And it has a secret weapon - mild-hybrid AMG power.
In Hall 11 at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW is displaying its all-new X6 crossover coupe, finished in an eye-catching Vantablack paint job that looks like a video game hack come to life. Mercedes, in Hall 2, took a different approach, deciding to show off its competitor, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe, in a lovely shade of white with a bold red and black two-tone leather interior.
In terms of raw headlines, BMW will come away from Frankfurt with a victory against Mercedes but when the two crossover coupes hit the road, the battle will be far from over. The GLE 53 splits the difference between the six-cylinder and V8 X6, meaning Mercedes could attract customers who may have otherwise bought the non-existent X6 50i model.
The standard GLE SUV is available with engines ranging from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder to a 3.0-liter inline-six, with a 4.0-liter V8 coming soon along with a future AMG 63 version. But at least for now, the GLE Coupe will only be coming to the US in AMG 53 guise utilizing a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six mated to a mild-hybrid system for a total of 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the X6, which produces 335 hp from an inline-six or 523 hp from its V8, the GLE 53 could be the sweet spot for some buyers. BMW does build a V8 rated at 456 hp in the X5, though it will not be offered in the X6.
Picking between the two based on styling will be a personal decision but we'd give the slight edge to the X6. On the inside, the GLE Coupe clearly boasts better technology with Mercedes' excellent MBUX infotainment system.
Pricing should play a big factor in the battle between these two crossover coupes. We know the BMW will cost between $64,300 and $85,650 but Mercedes has yet to reveal US pricing for the GLE 53 Coupe. The outgoing GLE 43 Coupe sold for $71,350 so we expect the 53 to be slightly more expensive, putting it right in the middle of the X6's pricing.