With the new Performance models based on the GLE, Mercedes-AMG is continuing a precisely 20 year-old tradition: in 1999 the ML 55 as the progenitor based on the then M-Class was the top model in the range with its 255 kW (347 hp) V8 engine
. The same applies to its current successor in the guise of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 4MATIC+ (combined fuel consumption: 11.5-11.4 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 262-261 g/km). The top-of-the-line performer of the model series is naturally taking to the starting line with state-of-the-art engine technology: the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine generating 420 kW (571 hp) in the GLE model series and 450 kW (612 hp) in the S version is combined for the first time with the EQ Boost starter-alternator. This is accompanied by an additional electric output of 16 kW (22 hp), a 48-volt on-board electrical system, cylinder shut-off and petrol particulate filter for optimum efficiency. Furthermore, the fully variable all-wheel drive, the air suspension with adaptive damping adjustment and active roll stabilisation and the extremely fast-shifting TCT 9G transmission further move the limits of vehicle dynamics upwards. On top of this there are the advantages of a luxury SUV: good all-round visibility, plenty of space for passengers and luggage, high-quality materials and the brand’s very latest driving assistance, infotainment and connectivity functions. Even more versatility is provided by the improved off-road capabilities with the two additional drive programs “Trail” and “Sand”, as well as the variable vehicle level.
This is where extreme sportiness, first-class off-road characteristics and absolute day-to-day suitability come together.The 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine in the new GLE 63 is fitted for the first time in both output variants (420 kW/571 hp and 450 kW/612 hp) with an integrated EQ Boost starter-alternator. It combines a starter motor and an alternator in a single, powerful electric motor and is integrated between the engine and the transmission to save space. The additional 16 kW (22 hp) of output plus 250 Nm of torque which can be called upon temporarily, does not only enable more spontaneous moving-off characteristics. This is because moreover, this innovative component supplies the 48-volt on-board electrical system, is used as a power generator and also performs hybrid functions. These include boost, recuperate, load point shift, gliding and the virtually imperceptible restarting of the engine with the start/stop function. For the first time, the EQ Boost starter-alternator is also responsible for idle speed control. This allows fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology.
The design idiom of the exterior embodies sheer energy and Performance Luxury. The AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical louvres reaffirms membership of the AMG model family, while the dynamic arrow-shape of the front section with its smaller angle of approach emphasises the distinctive proportions. As a typical feature of the Performance models, the front apron in a dynamic jet-wing design is painted in the vehicle colour and has black air intakes. Imposing powerdomes in the bonnet and the front splitter in silver chrome emphasise the sharper all-round design.
The side skirts, exterior mirror housings and flared wheel arches are painted in the vehicle colour, and seamlessly blend into the muscular overall look. Different wheel/tyre combinations cover all on and off-road requirements. The base model is shod with 20-inch light-alloy wheels with AMG lettering as standard, while the S variant comes with 21-inch wheels ex-factory. Other wheel variants with diameters from 21 to 22 inches are optionally available.
The newly designed rear apron with AMG-specific details such as a striking diffuser and a trim strip in silver shadow visually accentuate the vehicle’s width. The special AMG exhaust system with two rectangular twin tailpipe trim elements (with characteristic corrugation for the GLE 63 S) and the roof edge spoiler round off the sporty look.
Further individualisation options are available in the AMG Night package. This includes heat-insulating, dark-tinted windows and also the front splitter, front and rear apron trim, inserts in the side skirts, mirror caps and window frames in dignified black. Plus the twin tailpipe trim elements are finished in black chrome.
The high-quality interior is characterised by a systematically sporty ambience with a dynamic and exclusive touch. The standard AMG seats are upholstered in nappa leather, provide optimum lateral support and have an AMG-specific seat pattern layout with an “AMG” badge in the front backrests. Other leather variants are optionally available. Individually adjustable ambient lighting comes as standard. The second seat row is optionally available with full electric adjustment.
AMG-specific interior appointments and controls lend the cockpit a hallmark AMG atmosphere and support sporty, precise handling. The latest generation, three-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles impresses with its optimum driver-oriented ergonomics. In the base model the steering wheel rim is lined in black nappa leather, and in the S variant in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre, in each case with a black 12-o’clock marking. Further options include AMG steering wheel buttons for particularly fast operation of dynamically relevant parameters.
The centre console has an AMG-specific control panel with additional switches with which the 3-stage ESP®, manual transmission mode, the adaptive damping adjustment, the optional AMG Performance exhaust system and the suspension level can be controlled.
Alongside the AMG brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs, door sill panels and black floor mats with “AMG” lettering accentuate the sporty look. A wide range of high-quality interior trim elements is available for further individualisation of the interior. AMG trim elements in carbon fibre lend a particularly sporty touch to the interior.
The innovative MBUX control and display concept in the new Performance SUVs creates an even closer bond between the vehicle, driver and passengers. At the same time, the latest version of the infotainment system contributes to the great day-to-day practicality. Emotive displays such as the particularly striking Supersport mode with a central rev counter and 3D-look scales lend visual depth to the instrument and accentuate the exclusivity.
Whether it’s operated with the touchpad, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control or gesture control: the control concept is both versatile and flexible. Thanks to the innovative voice control – activated with the keyword “Hey Mercedes” – the AI software recognises and understands practically all commands common in infotainment and vehicle control – even when spoken indirectly.
With the four AMG-specific display styles “Modern Classic”, “Sporty”, “Discreet” or “Supersport”, the vehicle functions are directly visualised on the instrument cluster on the left side and on the touchscreen display on the right. Visually, the two displays under one shared glass cover blend into a Widescreen Cockpit and as a central element consequently emphasise the horizontal orientation of the interior design.