We’ve been tracking Mercedes-Benz and its updated GLE-Class SUV for quite awhile now. The new model will be a bit bigger and a touch lighter courtesy of the MRA chassis that will serve as the underpinnings going forward. What we haven’t seen much of, however, is the inevitable AMG variant. Spy videographers happened to catch a pair of just such machines on the road, giving us a small taste of what’s to come.
The first one we’ll cover is what we think is the AMG 53 model, featured in the photos above and video at the top of the page. Technically this will be the first time we’ve caught the lower-spec version, which at this point appears to still be testing with some non-production items. The grille still has the horizontal bar of the normal Mercedes line, and it looks like there's some extra junk in the trunk to obscure body lines. The beefy tires and exhaust outlets, however, tell us this isn’t just another GLE-Class test mule.
The GLE 63 is a bit more obvious in its appearance. For starters, a close look behind the camo coverings up front reveal the telltale vertical bars of the AMG Panamericana grille. It appears to be wearing a bit less camo on the back corners, though the prototype tail lights are still there. Our big tipoff to this being the 63 comes from the video (below) as the SUV speeds away. That definitely sounds like a throaty V8, possibly a biturbo V8 making up to 500 horsepower. The AMG 53 is expected to sport a mild hybrid powertrain with the same setup in the base-model AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, delivering 429 hp (320 Kw) from a turbocharged inline-six.
While we expect to see the new GLE-Class for the 2019 model year, the AMG versions may not show up until 2020.