Pretoria. Mercedes-AMG’s long-awaited performance offering for the GLE generation has reached South African shores, with the GLE 53 4MATIC+ and GLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé set to liven up the mid-size SUV market with a combination of head-turning looks and scorching performance.

At the heart of the new AMG GLE 53 lies a 320 kW 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line engine, which is good for a 5.3 second 0-100km/h sprint, thanks to fully variable all-wheel drive and an agile 9-speed automatic transmission.

It’s immediately obvious that the new performance GLEs are part of the AMG family, with the AMG-specific radiator grille setting the tone for a car that oozes sportiness and muscular lines. The wheel arches in the same colour as the car provide space for the large 20-inch light-alloy wheels with AMG lettering, which comes as standard. There are seven rim variants available, from 20 to 22 inch.

“As the inventors of the performance SUV, it is important to us to continue to lead when it comes to innovations, driving dynamics, individuality and design. The new GLE 53s offer more power than their predecessors, and the Coupé adds style and elegance to our SUV family. Both guarantee a thrilling driving experience,” says Johannes Fritz, Co-CEO for Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director for Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The luxurious, sporty look and feel typical of the AMG brand continue through the high-quality interior. Characteristic colour highlights such as red contrasting topstitching on the upholstery and red seat belts ensure a thoroughly sporty ambience with a dynamic and exclusive touch. AMG-specific interior features and controls lend a typical AMG atmosphere to the cockpit and support the sporty, precise handling.

An SUV highlight is the optional, foldable third row of seats, which make the GLE 53 4MATIC+ a seven-seater. Thanks to the Easy Entry function of the fully electrically adjustable second seat row, the two rearmost passengers can conveniently reach their seats.

The innovative operating and display concept MBUX is included as standard and contains numerous AMG-specific content. With the widescreen cockpit, the instrument cluster and touchscreen multimedia display optically combine into one unit. Numerous functions can also be activated via the intelligent voice-operated control ‘Hey Mercedes’.

The AMG Performance steering wheel in black Nappa leather with red contrasting topstitching and red 12-o'clock marking combines maximum functionality, high-quality haptics and perfect ergonomics. Apart from the aluminium shift paddles, it also impresses thanks to the intuitive touch control buttons.

Six-cylinder engine with twin charging
The AMG GLE’s centrepiece is the electrified 3.0-litre engine featuring twin-turbocharging and an electric auxiliary compressor. The 6-cylinder in-line engine generates 320 kW and delivers maximum torque of 520 Nm. This power is delivered to the road through AMG’s 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive, which is combined with a 9-speed automatic transmission that ensures extremely short shift times. Multiple downshifting enables fast bursts of speed, and it includes a double-clutching function that makes changing gears an emotional experience.

The EQ Boost starter generator briefly provides an additional 16 kW of output plus 250 Nm of torque and additionally feeds the 48 V on-board electrical system. This both enhances the hallmark AMG performance and driving dynamics, while also reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The EQ Boost starter generator is also responsible for hybrid functions, including energy recovery, shifting of the load point, gliding mode and the virtually imperceptible restarting of the engine with the start/stop function.

The AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension, with particularly sporty spring/damper set-up and adaptive adjustable damping ADS+ (Adaptive Damping System), combines outstanding driving dynamics with high ride comfort. The damping characteristics can be preselected in three modes, Comfort, Sport and Sport+, allowing a significantly more noticeable differentiation between excellent long-distance comfort and sporty driving dynamics. In addition, there are two new levels for off-road use: Trail and Sand.

Thanks to pneumatic self-levelling at the front and rear axle, the GLE 53 models maintain a constant ride height, regardless of the vehicle load. The vehicle level is generally lowered by 15 mm in Sport and Sport+ mode, while in Comfort mode, the vehicle is lowered by 15 mm from a speed of 120 km/h. This reduces aerodynamic drag and, in turn, fuel consumption. To increase the ground clearance on poor road surfaces or on ramps, the vehicle body level can be raised by up to 55 mm at the touch of a button with the engine running – both with the car stationary and in motion.

The large-sized high-performance braking system reliably slows down the performance SUV even with heavier loads and short braking distances. 400 x 36 mm internally ventilated and perforated integral brake disks are used on the front axle, and at the rear, the internally ventilated integral brake disks measure 345 x 25 mm.

Technical data at a glance
Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé
Cylinders/arrangement 6/in-line 6/in-line
Displacement (cc)2999 2999
Combustion engine output (kW)320320
at rpm 61006100
Output from EQ Boost (kW)1616
Max. torque Combustion engine (Nm)520520
at rpm 1800-58001800-5800
max. EQ Boost torque (Nm)250250
Fuel consumption, combined (l/100 km)9,3*9,3*
Combined CO2 emissions (g/km)212*212*
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)250**250**
Retail Price R1 837 000 R1 925 000

* The stated figures were determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method. These are the "NEDC CO2 figures according to Art. 2 No. 1 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures. ** Electronically limited