New Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe journey evaluate
Should you thought the previous Mercedes GLE Coupe was a bit incongruous then you definitely’d be proper. When the third-generation M-Class was launched in 2012, a coupe model was by no means on the playing cards.
However to money in on a rising want amongst clients for extra coupe-inspired SUVs, Mercedes created its first in 2015. Full with a brand new badge – ‘GLE Coupe’ – it arrived with 3.0-litre V6 petrol and diesel engines, and a 5.0-litre V8 for the AMG 63 mannequin.
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The brand new second-generation GLE was designed from the outset to be provided each as a traditional SUV and as a coupe model. “This time around we have focused not just on the car being luxurious and spacious, but also on the way it drives. It has to drive as good as it looks,” says Mercedes’ director of SUV growth, Dr. Andreas Zygan. “Feedback from our customers on the old car was that it didn’t drive the way it looked.”
The usual GLE has been on sale within the UK because the early a part of 2019, however that is our first style of the Coupe forward of its launch later this 12 months. So assured is Mercedes in giving the Coupe a sporting aptitude over the usual GLE, the agency’s execs have introduced us to the Transfăgărășan Freeway in Romania; a highway set excessive within the Carpathian Mountains that’s broadly thought of to be essentially the most technical of its kind in Europe.
“We haven’t just taken the GLE and made a new body in white,” says Zygan, “but we have given it a 60mm shorter wheelbase compared to the standard GLE, the suspension is much stiffer and we’ve given the car our e-active body control system so it doesn’t roll around corners. There’s also a different, quicker steering rack and the gearbox ratios have been changed; they sound like little things but they add up to make the Coupe feel different from the GLE.”
We hop right into a gleaming white Mercedes-AMG 53 Coupe on the backside part of the run to the summit. On the wheel is Steffen Nowack, challenge chief of the Mercedes-AMG GLE, in an equally gleaming white shirt. The climb to the highest is extreme proper from the off; the highway switches backwards and forwards while steeply rising, and right here you want energy.
The GLE 53 Coupe will get one in every of AMG’s new 429bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engines with 48-volt mild-hybrid help, mated to four-wheel drive and a nine-speed automated gearbox. Different Coupes can be found, together with a few diesels, however it’s the AMG that really slingshots out of corners while emitting a deep six-cylinder growl for your complete run as much as the highest.
Nowack, an AMG man for almost 18 years, has labored on all of Mercedes’ AMG SUVs together with the bonkers V12-engined G 65, and lessons the brand new GLE 53 Coupe as one of many agency’s most interesting. “We’ve really got the balance right here, between refinement and sporty handling. That’s a hard thing to do in a big SUV.”
Regardless of its 22-inch solid alloy wheels, the journey is on the suitable aspect of agency and the way in which the automobile modifications path is fairly exceptional. The AMG GLE Coupe will get Merc’s new e-active physique management that does a shocking job at protecting the automobile flat by the Transfăgărășan’s sooner, extra flowing sections as we close to the summit.
Biking up by the driving modes unlocks an much more sporting character; extra energy is shipped to the rear wheels and the gear modifications are made with a bit thump by the automobile. You wouldn’t confuse the GLE with a two-door coupe within the conventional sense, however it feels very far faraway from a standard five-door SUV.