New From Mercedes, The GLE Coupe Combines Coupe And SUV
Published: 06th February 2017
The newest addition to the Mercedes-Benz portfolio of coupes, the GLE Coupe combines the sporty nature of a coupe with the versatility and ‘ruggedness' of an SUV.
The GLE Coupe makes it debut as part of the renaming of the M-Class lineup to the new GLE-Class nameplate. From now, all SUV models will have the first two letters GL in their name - the G denoting the vehicle's lineage (the iconic G-Class) and the L, which has appeared time and time again in Mercedes-Benz history, helping make the model designations easier to remember and easier to pronounce.
The third letter indicates the relationship to the relevant core model series, thus in the case of the GLE-Class better aligning it to the Mercedes E-Class sedan counterpart.
Hong Kong auto lovers can choose from the GLE 400 4MATIC Coupe and GLE 450 AMG 4MATIC Coupe - both powered by a V6-cylinder petrol engine, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 4MATIC Coupe with an AMG 5.5-litre V8-Biturbo and the GLE 350 d 4MATIC Coupe with a V6-cylinder diesel engine.
All models come with the 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission, except for the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 4MATIC Coupe which has an AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission. The all-wheel drive system used in the GLE Coupe is designed to boost traction, driving dynamics and driving stability in conditions such as rain, ice or snow whether travelling on-road or off-road.
Mercedes describes the GLE Coupe as combining the sporty nature of a coupe with the striking characteristics of a robust SUV, its handling combining performance and agility. Proportion-wise, the GLE Coupe is set apart from the GLE by being 77 mm broader, 96 mm longer and 28 mm lower which lends it a low, sporty stance.
The GLE Coupe is pitched as a direct rival to BMW's X6, which itself is marketed as a cross between an SUV and a high-end coupe. It's also taking on the Infiniti QX70, perhaps one of the best looking of the crossover-coupe SUVs.
Lending the GLE Coupe its characteristic silhouette are a low greenhouse and sharply raked roofline, along with the broad shoulders. The front features a striking radiator grille with single louvre typical of Mercedes-Benz coupes and a bonnet accentuated by its power domes.
The eye-catching rear section of the GLE Coupe contains an innovative design element that sees the licence plate adapter integrated into the powerful bumper with a chrome-look underride guard. From the side the vehicle is equally attractive, thanks to the roof line sloping gently toward the rear, the long wheelbase, short overhangs and typical SUV wheel arch linings and side sill panels. The typical Mercedes-Benz lines lend a tension-rich dynamism to the vehicle even when it's stationary.
The coupe-SUV blend continues in the interior, with coupe sportiness and SUV spaciousness. Standard fit sports seats, the multifunction leather sports steering wheel and large trim elements in aluminium or optionally in wood or piano lacquer underscore in elegant fashion the vehicle's sporty character.
Reflecting the comfort and function attributes of the GLE Coupe, which Mercedes says is more than in any other coupe in the market, the list of standard fit equipment includes THERMATIC automatic climate control with two climate zones, reversing camera with dynamic guide lines in display and the LED Intelligent Light System that adapts to different light and driving conditions.
Optionals include ambient lighting in the three colours white, amber and ice-blue, ionization interior air filter, multicontour driver and front passenger seats, power glass panoramic sliding sunroof, heated rear seats, AIRMATIC package, anti-theft protection package and memory package.
The BMW X6 has always had its interior as a strong suit, with rich-looking upholstery and trim throughout and a wealth of electronic features on offer. The QX70 is warm and inviting inside with premium luxury details and materials, such as quilted leather and wood trims, and also has its portfolio of equipment offerings.
The GLE Coupe has three rear seats (Mercedes claims it's the widest rear seat bench in its class) and folding rear seat backrests which split 1/3 to 2/3 and are adjustable for angle. The wide opening angle of the vehicle's doors and the high seating position enable easier access and a higher level of spaciousness and comfort, with surprisingly good headroom, shoulder room and leg room. At 1,650 litres the load compartment volume is more spacious than the BMW X6 and, as Mercedes also proudly states, the GLE Coupe's luggage compartment holds the world record for luggage compartments in coupes.
BMW has tried to make the X6 more useful and this is most evident in the backseat with more headroom and legroom now. The X6 also now has a three-person rear bench seat, but the cargo bay is still small for a midsize SUV.
The Infiniti QX70 backseat and cargo room are no match for its competitors. Folding the seats forward does yield more cargo space, but the bin is small to begin with and the cargo floor is high.
For an even more dynamic, more sportier look to the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, a choice of AMG equipment includes the AMG sports exhaust system with two chrome-plated twin tailpipes, AMG sport seats and two different AMG Performance steering wheels.
As expected, a bevy of Mercedes-Benz safety and assistance features is deployed in the GLE Coupe, including ATTENTION ASSIST, the PRE-SAFE system, BAS Brake Assist, ADAPTIVE BRAKE with HOLD function and Hill-Start Assist, ESP Electronic Stability Program, ESP Dynamic Curve Assist, Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Acceleration skid control (ASR), front airbags and sidebags, driver kneebag, windowbags and side-impact protection. Optionals include the Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC and 360-degree camera.
With the GLE 450 AMG 4MATIC Coupe, Mercedes-AMG is launching the new AMG sports models product line, which is positioned between the AMG Line and Mercedes-AMG Performance vehicles. The sporty-striking AMG exterior is designed to portray the vehicle's increased performance at first glance, its visual distinction based on the further-developed AMG Line Exterior with exclusive appliqués in black and silver-chrome and also featuring AMG Sports model elements and 21-inch light-alloy wheels. The performance-enhancing drivetrain, suspension and exhaust system add to this particular motoring experience.
The Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 4MATIC Coupe, as Mercedes states, takes the GLE Coupe's combination of SUV and coupe to ‘its conceivable extreme and expresses it in all its fullness.'
Dominating the vehicle's exterior appearance are the AMG radiator grille with twin louvre in matt iridium silver and ‘AMG' inscription, the AMG front and rear aprons, AMG 10-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-sheen titanium grey, AMG sports exhaust system with two chrome-plated twin tailpipes, AMG-typical flared wheel arches and LED High Performance exclusive design headlamps.
The sporty-exclusive interior is dominated by the AMG instrument cluster, AMG 3-spoke Performance steering wheel in black nappa leather with flattened lower section and AMG sports seats with AMG-specific seat pattern and ‘AMG' badge. Other AMG interior goodies include AMG brushed stainless steel door sill panels, brushed stainless-steel sport pedals with rubber studs, ARTICO man-made leather trim with topstitching on the lower part of the dashboard and waistline, aluminium trim with light-tone longitudinal grain and black fabric roof lining.
The Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 4MATIC Coupe's AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission has three drive modes, while other technical features include 4MATIC all-wheel drive with AMG-specific torque distribution, AMG speed-sensitive sports steering and AMG sports suspension based on AIRMATIC with air suspension and state-of-the-art adaptive damping.
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