Mercedes Brings Some AMG to the GLE With GLE 53 4Matic+

Mercedes-Benz's new longer and air-suspension-hopping GLE is getting a taste of AMG. The company has just introduced the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 with a mild-hybrid inline-six that puts out more than 400 hp. It's the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic+.

The GLE 53's party trick is a 3.0L inline-six with a pair of turbos and an electric compressor. That electric compressor uses the vehicle's 48-volt electrical system to add boost more quickly. Taking up the slack before the turbos come on song and reducing lag. Mercedes says it results in "virtually no turbo lag". The engine also has an EQ Boost starter-alternator. It captures energy on coasting and braking, helps blend shifts, and expands the use of automatic stop–start.

The engine alone makes 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. That's 67 hp more than the GLE 450. The EQ Boost can add 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque to that figure for short periods. It adds up to a crossover that can hit 100 km/h from a stop in 5.3 seconds and is limited to 250 km/h flat out. Handling shift work is an AMG Speedshift nine-speed auto. Mercedes says it's tuned to deliver "AMG's signature off-the-line driving dynamics". AMG Performance 4Matic+ calculates and divides torque, which the company says improves traction and dynamics.

It comes with AMG Ride Control+ air suspension. The self-levelling system maintains ride height with changing vehicle loads. Sport and Sport+ modes drop the suspension 15 mm for a lower centre of gravity. Comfort drops it the same amount at speeds of 120 km/h to improve fuel consumption. If your favourite roads are getting a touch rough, ride height can be increased up to 55 mm for better ground clearance.

Seven drive programs should cover most situations you find yourself in on or slightly off the road. Starting with Slippery for, you guessed it, which reduces power and flattens the torque curve in the name of stability. Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ let you dial up the level of sport you want, with Individual letting you Goldilocks your favourite of all the settings. Trail and Sand are set up for mud and sandy conditions.

Letting you know you're looking at the AMG are gaping intakes in the new front bumper. Plus the 15 chrome strips in the Panamericana-style grille and the 21-inch alloys that show off the larger and AMG-labelled brakes.

Inside, Nappa Leather seats are standard with AMG badging. Multiple colour choices and optional carbon let you customize and Mercedes says the carbon bits "impart a particularly sporty feel to the interior."

MBUX comes standard with a widescreen cockpit digital display. AMG modes have been added to the display with different gauges and an AMG-special appearance. If you're really planning to push your GLE, there's an optional AMG Track Pace page that records your vehicle telemetry and lets you know where you can be faster.

The hotted-up GLE should be at dealers the fourth quarter of this year.

GL-Wheeee 2/28/2019 1:15:00 PM