New range-topping GLE model adopts electrified EQ Boost drivetrain first seen in CLS.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 arrives with 429bhp mild-hybrid straight six

Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 arrives with 429bhp mild-hybrid straight six

by Greg Kable

26 February 2019

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Mercedes-AMG has revealed its new GLE 53 4Matic+ ahead of its planned public premiere for the plush performance SUV at next week’s 2019 Geneva motor show.

The new range-topping GLE model is the latest in a growing number of models to receive AMG’s mild-hybrid drivetrain originally unveiled by the CLS 53. It combines parent company Mercedes-Benz’s new twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine, which features an electric auxiliary compressor to boost low-end torque, with an integrated starter motor and 48V electric system.

The output of the mild-hybrid drivetrain is put at a nominal 429bhp at 6100rpm and 383lb ft of torque between 1800rpm and 5800rpm, with an additional 22bhp and 184lb ft provided by the starter motor, which acts as an electric motor for brief periods under acceleration. Altogether, this provides the new GLE 53 with 89bhp and 184lb ft more than the old GLE 43, which ran a more conventional turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine without the electronic boosting technology used by its successor unit.

Drive is handled by a standard eight-speed torque converter-equipped AMG Speedshift TCT automatic gearbox and the Mercedes-Benz’s performance car division’s fully variable 4Matic+ four-wheel-drive system.

Mercedes-AMG has yet to announce a kerb weight figure for the GLE 53, but it claims a 0-62mph time of 5.3sec – 0.4sec faster than the old GLE 43 – and an electronically governed top speed of 155mph. Combined fuel consumption on the NEDC test procedure is a claimed 41.2mpg for an average CO2 emission figure of 212g/km.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 arrives with 429bhp mild-hybrid straight six

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz GLEMercedes-AMG GLE 53 arrives with 429bhp mild-hybrid straight six

Fourth-generation SUV has grown in size and standing, with new engines and advanced new suspension technology that bolsters its ability both on and off-road

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The driver can choose between seven different driving modes – Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Trail, Sand and Individual – via a standard AMG Dynamic Select program.

Together with the new EQ Boost powerplant and upgraded four-wheel-drive system, AMG has provided the GLE 53 with a speed-sensitive variable ratio electromechanical steering system, a uniquely tuned Active Ride Control air suspension with ride height adjustment and a self-levelling function as well as a Ride Control system with continuously adjustable damping control.

Further modifications are centred at the brakes. They adopt 400mm front and 345mm rear discs with two piston and single piston calipers respectively. The standard wheels measure 20in in diameter, with both 21in and 22in rims available as options.

Stylistically, the GLE 53 is differentiated from other fourth-generation GLE models by AMG’s distinctive Panamericana grille. It is integrated into a more heavily structured front bumper featuring larger air ducts for more efficient engine bay and front brake cooling.

Other styling upgrades include colour-keyed wheel-arch extensions and a uniquely styled rear bumper that houses a prominent diffuser and four chromed tailpipes.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 arrives with 429bhp mild-hybrid straight six

Inside, the new AMG model provides seating for up to seven thanks to an optional third row of seats.

The performance treatment evident outside is mirrored in new AMG digital graphics for the instruments as well as AMG Performance seats and a multi-function steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles.

The GLE’s MBUX operating system has also been enhanced with a new AMG Track Pace function, which provides vehicle-specific data, including 0-62mph, standing quarter mile and 62-0mph times that are able to be accessed on closed routes outside public traffic areas.

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Join the debate




For years now, Mercedes

27 February 2019

For years now, Mercedes (under Gordon Wagener?) are not allowed to have straight lines and sharp corners. All corners down to the air vents (as in this car) have to be rounded off. I find the lack of bold confident gestures in Mercedes styling under Wagener very disappointing.

Specific to this car, the ‘upsidedown’ droopy grille is ugly, the double frame wheelarches heavy-handed. And I’ll once again criticize Mercedes’s amusement arcade digital instrument graphics as teenager trash.

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