Mercedes-Benz continues the rollout of its redesigned GLE-Class SUVs with the sportier fastback “coupe” variant, unveiling the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE53 featuring the company’s new turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system.
The new coupe-SUV mashup model picks up much of the front-end look of the coming AMG 53 version of the redone 2020 GLE conventional SUV. The coupe, however, rides on a 2.4-inch-shorter wheelbase, and the roof and rear styling are all its own. The fastback roofline seems more sloped than the current GLE Coupe, and the rear is a softer and relatively more graceful design (the rear end seems to be the thorniest design problem for these Euro “four-door coupe” models). Check out the gallery above and judge for yourself. Otherwise, the coupe model gets mildly aggressive AMG styling cues; expect the likely full-on AMG 63 V-8 down the road to be wilder. While other markets get non-AMG versions, too, the current GLE Coupe is offered only in AMG models here.
The new powertrain, which made its debut in AMG 53 versions of the current E-Class models and the 2019 CLS, features a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, with a starter-generator motor sandwiched between the engine and the nine-speed AMG automatic transmission. AMG performance all-wheel drive is standard.
The engine puts out 429 horsepower and 384 pounds-feet of torque. The starter-generator system, which Mercedes calls EQ Boost, can add 21 hp and 184 pounds-feet of torque for launch, and it also feeds the 48-volt electrical system. The system powers a separate electric intake compressor that supplements the engine’s conventional exhaust-gas turbocharger. EQ Boost also improves efficiency by functioning as a mild-hybrid system that can recoup energy, motivate the SUV during throttle-off gliding and power the stop-start system for “practically unnoticeable” engine restarting, according to Mercedes. Zero-to-60 mph is estimated at 5.2 seconds, and the top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
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The AMG-flavored interior — as well as the full range of AMG chassis and electronic performance systems and options — also follow on from the 2020 AMG GLE53 conventional SUV. The 2021 GLE53 Coupe will make its auto show debut in September at the Frankfurt auto show in Germany, and it will go on sale in the U.S. in mid-2020.
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