2019 mercedes-amg gle63
Although it received a new name for the 2016 model year, switching from M- to GLE-Class, Mercedes’ current midsize SUV is far from new. Sure, the facelift brought many updates inside and out, but the truth is that the GLE is already seven years old as of 2018 and a bit long in the tooth. But this will change soon, as Mercedes-Benz is testing production-ready prototypes of the next-generation model on public roads.
Alongside the regular version, our paparazzi also spotted the high-performance AMG GLE63. The SUV was caught stretching its wheels on both public roads and the iconic Nurburgring track, and it seems that the hauler is just about ready to go into production The new GLE is set to gain numerous and important updates, most coming from the E-Class sedan, on which it is based on. The AMG version will get similar upgrades, including an almost identical drivetrain to the AMG E63 four-door. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG GLE63.
December 6, 2017 - Mercedes-AMG GLE63 caught testing at Nurburgring
Mercedes-AMG GLE63 Exterior
- * Sportier design
- * Panamericana grille
- * Aggressive bumpers
- * Lightweight wheels
*** Although the SUV still sports a bit of camouflage, a quick glimpse is enough to conclude that the GLE will retain the overall shape and size of the current model ***
Although the SUV still sports a bit of camouflage, a quick glimpse is enough to conclude that the GLE will retain the overall shape and size of the current model. We can notice the same utilitarian stance mixed with sporty elements front and rear, as well as a number of new-generation styling cues.
Up front, the SUV features a version of Mercedes’ recent "Panamericana" grille. First introduced on the AMG GT sports car years ago, it’s wider than the usual Mercedes grille and includes a thick horizontal slat at the center, a big tri-star emblem, and the company’s already familiar diamond grille.
The headlamps are new and seem to feature a simpler design. While the current model has sweptback lamps that are shaped around the grille at the inner edges, the new headlamps are almost rectangular and don’t extend as much into the fenders at the top. They’re also somewhat similar to the new CLS. The bumper is heavily camouflaged, but we can notice the big vents on the sides and the wide intake just below the license plate. Needless to say, the AMG model is significantly more aggressive.
*** Up front, the SUV features a version of Mercedes’ recent "Panamericana" grille ***
It doesn’t appear as if the profile view changed too much, but there are a few interesting details to look for. First up, there’s a new character line on the lower doors that goes upward toward the rear wheel arches. The rear door windows have also been revised, while the C-pillar is completely new. Whereas the current pillar is straight and form a 45-degree angle with the beltline, the new element is more rounded and descends smoother onto the rear fenders. Mercedes also redesigned the quarter windows, but the change is far from radical.
The rear fascia lost a lot of camo too. The taillights are still covered, but they’re obviously smaller and sleeker now. The inner units are almost triangular and have sharp edges toward the chrome strips that runs above the license plate recess. The thick camo doesn’t allow us to see the bumper, but the lower section includes the AMG-specific quad exhaust pipe layout.
Mercedes-AMG GLE63 Interior
- * Based on E-Class
- * Digital instrument cluster
- * 12.3-inch displays
- * Premium features
- * New technology
*** Just like the E-Class sedan, the GLE will get a healthy dose of S-Class inside ***
Much like the previous GLE shared many styling cues with the E-Class sedan, the new SUV should borrow many features from the four-door. Granted, the cabin layout won’t be identical, but just like the sedan, the GLE will get a healthy dose of S-Class inside.
Look for a clean dashboard design with round A/C vents at each corner, as well as the four-piece A/C layout just above the center console. On top of that, the SUV will carry a large infotainment display measuring 12.3 inches. In front of the driver we should find a sports, flat-bottom steering in black leather, complimented by electroplated shift paddles, a bezel with the "AMG" logo. Behind the steering wheel, there should be a large, 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster with plenty of configurable features. Just like we’ve seen in most recent Mercs, the 12.3-inch displays will be placed under the same hood, so it will look as if the SUV has a really wide screen.
The SUV should also feature sporty front seats with improved lateral support and black Nappa leather and Dinamica microfiber upholstery as standard. Options should include Nut Brown Nappa leather or Macchiato Nappa leather. Customers in need of more lateral support will have the option to select the AMG Performance seats with integral head restraints.
*** The more expensive and powerful GLE63 S will sport additional standard features such as Nappa leather and a sports steering wheel ***
The more expensive and powerful GLE63 S will sport additional standard features such as Nappa leather on the dashboard, a sports steering wheel with a 12 o’clock marking, and contrast topstitching, and an AMG crest in the front head restraints. Aluminum trim should be standard in both versions, but carbon-fiber inserts or glass-fiber elements in matte silver will also be offered.
