By combining two individual classes of vehicle, Mercedes-Benz has created a car that’s not only sporty, but robust: the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupé. This particular model sits at the top of the tree and top-of-the-range with its flowing side contour, elongated and low cabin, striking radiator grille with central chrome louvre and rear end design, as well as a 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive.
"The GLE 450 AMG Coupé is our first sports model, and further highly emotional and performance-oriented models will follow in the near future. The new product line from Mercedes-AMG has allowed us to make true sports car technology and the fascination of motorsports more accessible," says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "Every vehicle from Affalterbach honours the brand promise of Driving Performance."
Right from the start, the GLE Coupé feels like a true sports coupé despite the looks and similarity to an SUV (courtesy of its raised seating position and an all-round view), and drivers could be forgiven for thinking that they are in sports rather than off-road mode whilst on the road. The throaty roar of the car is testament to the sports power, yet there is a calm in the interior that normally can be found in world created by two separate vehicles – an agile, thoroughbred sports coupé and an easy-going, comfortable SUV. But the new GLE Coupé is different as Dynamic Select allows a wide and varied driving dynamic style as it is integrated into the GLE Coupe.
GLE 450 AMG – the first AMG sports model
AS you can imagine, and usually experience, balancing sporty with comfortable is a precarious business, yet somehow, Mercedes-Benz has achieved it with the first AMG Sports model; the balancing act between extremely sporty yet still comfortable has been mastered especially well in the V6 GLE 450 AMG, the first AMG sports model.
And a lot of this is down to the Dynamic Select’s ability to assign fundamentally different characteristics to the five transmission modes - INDIVIDUAL, COMFORT, SLIPPERY, SPORT and SPORT+ - with the driver controlling the choice via a rotary control on the centre console. And what each mode does is as obvious as the nose on your face: SPORT and SPORT+ modes turn the GLE 450 AMG into a sporty, dynamic vehicle with pronounced longitudinal and lateral dynamics; COMFORT mode concentrates on the feel-good parameters and effortless cruising that you would expect in a classic Mercedes-Benz saloon car; SLIPPERY mode makes sure that the car optimises the handling when driving on surfaces where car-to-road friction is limited such as snow and ice; and INDIVIDUAL mode allows driver programming to set and store personal preferences when it comes to individual control strategies, whatever engine is under the bonnet.
4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive and 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission
Mercedes call this the ‘perfect combination’ and whatever mode is selected, the 9G-TRONIC impresses with great agility and responsiveness or poised serenity as it responds quickly and smoothly for energetic sprinting and gently with enjoyable cruising. And this is enhanced with the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive going hand in hand with safe, harmonious and sporty handling.
Other groundbreaking new technologies such as the newly designed AIRMATIC air suspension, ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM with active roll stabilisation, and AGILITY CONTROL steel suspension with an amplitude-selective damping system all come as standard, along with the DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control system, the EASY-PACK tailgate with power opening and closing, the Reversing Camera with dynamic guide lines in the display, ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist and Crosswind Assist, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS and the brake system BAS Plus.
There are three models available in this class, all with appealing design, exceptional suspension and drive technology, and all with the assistance systems that you will remember are available with the C, E and S-Class.
The GLE 350d 4Matic is fitted with a direct-injection V6 diesel engine (developing 258hp and maximum torque of 620Nm from 1600rpm), while the GLE 400 4Matic and the GLE 450 AMG 4Matic are both powered by a direct-injection V6 biturbo petrol rated at 333 hp and 480 Nm from 1400 rpm.
On top of this, the two latter models sport 20” 10-spoke light-alloy wheels with 275/50 R 20 tyres, with the chrome-effect shoulderline trim strips and the simulated underguards at the front and rear alongside the twin-pipe exhaust system with chrome-plated tailpipe trim making the sportiness even more obvious, even though the LED technology that features in the headlamps, daytime driving lights, rear lights and third brake light help to give it away a bit more. Less obvious is the green-tinted, heat-insulating glass that reduces the glare of the sun on that one day in summer when the sun shines in the UK.
When it comes to the GLE 450 AMG we find we are looking at is a particularly sporty vehicle as its V6 biturbo engine with an output of 367 hp and 520 Nm from 1400 rpm is pretty akin to that of a sports car, especially in DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode SPORT+.
With it comes a specific front and rear apron, a rear spoiler lip painted in the vehicle colour and 21” AMG 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels with an option to upgrade to 22” alongside the AIRMATIC package that includes air suspension and infinitely variable adaptive damping system (ADS Plus) with level control and automatic lowering function at higher speeds (optionally available for all models.)
You can see from the photos here that the new GLE Coupé is a particular beauty with styling characteristics of both coupe and SUV – and THE BEST bits of both from this stylistic gene pool. And inside the car is no different in styling excellence.
AS you look into the interior, you can see that the attractive sports seats and the compact sports steering wheel, as well as the infotainment elements that you are fully aware of that exist in the already popular Mercedes C, E and S-Class initially catch your eye, along with the information display, partially integrated into the instrument panel, is fitted in an optimum ergonomic position, with centre air vents positioned next to the display.
The centre console houses the COMAND controller with the touchpad fitted above it, and a Mercedes wouldn’t be a Mercedes without some quality infotainment courtesy of the Audio 20 CD system with eight loudspeakers and the Remote Online communication module that allows connection to the Mercedes ‘connect me’ services in Europe,.
But if the equipment doesn’t make you rub your eyes in disbelief and your jaw drop in awe, then the interior styling of the GLE 450 AMG with its AMG sports seats, black nappa leather AMG sports steering wheel in 3-spoke design, trim elements in light longitudinal-grain aluminium and the sports pedals in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs will, along with the AMG carbon-fibre trim and piano lacquer available as an option.
AS part of the coupé family, there is enough room inside for up to five people, with the rear seat bench in the GLE Coupé the widest in its class; and with a maximum of 1650 litres, the coupé also has the largest luggage compartment in its class AND the world record for luggage compartments in coupés.
There is plenty of scope and plenty of options for customization from colours to safety packages, and although the full spec and timings for arrival in the UK have yet to be finalised, I am sure that the queue for the new Mercedes GLE Coupé will be long and expecting.