Celebrating its 55th anniversary this year, AMG is now intricately woven into the fabric of the Mercedes-Benz Group. In fact, there is now an AMG version of every Mercedes model.
Against this backdrop, the idea of an AMG SUV makes sense. And indeed, their lineage can be traced all the way back to the 1999 Mercedes-Benz ML 55 AMG, then known as the fastest SUV in the world.
Which brings us to the subject of this review, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe. While it might not have a claim to the title of fastest SUV in the world, the GLE 63 S Coupe is certainly in the hunt.
Often, in discussions of cars that are both powerful and luxurious, the image of an iron fist in a velvet glove is conjured as a way of describing an automobile. However, in the case of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe, it’s more like a steel fist in a titanium glove.
An absolute brute of an automobile, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe’s aggressive appearance is outdone only by its performance. With that said, underneath its ferocious nature is a full measure of the luxury you’d expect from a Mercedes model commanding a six-figure price.
The gruff look of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S calls to mind the countenance of an irate bulldog. You just know if this Mercedes were a dog, its name would be Otto, Bluto, Drago, Maximo or some other tough-sounding appellation ending with the letter “O.”
In other words, this Mercedes radiates pugnacity.
The piercingly angular stare of the headlights, the bared teeth of the grille and the frown of the bezels framing the huge air inlets in the front bumper make the GLE 63 appear to be saying, “Get your inferior butt out of my way, I don’t have the time nor the inclination to suffer weakness or incompetence.”
Moreover, when the sheer size of the Mercedes is factored into that equation, the GLE 63 S Coupe looks perfectly willing to devour children, small animals and anything else it might consider to be a tasty treat.
Remarkably, the interior design team at Mercedes managed to capture that provocative essence and translate it into sporting, yet luxurious driver and passenger accommodations. And no, I wasn’t at all surprised to see the Nappa leather and microfiber upholstery in my tester was rendered in red and black.
Handsomely sculpted, the multi-functional sport seats provide all the support you’ll ever need, while color adjustable ambient lighting serves as a tasteful interior enhancement. Aluminum shift paddles, accompanied by dials for performance parameter selection, give the fat-rimmed steering wheel a purposeful appearance. Upholstered in Nappa leather and microfiber like the seats, the wheel delivers tactile delight as well.
Passenger space is sufficient at all four main seating positions, though the slanting roofline means taller people will need to mind their crania while entering or exiting the rear compartment. Once seated though, they will find sufficient headroom. On the other hand, the driver’s rear visibility is a bit limited by the cascading roofline.
All in all, the GLE 63 S Coupe’s interior is an opulent place from which to watch the world go by — at high speed.
Rated to produce 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque, the Mercedes’ twin-turbocharged V-8 is supplemented by an electric motor capable of anteing up its own 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Now before you get all excited about the prospect of 800-plus lb-ft of torque, it doesn’t work that way. While the two do occasionally work together, the motor does not exceed the output of the engine.
A 9-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive system complete the powertrain.
By the way, those turbochargers are nestled between the cylinder banks, which shortens the paths their charges must take to enter the combustion chambers. Moreover, they employ twin-scroll technology to minimize turbo lag.
The result is a 4.0-liter engine that feels (and sounds) like a well-tuned 6.0-liter. Throttle response is immediate and the powerplant feels as though it will deliver acceleration endlessly. I consistently saw the digital speedo run up from zero to 60 in just under four seconds.
But wait, there’s more; the engine also offers cylinder deactivation. Cylinders two, three, five and eight deactivate under light loads to help improve fuel economy. The EPA says to expect 18 mpg in the city, 23 on the highway and 20 overall, the latter of which was mirrored in my observations.
Safety and Technology
Forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking are standard, while lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist — as well as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology — are offered as options.
A pair of 12.3-inch digital displays occupies an ultra-wide flat panel running from behind the steering wheel to the center of the dash. The instrumentation display is reconfigurable in multiple ways, while the infotainment display provides access to the MBUX suite of comfort, convenience, entertainment and information functions.
MBUX interaction can be accomplished by voice, touchscreen or with a controller mounted on the center console. The preponderance of functions can be intimidating at first, but each passing day saw me grow more comfortable with it all.
Speaking of growing comfortable over time, I ain’t gon’ lie y’all, this SUV had me a bit wary of it over our first couple of days together. The thought of all that power in such a bulky package had me envisioning a debris field resembling that of a crashed jetliner should something go wrong at speed. However, I came to trust it as time passed and gradually asked a bit more of the GLE 63 S Coupe.
Once we’d crossed the threshold of my distrust, the level of performance the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe demonstrated was nothing less than stupefying. Let’s just say this thing will easily — and eagerly — cash every single check its appearance drafts.
Body roll — thanks to an innovative arrangement of airbags and smart anti-roll bars — is kept unambiguously in check. This helped keep the huge tires firmly planted. The accurate and responsive steering system inspired tremendous confidence. The braking system stopped the big Merc with authority.
Of course, it was “anchored” by huge brake rotors, measuring nearly 16 inches in front and just under 15 inches at the rear. Six-piston calipers in front and single piston calipers at the rear gripped these and held all of that fast firmly in check.
Long story short, the way the GLE 63 S goes over the road is almost surreal. The faster the big SUV goes, the less its size seems to matter. What’s more, the Mercedes delivers outstanding ride comfort, even when it ‘s happily engaged in schleppen arsch.
2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe Specifications
|Dimensions||L: 195/W: 79.4inches/H: 70.2 inches/Wheelbase: 117.9 inches|
|Powertrain||4.0-liter twin turbocharged V-8; 9-speed automatic/AWD|
|Fuel Economy||20 mpg city/25 mpg highway/22combined|
|Performance Specs||603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque|
In all frankness, I like the look of the standard GLE more than the Coupe, and that’s the way I’d go, were I to add one of these to my fleet. However, looks aside, there is no denying the power, performance, comfort and luxury the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe affords its occupants.
While it might be AMG’s 55th anniversary, we got the present.
2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe — Frequently Asked Questions
How much is the AMG GLE 63 Coupe?
Pricing for 2024 had yet to be announced at the time of this writing, however the 2023 version started at $120,700.
How fast is the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe?
Top speed is electronically limited to 174 mph.
Is it better to lease a pickup or buy?
If you do a lot of time-restricted projects, or if your business is seasonal, it makes sense to lease a truck instead of having to buy a vehicle. Leasing is usually the best choice if you’re not sure you’ll be driving your commercial truck for at least three years.