Mercedes-Benz is in the final phases of road-testing its next-gen GLE SUV. The new GLE (codename W167) is likely to see a world premiere at the Paris Motor show this October.
The new Mercedes GLE will replace the outgoing model (W166) which made its public debut in 2012 as the M-class and received a facelift and the new GLE moniker in 2015.
Latest spy shots reveal almost all the styling details of the car. It has been designed ground up and still carries styling cues of its predecessors – right from the first-gen ML-class SUV.
The nose features a wider grille housing with slightly smaller headlamps that blend in smoothly. The front bumper is chunkier and it gives the SUV a muscular appearance. Mercedes is expected to offer more than one type of grille design on the GLE, with the high-performance GLE 63 likely to get the vertically slotted Panamericana grille seen on the newer Mercedes models.
Moving on to the sides, the large wheel arches are carried forward with some styling tweaks, and it has the typical Mercedes SUV look. The rear now features slimmer and longer wraparound tail-lamps and subtle use of chrome on the tailgate.
Mercedes had also revealed a series of sketches that tell us what the interiors would look like. The new GLE gets two 12.3-inch digital displays as standard. There's a new multifunction, steering wheel that has 18 controls, including two touch-sensitive pads within the horizontal spokes, as well as a larger touchpad in the centre console that replaces the rotary dial of the outgoing GLE.
As in the existing GLE, the gear selection is done via a stalk on the steering column rather than a traditional gear lever, which frees up space for two large cupholders. The next-gen GLE is expected to have a slightly larger footprint than its predecessor, which means there will be extra legroom for the front and the second-row passengers.
The new GLE is underpinned by a new MHA (Modular High Architecture) platform which is heavily related to the MRA (Modular Rear Architecture) setup that forms the basis of the C-class, the E-class, and the S-class range. The MHA structure has been conceived for Mercedes models with a high ground clearance.
The manufacturer will offer a range of powerplants on the upcoming GLE, including four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Some markets will get plug-in hybrid versions of the SUV as well. The high-performance AMG GLE 63 is expected to come with the new twin-turbocharged V8 engine that could churn out an output as high as 611hp – identical to the current Mercedes-AMG E 63 S sedan.
Expect Mercedes to bring the new GLE to India sometime next year.
Spy pic source