The big question here is whether the GLE63 will get the AMG Track Pace app that comes with the AMG E63 sedan. This app enables drivers to analyze and improve their track driving style as well as share their performance with other AMG drivers via Facebook, YouTube and other platforms. Granted, you won’t take an SUV to the track too often, but it wouldn’t hurt to have it ready for that special weekend at the Nurburgring.
Finally, the AMG model should retain the standard SUV’s trunk capacity. There’s no word as to how much luggage it will take, but the high-performance hauler needs a large trunk that can compete with the BMW X5, which offers up to 71 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat.
Mercedes-AMG GLE63 Performance
- * 4.0-liter V-8 engine
- * Up to 603 horsepower
- * Up to 627 pound-feet
- * 0 to 60 mph in four seconds
- * Sport automatic transmission
- * All-wheel drive
*** The SUV will get the newer 4.0-liter V-8 that already motivates most AMG cars and crossovers ***
The current GLE63 is powered by the familiar twin-turbo, 5.5-liter V-8 engine, but you’d better forget about it for the new model. Instead, the SUV will get the newer 4.0-liter V-8 that already motivates most AMG cars and crossovers.
Output is likely to be identical to the sedan, so look for the GLE63 to arrive with 563 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, which accounts for a 13-horsepower and 47-pound-feet increase over the outgoing model. It might not sound like much, but combined with the lighter architecture, it should lead to significant improvements performance-wise. Look for the 0-to-60 mph sprint to drop from 4.3 to around 4.1 seconds. Top speed should remain locked at 155 mph though.
*** Both the base and S models will use the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system with a fully variable torque distribution ***
Moving over to the E63 S variant, it should come with 603 horses and a whopping 627 pound-feet of twist, a 26-horsepower and 66-pound-feet increase over the current version. Sprinting from 0 to 60 mph should take around four seconds, versus 4.2 in the old model. Top speed should also remain limited at 155 mph, but this model will have a limiter delete option that should increase it to around 177 mph.
The new GLE63 won’t be just about horsepower and torque. The SUV will also have cylinder deactivation, with cylinders two, three, five, and eight shut down in the partial-load range. This will lower fuel consumption in the "Comfort" transmission drive program.
Both the base and S models will use the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system with a fully variable torque distribution on the front and rear axles for optimum traction. An AMG SPEEDSHIFT nine-speed sport transmission specially tuned for the new SUV will route all that power to the wheels. However, don’t expect the SUV to feature the sedan’s Drift Mode.
Pricing information is obviously not yet available, but it’s safe to assume that the upcoming GLE63 will a tad more expensive than the outgoing model. With the current SUV priced from $102,550, the next-generation GLE63 should retail from around $107,000. Pricing for the GLE63 S model should increase from $109,700 to around $114,000.
BMW X5 M
The GLE63’s traditional competitor in this niche, the X5 M is one hot SUV. Although it’s scheduled to get a big update in 2018, the current X5 M is no slouch. Powered by a twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 rated at 567 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, the hauler needs only four seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, making it almost as quick as the M4. With the next-gen model, rumored to have at least 600 horsepower, the X5 M should be faster than that, which will also make it quicker than the Mercedes-AMG. Already a menacing vehicle to look at, the upcoming X5 M should be at least as aggressive styling-wise. The cabin should be packed with the latest tech, and if the standard X5 is any indication, the X5 M should be at least on par with the GLE63. Pricing for the current X5 M starts from $100,700, but the sticker should jump to nearly $110,000 with the next-generation model.
Read our review of the BMW X5 M.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Redesigned for the 2019 model year, the Cayenne is as impressive as performance SUVs get, especially in Turbo guise. Powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8, the range-topping model comes with 550 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque on tap, which enables it to reach 60 mph in a scant 3.7 seconds with the Performance Start option. While it’s not as powerful as the competition, the Cayenne Turbo is the quickest of the bunch. A Turbo S model is also underway, so Porsche fans could get an SUV with close to 600 horsepower and more than 600 pound-feet of twist. On the flipside, the Cayenne Turbo is significantly more expensive that the competition. While the Turbo retails from $118,100, the old Turbo S fetches $161,600 before options.
Read our review of the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
Just like the new E-Class, the upcoming GLE should feature significant improvements in all department. With revised looks, new tech, and even a semi-autonomous function, the GLE will be on par with the redesigned BMW X5. The same should be available for the AMG GLE63, which will boast revised aerodynamics and a brand-new engine with the best performance available on the market. Okay, so maybe it won’t be as quick as the Cayenne Turbo, but it will definitely have the most horsepower and torque.
Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE.
Read our full review on the current, 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE63.