We’ve been seeing spy shots and catching tidbits about the new Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe for some time now, so the first big surprise when we finally received the official news release came with the word that it will arrive later than expected in the U.S. market.
Set to make its official world premier at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, the crossover-coupe will now be designated as a 2021 model-year offering. But sometimes, good things are worth the wait.
The Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 will enter a small but rapidly growing segment of coupe-like crossovers. Along with distinctive styling, it also will deliver some impressive numbers, its turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder engine punching out a solid 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque.
The gasoline side of the powertrain is, meanwhile, paired with a new, 48-volt mild-hybrid system that Mercedes has dubbed the EQ Boost which, it explains, “delivers up to an additional 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque for short periods.”
Mild hybrid technology is starting to show up on a broad range of new products and will become increasingly commonplace during the next few years. The technology relies on a relatively modest-sized lithium-ion battery to power a starter-generator motor that can deliver seamless stop-start functionality while also providing a bit of additional grunt at launch. In less aggressive driving conditions, the package also improves the GLE 53 Coupe’s fuel economy – though final mileage numbers won’t be released until closer to next year’s launch.
The drivetrain is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels. The 4Matic system is nominally rear-biased and allows torque to be distributed to each of the front wheels to help improve steering and handling.
The GLE 53 Coupe measures about 2.4 inches shorter than the conventional Mercedes GLE, and is immediately recognizable thanks to the more aggressive rake of its roofline. As an AMG model, it gets a number of additional exterior tweaks, starting with double ring, slim headlamps and the “A-wing” in the front bumper. In turn, the bumper gets “sporty outer air inlets, each with two side louvers in silver chrome with black accents. Like the air inlet louvers, the front splitter is also in silver chrome,” notes the automaker. Flared wheel arches, meanwhile, feature 21-inch wheels and tires, with 22-inchers available.
“The new GLE 53 Coupe adds even more style and elegance to our SUV family, together with hallmark AMG features such as the brand-specific radiator grille,” said Tobias Moers, the CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. Along with the new engine and suspension technology built into the GLE 63 Coupe, that “guarantee(s) a thrilling driving experience in terms of longitudinal and lateral dynamics.”
Inside, the GLE 53 Coupe features red contrast stitching and red seatbelts, as well as sport seats finished in Dinamica microfiber. There are plenty of other distinctive AMG details, such as the three-spoke wheel and stainless steel sport pedals.
The coupe-crossover gets the new MBUX infotainment system which operates much like Amazon’s Alexa personal voice assistant – which can be accessed through the MBUX interface. It recognizes normal speech, among other things, skipping the need to learn arcane commands.
There’s also the optional AMG Track Pace system which, Mercedes says, “enables up to 80 vehicle-specific data, as well as times on closed-off private circuits to be recorded and analyzed in detail.” Data can be displayed on the large, reconfigurable gauge cluster or the crossover’s optional head-up display, or HUD, system.
The already nimble AMG Ride Control air suspension with continuously adjustable damping can be upgraded to AMC’s Active Ride Control system which relies on “two independently operating, electro-mechanical actuators at the front and rear axle, (to) not only reduces body roll when cornering, but (which) also allows more precise control of cornering properties and load change characteristics.”
For scrubbing off speed, the GLE 53 Coupe relies on large ventilated brakes with two-piston fixed calipers up front and single-piston floating calipers in the rear.
Pricing won’t be released until shortly before the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe goes on sale around the middle of next year.