You're looking at what will be a direct replacement for the current GLE 43.

It was only a couple of days ago when our spies caught the next-generation Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 on the move and now we’re able to get up close in personal with its lesser AMG companion. The quad round tips at the back suggest it’s the warm GLE 53 set to have an exhaust system similar to the other members of the newly founded "53" family from Affalterbach: E 53 Sedan, E 53 Coupe, E 53 Convertible, and the CLS 53.

Acting as a direct successor to the current GLE 43, the new version carrying a higher number in its moniker will adopt a mild hybrid powertrain consisting of a biturbo 3.0-liter engine and an EQ Boost. If the midsize luxury SUV will adopt the exact same specification of the combustion engine as the other “53” cars, it means the inline-six will be good for 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet (520 Newton-meters). Compared to today’s GLE 43, it will represent a significant hike of 44 hp while matching the amount of torque of its predecessor.

Officially revealed:

As for the e-boost, the hybrid function adds 21 hp and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) into the power equation for the “53” family, so we’re expecting a similar story with the GLE 53. It will do more than just add power as the starter generator boasts an energy recovery system and helps the conventional engine start and stop without the driving even noticing when the switch is made.

Beyond its greener and beefier powertrain, the new performance SUV from Mercedes-Benz will likely be significantly lighter by switching to all-new underpinnings. It’s exactly what the doctor has ordered considering the GLE 43 weighs a hefty 4,987 pounds (2,262 kilograms) in U.S. specification. Add into the mix a more spacious cabin jam-packed with the latest tech the three-pointed star has to offer, the new GLE 53 is shaping up to be one of the most versatile SUVs out there by offering a well-rounded package.

Mercedes is expected to unveil the regular GLE versions before the end of the year, with the 53 likely to drop by 2019 and to be eventually followed by the top dog 63.

Photos: CarPix

Gallery: Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 spy photos