The new GLE63 S from Mercedes-Benz—a high-powered, all-wheel, fun-to-drive package with everyday versatility—successfully blurs the line between SUV and sports coupe.
It’s an SUV. It’s a sports coupe. It’s a luxury sedan. It’s Mercedes’ new 2016 GLE63 S Coupe 4MATIC. Designed to compete head-to-head with BMW’s X6 M, the GLE Coupe combines light off-road capability and an SUV-like ride height with the handling prowess and styling of a sports coupe. Packed under the GLE’s muscular silhouette is a burly 5.5-liter V8 biturbo power plant that puts out 577 horsepower and 561 lb.-ft. of torque. Unleashed from a standstill, the GLE63 launches to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds, clearly making good on its sports coupe promise.
Any car company can design a vehicle with a large engine for unmatched straight-line acceleration, but it takes decades of engineering experience to pony a high-center-of-gravity crossover quickly through the curves. That’s where the GLE63 truly shines: Aggressive handling is augmented by a sophisticated Active Curve System. Five different driving modes, from Comfort to Sport Plus, adjust the active antiroll bars, ride height and dampers to create what feels like five totally different vehicles in one. The drive modes also modify the way power flows to the wheels through the all-wheel drive system, the feel of the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and even the intensity of the electronic stability control system, making the GLE63 as at home on big looping highway curves as it is tramping up a graveled back road in the country.
Inside, the GLE’s floating center screen and controls will look and feel familiar to anyone who has ever driven a newer Mercedes-Benz. The climate controls are similar to those found in the GLK, but the GLE also features the maker’s new touchpad controller, which incorporates gesture control for navigating the GLE’s 8-inch infotainment screen. In back, the GLE is roomy and boasts the widest rear seat in its class, while a supersize cargo area also achieves best-in-class status.
Up front, a sloping grille is framed by full LED headlamps and a bulging hood, which further emphasizes the GLE’s dynamic stance. Large wheel arches swallow 22-inch wheels to give the GLE its taller SUV-like profile, while a dramatically sloping roofline creates a coupe-like silhouette from the side. Look for the 2016 GLE63 S Coupe 4MATIC at dealers later this summer.
2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe 4MATIC
Base price: $109,500 est.
Engine: 5.5-liter biturbo V8
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Horsepower: 577 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque: 561 lb.-ft. @ 1,750 rpm
Maximum cargo capacity: 60.7 cu. ft.
City fuel economy: 14 mpg est.
Highway fuel economy: 23 mpg est.
Fuel tank: 24 gal.
Weight: 5,180 lbs.
0 to 60 mph: 4.2 seconds
Top Speed: 155 mph
Bang & Olufsen sound system
Autonomous lane-keeping function