Mercedes-AMG flexes its new hybrid SUVs

Don't worry, they’re mild hybrids
by Greg Potts | Nov 22, 2019
PHOTO: Mercedes-Benz
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What’s that? You’ve not had enough of all these uber-fast, uber-massive SUVs? Great news, because here are two more from the folks at Mercedes-AMG.

Both the GLE 63S 4MATIC+ and its bigger brother, the GLS 63 4MATIC+, feature AMG’s stonking 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 603hp and 849Nm of torque, but they’re also both supplemented by a new 48V mild-hybrid system that Mercedes is calling EQ Boost.

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This starter/alternator system can provide an extra 21hp and 249Nm on demand, as well as performing a whole host of other hybrid functions like commanding the start/stop. It’s also surely something we’ll start to see in the rest of AMG’s performance cars that aren’t SUVs.

Despite their heft, though, both the GLE 63S (there will be a non-S in certain markets) and the GLS 63 are monstrously fast. The seven-seat GLS manages 0-100kph in 4.2sec and a top speed of 250kph, while the slightly smaller GLE does the sprint in 3.8sec and will head on to 280kph. Crikey.

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Both feature the same nine-speed automatic gearboxes, air suspension, and fully-variable all-wheel-drive systems that can send torque to where it’s needed most. Plus, the now-signature AMG grille and a few other flared pieces of bodywork help them to stand out from their standard siblings.

There are seven driving modes in each, with ‘Trail’ and ‘Sand’ giving a 55mm lift in ride height—not that these SUVs will ever be taken off-road, of course. On road, active ride control should keep things stable when you get an inevitable lick on. You can even spec optional ceramic brakes on the GLE.

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The interiors are classic modern-Merc, but both get an AMG steering wheel and some optional carbon fiber to remind you you’re in a ‘performance SUV’—shudder.

Still, how do we feel about hybrid AMGs, people?

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Mercedes-Benz
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