Mercedes-Benz has added yet another model to its new AMG 53 line-up, the latest being this, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic+. The high-performance SUV is based on the latest W167 Mercedes-Benz GLE, which rides on the automaker’s new Modular High Architecture (MHA) platform.
As the warmer AMG version (the full-blown V8-powered GLE 63 is yet to come), it’s powered by the same mild hybrid M256 3.0 litre inline-six petrol engine as the GLE 450 4Matic, featuring a 48-volt electrical system, an electric auxiliary compressor (builds up a high level of boost pressure without delay) and a 21 hp/250 Nm EQ Boost starter generator.
The combination of the 48-volt electrical system and EQ Boost enable hybrid functions which contribute to fuel savings. EQ Boost is responsible for idle speed control, energy recovery, shifting of the load point, gliding mode and the engine’s start/stop function. In total, the twin-turbocharged hybrid engine delivers 435 hp and 520 Nm of torque, which is identical to the C257 CLS 53 4Matic+.
Key performance figures include a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of 5.3 seconds before hitting an electronically-limited speed of 250 km/h. Of course, AMG Performance exhaust system can be had but is a cost option. The exhaust features variable adjustable exhaust flaps to change the sound of the car at the press of a button, and it differs depending on the chosen drive mode.
Speaking of which, there’s Slippery, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Sport+, Individual, and two off-road specific modes modes: Trail and Sand. The drive mode settings are intertwined with AMG Dynamics (vehicle dynamics control), which modulates the electronic stability programme’s sensitivity.
For transmission, it gets the AMG Speeshift TCT nine-speed automatic with shift paddles, sending drive to all four wheels via the 4Matic+ fully variable all-wheel drive system. Fitted here is the AMG Active Ride Control suspension (upgraded version of AMG Ride Control+ air suspension) with active roll stabilisation. This works via two electromechanical actuators that work independently, combating body roll when cornering and precisely tunes load change properties.
The automaker claims that, in comparison to the usual hydraulic-based systems, the AMG Active Ride Control system is significantly faster in response. For example, it’s able to adapt the driving status up to 1,000 times per second, and together with adaptive adjustable damping ADS+, the GLE 53 4Matic+ is said to offer “outstanding driving dynamics with high ride comfort.”
The pneumatic self-levelling axles also enable a constant ride height regardless of vehicle load. However, in Sport and Sport+ modes, ride height is reduced by 15 mm. In Comfort mode, the SUV is also lowered by 15 mm, but only above 120 km/h. This reduces aerodynamic drag and improves handling stability thanks to a lower centre of gravity. Similarly, ride height can be raised by up to 55 mm (ideal for off-road conditions), both when stationary or in motion.
Braking power comes in the form of 400 x 36 mm internally ventilated and perforated discs up front, clamped by a two-piston caliper that’s painted in silver with AMG lettering. Behind, the internally ventilated discs measure 345 x 25 mm and are clamped via a single-piston floating caliper.
As an option, customers can choose AMG Track Pace, a “virtual engineer” that enables reading of up to 80 vehicle-specific data. Owners can then analyse the given information and use them to improve lap times – AMG Track Pace can also measure acceleration and deceleration values, which probably will be the most used feature in general.
Design-wise, the GLE 53 4Matic+ gets the typical Panamericana radiator grille with 15 vertical chrome strips and the double ringed tri-star badge. The narrow LED headlamps with LED DRLs are carried over, and the front apron gets the striking A-Wing treatment, complete with front splitters.
Its profile view is dominated by huge 20-inch wheels, though there are seven wheel variants to choose from, with the largest set measuring 22 inches in diameter. Behind, the SUV gets quad exhaust exits, AMG-specific bumper with integrated diffuser. The optional AMG Night Package includes heat-insulating, dark tinted windows, as well as blacked-out exterior trim pieces.
Inside, the AMG seats are wrapped in a mix of Artico man-made leather and Dinamica microfibre, contrasted with red topstitching. The top part of the instrument panel is covered in the same Artico leather, and the sporty theme is complemented with black roof lining, brushed aluminium trimmings and carbon-fibre AMG inserts on the dash and doors. Further personalisations include different leather seat covers and a range of high-quality trim elements.
The automaker’s new MBUX infotainment system is standard (MBUX Interior Assist is optional), but has been tweaked to feature numerous AMG-specific contents. Like the W213 E-Class and W222 S-Class facelift, the widescreen centre display is connected to the fully-digital instrument cluster. The latter is customisable, featuring four – Classic, Sport, Supersport and Discreet – themes with different graphics and colours.
Other highlights include AMG Performance steering wheel with red 12 o’ clock marker, high-quality haptics, aluminium paddle shifters and touch control buttons that support finger-swiping movements. Customers can specify foldable third row seats, making the GLE 53 4Matic a seven-seat SUV. The Easy Entry function provide electrically adjustable second row seats, further adding convenience to rear passengers. The performance SUV also comes with the exclusive “AMG#63” fragrance as part of the Air-Balance pack.