First Drive: 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe Feels All Too Familiar

One other week, one other Mercedes-AMG. The launch of a brand new AMG-badged Mercedes was as soon as a uncommon occasion, eagerly awaited by fans. However now, with the worldwide Mercedes-AMG franchise comprising a staggering 63 autos, it is quick changing into routine. And, because the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic+ Coupe (whew!) exhibits, only a bit formulaic.

The GLE 53 Coupe is a go-fast Mercedes SUV by the numbers. Below the pores and skin is the AMG-massaged model of Daimler’s 3.0-liter gentle hybrid twin-turbo inline-six, together with AMG’s Speedshift TCT nine-speed automated transmission, AMG’s Efficiency 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system, and the non-obligatory AMG lively anti-roll system. It is all acquainted AMG {hardware} in a mildly face-lifted wrapper dominated by the toothy grimace of the brand new AMG household grille. Different beauty modifications embody normal LED headlights, and new slimline taillights, together with a redesigned entrance apron, flares on the wheel openings, and a brand new rear fascia underpinned by the compulsory 4 cannon-sized exhausts.

Inside, the GLE 53 Coupe will get the redesigned inside from the 2020 GLE and GLS, that includes the enormous standalone pod for the 2 12.3-inch high-definition screens—one a configurable instrument show, the opposite a touchscreen for the MBUX infotainment interface. AMG touches embody the flat-bottomed Efficiency steering wheel and aluminum gearshift paddles, AMG-specific graphics on the sprint, and AMG capabilities within the MBUX menu that show monitor information and efficiency telemetry. Once more, it is all stuff we have seen earlier than on automobiles like the present AMG E-Class and the AMG GT 4-Door.

We appreciated the brand new engine within the AMG GT 53 4-Door we examined earlier this 12 months and placing it below the hood of a giant, heavy SUV hasn’t dimmed its enchantment. With 429 hp at 6,100 rpm and 384 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 rpm to five,800 rpm—augmented for brief intervals by 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque from the compact e-motor mounted between the engine and the transmission—it punches the GLE 53 Coupe from 0-60 mph in a claimed 5.2 seconds with a scrumptious straight-six snarl. Prime velocity is proscribed to 130 mph, except you order the non-obligatory summer season tires, during which case the restrict is raised to 155 mph.

The e-motor, dubbed EQ Increase, contributes to that efficiency in additional methods than one. It acts as a starter-generator for the 48V electrical system that, amongst different issues, powers a small electrical turbocharger that produces enhance till the bigger exhaust gas-driven turbocharger will get up to the mark, enhancing low-end throttle response and refinement, and serving to create that impressively broad swathe of torque for the nine-speed transmission to get its enamel into. Even with the throttle mapping within the least aggressive settings—in Consolation or Slippery modes, for instance—the GLE 53 Coupe’s powertrain feels remarkably alert.

Along with Consolation and Slippery, GLE 53 Coupe drivers can select from 5 different drive packages, together with the acquainted Sport, Sport+, and Particular person modes complemented by two off-road-specific settings: Path and Sand. AMG’s personal car dynamics protocols—Fundamental, Superior and Professional—are built-in into every, influencing the management methods of the digital stability management or the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive programs. The spectrum ranges from extraordinarily secure to extremely dynamic, the latter Mercedes-AMG engineer converse for energy oversteer. Within the Path and Sand modes, when the ESC is deactivated, drivers can select between get-me-though and yee-hah! settings, aka Traction and Slide.

The totally different modes additionally change damper charges and trip top, courtesy of the AMG-tweaked air suspension. Choosing Sport or Sport+ modes stiffens the trip and lowers the trip top by 0.6 inch. In Consolation mode, the GLE 53 Coupe robotically snuggles 0.6 inch nearer to the tarmac from a velocity of 75 mph to scale back aerodynamic drag and gasoline consumption and enhance stability. For gentle off-road work, the trip top could be raised by as much as 2.2 inches at speeds as much as 43 mph.

With a lot acquainted {hardware} from the AMG elements bin working collectively, it is in all probability solely pure the GLE 53 Coupe would not actually shock in any method. From the velvety brutishness of the facility supply to the elephantine tap-dancing of the chassis alongside tight and twisting roads, it is precisely what you count on of a contemporary AMG-badged SUV. It felt huge, highly effective, and heavy on our check route, a point-and-squirt efficiency machine that rewarded easy throttle and steering inputs and a agency foot on the brakes.

Our tester rolled on the usual 21-inch wheels (22s are an choice) fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Winter tires, 275/45 on the entrance and broad 315/40 on the rear axle, due to the snowy situations at our in a single day cease in Hochgurgl, a ski resort 7,000 ft up within the western Austrian Alps. It was additionally fitted with the non-obligatory lively anti-roll system, which saved it admirably flat via corners. Experience high quality in Consolation mode is suitable, although you are feeling these huge heavy wheels pattering at occasions. Sport and Sport+ modes tighten up the vertical physique motions, however on the expense of secondary trip high quality. Uneven U.S. freeways would not be a pleasing expertise.

Prefer it or not, huge SUV ‘coupes’ are a factor as of late, geared toward these keen to sacrifice some load-lugging functionality and rearward visibility within the pursuit of a sporty aesthetic. The Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe, which will get a U.S. launch date of subsequent spring and shall be priced at about $75,000, is designed to place some muscle behind that aesthetic. The issue is the softly rendered GLE Coupe sheetmetal seems extra zaftig than zingy, particularly round its ample hind quarters, regardless of the AMG costume jewellery. And, crucially, it is slower than the 434-hp, V-6-powered Porsche Cayenne S Coupe, which not solely seems sportier but additionally steers higher, and has higher brake really feel and a extra alert and composed chassis.

It is exhausting to discover a purpose for the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic+ Coupe’s existence, aside from the truth that Daimler appears decided to supply an AMG model of each Mercedes-Benz it builds. Whether or not it is sensible or not.

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