The Frankfurt Motor Show is just around the corner, so German manufacturers are furiously ironing silk car covers to cloak their new cars before whipping them straight off again. But Mercedes-Benz has decided to skip that element of surprise and show us the new GLE Coupe. So, here you go.
As you can see, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a chopped-tail GLE. And although it may look like the designer simply sneezed while running a butter knife through a GLE clay model, there are actually some pretty major proportional changes, with an extra 20mm of wheelbase compared with the last generation. But it remains 60mm shorter than the regular GLE, giving it a more aggressive look especially if you go for the new GLE 53 Coupe variant.
That’s the sub-63, softer offering from AMG and the only gasoline variant at launch. It’s a lightly electrified 3.0-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder (lined up together, not in a V) with 429hp and 520Nm of torque.
However, this is also supplemented by some electric goodness, as an electrified ‘EQ Boost’ system is able to add an additional 20hp and, more notably, 249Nm. Which is a near 50% boost in torque compared with gasoline power alone. All this is split over the four wheels, so when you gun it, you’ll go from zero to 100kph in 5.3sec and onto a limited top speed of 250kph.
Gasoline not your thing? Don’t worry, there’ll also be two Euro 6-compliant diesels at launch: a 350d (268hp, 599Nm, and 14.9km/L) and 400d (268hp, 699Nm, and the same fuel economy, 14.9km/L, on its most innocent cycle). They’re cleaner, too, thanks to the inclusion of better filters and AdBlue.
All the Coupes benefit from improved aerodynamics to slash the wind resistance by 9% versus the last generation. Because everyone who is in the market for a big, pugnacious sporty hunchback SUV cares about aero. Steel springs are standard (set to a sportier tune as who, honestly, is going to take this off-road?), but air is also available, as is Merc’s voodoo body control system. There’s also a flood of driving modes.
The cabin and the infotainment setup are very much the norm for recent Mercs. The latter is the same system that debuted in the A-Class last year—two 12.3-inch displays inlaid into the dashboard. It’s great once you get the hang of it, and the interior one of the best-looking and most configurable cabins on the market. What does mark it out compared with its siblings are the two protruding grab handles located down by the transmission tunnel.
Which will give your passengers something to hold on to while you’re exploring that new aero profile...
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.