Mercedes-AMG has pulled the covers off its three performance SUV debuts at the ongoing LA motor show, with the range-topping GLS 63 joined by two 63 versions of the smaller GLE.
Like its bigger brother, the GLE 63 makes use of the familiar AMG 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8, this time mated to a mild-hybrid ‘EQ Boost’ starter-alternator system bringing an extra 22hp and 249Nm when called upon. The result is 571hp in the ‘standard’ GLE 63 and 611hp in the GLE 63 S. That translates to a 0-100kph time of 4.0sec for the 63 and 3.8sec for the 63 S, with a respective top speed of 250kph or 280kph on the S with the optional AMG Driver’s Package.
The mild-hybrid system not only aids performance, but also enables functions such as boosting and regeneration, cylinder shut-off and seamless restarting with engine start-stop, resulting in better fuel economy and lower emission figures. As before, the GLE models make use of a 9-speed automatic gearbox that is said to have been further developed from previous uses to improve reaction times.
Standard equipment on both GLE 63s includes AMG Ride Control+ air suspension and three-mode adaptive dampers, all configured specifically for this car to “combine outstanding agility and excellent vehicle dynamics with maximum traction and super day-to-day comfort”, according to Mercedes' claims.
Pneumatic self-levelling makes the BMW X5 M rival maintain a constant ride height regardless of load, with Comfort mode lowering the car by 10mm at over 120kph, while Sport and Sport+ modes do the same right from the start. There are also seven Dynamic Select drive modes.
Further handling-focused features include a 48V active roll stabilisation system and an electronic locking differential for the rear axle. To rein everything in, the GLE 63 features six-piston, 400mm front brakes, with a ceramic braking package also optional.
As with the larger GLS, the GLE 63 benefits from model-specific design touches including a new grille, redesigned front apron, side skirts, flared wheel arches, a diffuser-style rear bumper and twin black chrome tailpipes.
Inside, there are AMG specific nappa leather seats, an AMG wheel with aluminium shift paddles, control panels and instrument functions specific to AMG and a whole heap of new AMG badging elements.
There is no official confirmation yet of the souped up GLEs making it to our shores. However, Mercedes Benz India has started accepting bookings for the standard version of the all-new, fourth-gen GLE that is expected to be launched in our market in February 2020.
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