing model. More usefully, the load floor is 60 mm lower. A significant change for just about anyone loading the rear hatch. It can drop another 50mm on the standard air suspension for even easier loading. That Ride Control+ suspension with adaptive damping drops 15 mm in Sport and Sport+, or at speeds exceeding 120 km/h, and can raise up by 55 mm for off-road modes.
No word on when the GLE 53 coupe will arrive at dealers, but we’re expecting it sometime earlier next year.