AMG has done it again.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is our current favorite amongst mid-size luxury SUV class and the company has been teasing an all-new Coupe version, which has just made its official debut prior to its public unveiling at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Like the previous generation GLE Coupe, this one is aimed directly at the BMW X6 and the newest addition to the SUV Coupe segment, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe.
SUV Coupes have never been our favorite segment but the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe has the potential to be one of the best. Like other AMG 53 models, the GLE 53 Coupe is propelled by a 3.0-liter inline-six with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, producing a healthy 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque.
Power goes out through an AMG Speedshift nine-speed automatic to an AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system. As with the lesser GLE 450, the 48-volt mild-hybrid system is used to power the stop-start system, add additional boost pressure until the turbocharger spools up, and power the lights, cockpit, infotainment displays, and control units. Mercedes says the GLE 53 Coupe can hit 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, which is only slightly quicker than the GLE 450's quoted time of 5.5 seconds.
But AMG hasn't just focused on making the GLE 53 Coupe quicker in a straight line. AMG Active Ride Control is available as an optional extra and it adds two independently operating, electro-mechanical actuators at the front and rear axle. It is similar to the 450's E-Active Body Roll Technology but in a sportier application -- it basically limits body roll during hard cornering and smooths out rough bumps in the road. The GLE 450 is one of the most comfortable cars on the road using a similar system but we expect the GLE 53 to be tuned more aggressively.
AMG Ride Control also features an adjustable air suspension built for both long-distance comfort and high-speed agility. Drivers can select from three damper settings -- "Comfort," "Sport," and "Sport+" -- which can raise and lower the vehicle based on driving conditions. These three suspensions modes run separately from the other drive modes -- which include "Slippery," "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport+," and "Individual -- and stability control settings -- which include "Basic," "Advanced," "Pro," "Traction," and "Slide."
Mercedes will offer an optional AMG Track Pack, which enables certain features on the MBUX infotainment system. With this package, drivers can view up to 80 vehicle-specific data points on the head-up display or infotainment screen including lap times and acceleration data. The GLE 53 includes 15.75-inch ventilated front brakes, with two-piston fixed calipers and 13.6-inch rear brakes with one-piston floating calipers.
You can spot a GLE 53 via its Panamericana front grille, AMG-specific bodywork, 21-inch (or optional 22-inch) wheels, flared wheel arches, and aggressive rear diffuser. The overall shape of the GLE Coupe tapers off in the rear compared to the regular model and the overall wheelbase is 2.4 inches shorter, which should significantly reduce storage space. This also means the GLE Coupe will not be available with a third-row option. The interior has also been fettled by AMG with a new steering wheel, seats, trim materials, and color schemes.
Pricing has not been announced but Mercedes says US availability will begin in mid-2020. A more powerful GLE 63 Coupe should arrive later on with over 600 hp and a lesser GLE 450 Coupe model could arrive as well.
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