Mercedes-Benz reveals its second-generation GLE Coupe ahead of the sporty SUV’s public debut at next month’s 2019 Frankfurt auto show.
Set to rival the Audi Q8, recently revealed third-generation BMW X6 and new Porsche Cayenne Coupe, the latest model to hail from Mercedes-Benz’s Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama will see U.S. sales in mid-2020, at a price the automaker suggests will be slightly above the outgoing first-generation GLE introduced in 2015.
Stylistically, the new GLE Coupe leans heavily on the latest GLE SUV, most notably at the front end where the two models share a similar look, including full LED headlamps and, in AMG guise, a distinctive Panamericana-style grille.
At the rear, a plunging liftback-style tailgate helps provide the new Mercedes-Benz with a coupe-like profile. Taillamps similar in design to those gracing the CLS also help lend it a more sporting air than its more practical sibling.
At 194.4 ins. (4,938 mm) long and 79.1 ins. (2,009 mm) wide, the second-generation GLE Coupe is 1.5 ins. (38 mm) longer and 0.2 in. (5 mm) wider than its predecessor.
The wheelbase also is 0.8 in. (20 mm) longer than the first-generation GLE Coupe, though it remains 2.4 ins. (61 mm) shorter than that of the more practical second-generation GLE SUV at 115.6 ins. (2,936 mm).
By comparison, the new third-generation BMW X6 measures 194.3 ins. (4,935 mm) long and 78.9 ins. (2,004 mm) wide and boasts a wheelbase of 117.1 ins. (2,974 mm).
Mercedes-Benz confirms one standard engine for the new GLE Coupe. The turbocharged 3.0L inline 6-cyl. diesel (below, left) delivers 268 hp and 443 lb.-ft. (601 Nm) of torque in the GLE350d 4matic Coupe and 326 hp and 516 lb.-ft. (700 Nm) of torque in the GLE400d 4Matic Coupe. Neither is planned for sale in North America.
In the U.S., sales of the new model will be spearheaded by the new GLE53 4Matic+ Coupe. It uses the same EQ Boost mild-hybrid drivetrain as the CLS53 4Matic, with a turbocharged 3.0L gasoline I-6 and 48V integrated electric starter motor.
The combustion engine develops 429 hp and 384 lb.-ft. (521 Nm) of torque while the electric motor provides an additional 21 hp and 184 lb.-ft. (250 Nm) for brief periods under acceleration. Drive is sent to all four wheels via a standard 9-speed AMG Speedshift TCT automatic gearbox and a 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system boasting a fully variable apportioning of torque between the front and rear axles depending on the prevailing driving conditions and drive mode.
Mercedes-Benz has not divulged an official curb weight figure, though it claims a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 5.3 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h) for the GLE53 Coupe. Combined cycle consumption is put at 25.3 mpg (9.3 L/100 km) on NEDC-adjusted figures under the existing European test procedure.
Underpinning the AMG-developed GLE Coupe model is a so-called AMG Active Ride Control suspension featuring air springs and electromechanical actuators that work on the antiroll bars to reduce body roll during cornering. Buyers can option the GLE53 Coupe with continuously adjustable damping that offers three levels of firmness: Comfort, Sport and Sport+.
The new GLE53 will serve as the performance figurehead of the new GLE lineup until the planned arrival of an even more powerful GLE63 model in 2020. It is likely to run the same turbocharged 4.0L gasoline V-8 as the latest E63 sedan, pumping out up to 604 hp and 627 lb.-ft. (850 Nm) of torque.
Mercedes-Benz also confirms preparations for the introduction of a plug-in hybrid version of the new GLE Coupe are under way, though it is withholding technical specifications.