With BMW and Land Rover both working on high-powered versions of their X5 and Velar SUV’s, respectively, Mercedes-Benz also has plans to join the performance ranks with another powerful high-riding vehicle of its own. The GLE 63 was recently spotted wearing camouflage and putting its new performance chops to the test in snowy terrain in Sweden… with some help from the new G55.
Even underneath all that camouflage, it’s easy to point out the new Panamericana grille, bigger wheels and tires, larger brakes, and some defining new features both on the front and rear fascia. We also expect some modest upgrades in the cabin as well. The GLE will adopt the brand new Mercedes-Benz User Experience infotainment system, similar to the A-Class and Sprinter before it. A 10.25-inch fully digital display will be at the heart of it all.
Under the hood, the GLE will likely use the same 4.0-liter biturbo V8 found in the AMG E63 and E63S. It should come in two flavors, both standard and "S" trims, with the former producing somewhere over 500 horsepower (372 kilowatts), and the latter option wringing out as much as and 570 hp (425 kW). In this case, the GLE 63 apparently broke down during testing and had to be towed. Thankfully the G55 was on hand to help.
The lower-trim AMG 53 model will use the same setup as the base-model AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, using a mild hybrid powertrain and a turbocharged inline-six engine to produce 429 hp (320 kW). Unfortunately, this recent test run wasn’t exactly smooth sailing for Mercedes-Benz.
The standard GLE should make its debut sometime in 2019, with the two AMG models making their debut just a year later in 2020. Both the standard GLE and the high-performance AMG models will ride on the new MRA chassis, making them both lighter and more efficient than the versions before them.