Mercedes-Benz has thoroughly revised its best-seller in the SUV segment. The highlights of the new GLE include a more appealing front and rear and extensive measures which make new benchmarks with regard to emissions and the drive system possible. Across the available engine range, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced by 17 per cent on average compared with the predecessor model series. For the first time in its SUV history, Mercedes-Benz offers a plug-in hybrid model, the GLE 500 e 4MATIC, which combines maximum efficiency with outstanding performance. This multi-talent will even better the already low fuel consumption figures of the efficiency champion the GLE 250 d with the four-cylinder diesel engine, while delivering the performance of a V8 model. The advantages of the new GLE furthermore include best on-road and off-road handling, outstanding spaciousness and high levels of active and passive safety. The high-performance SUV model, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC, celebrates world première at the same time.
"State-of-the-art and efficient drive technology, combined with superior ride quality and the versatility and robustness typical for SUVs - the new GLE has all the ingredients to continue the success story of our best-seller," is how Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars, characterises the newest member of the Mercedes-Benz SUV family. Outstanding safety and a high level of driving dynamics both on the road and in terrain are among the other strengths of the premium SUV. Furthermore, the GLE impresses with ground-breaking assistance systems, the nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission and the innovative DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control system, which offers extensive drive and off-road programmes already in basic specification.
The unmistakable design with the hallmark C-pillar and the variable interior with the wellness factor of a luxurious saloon model enrich the Mercedes-Benz GLE experience as well. "Often copied, rarely equalled - the M-Class established the segment of premium SUVs in 1997 and since then has been one of the most successful models in the world. With the launch of the GLE, the edition will surpass the 1.6 million mark," Källenius went on to say. And Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, added: "With the new GLE 63 and seven additional performance SUV models from the GLA 45 AMG to the G 65 AMG, Mercedes-AMG is in an extremely strong and very confident position. All three generations of the predecessors were highly popular. We offer the right performance automobile for every individual taste in the further growing SUV segment."
Diesel and hybrid drive: efficiency meets the joy of driving
In addition to the appealing design, the variable driving experience thanks to DYNAMIC SELECT and the assistance systems familiar from the E- and S-Class, the GLE impresses with an extensive engine line-up.
The 204-hp four-cylinder diesel model GLE 250 d offers superior performance with an all-time low fuel consumption for this class of vehicles. It is the world's first production full-size SUV with conventional drive that emits just 140 g of CO2/km (52.3 mpg)
No less impressive is the first Mercedes-Benz SUV with plug-in hybrid technology. A system output of 442 hp in the GLE 500 e 4MATIC guarantees brilliant performance - with CO2 emissions of just 78 g/km (85.6 mpg). With a power consumption of 16.7 kWh/62 miles, the GLE 500 e 4MATIC is the benchmark in this market segment. In addition, the hybrid model is capable of up to 18.5 miles of all-electric driving.
GLE 500 e 4MATIC: plug-in hybrid technology meets SUV
The new GLE 500 e 4MATIC with plug-in hybrid drive combines the power and refinement of a V8 engine with the fuel consumption of a three-litre car and the versatility of a premium SUV. The drive system components comprise a BlueDIRECT V6 direct-injection petrol engine with 333 hp and a hybrid module with 116 hp of electric power. The system peak torque is a massive 650 Newton metres. In addition to impressive acceleration thanks to the boost function, the innovative system drive also offers all-electric driving at speeds up to 80 mph, optimised energy recovery thanks to the intelligent operating strategy and comfort functions such as pre-entry climate control in summer and winter.
A selector switch on the centre console and the instrument cluster offer the driver a choice between four specific operating modes:
- HYBRID: the system controls automatically select the most sensible operating mode with combustion engine and/or electric motor for optimising the overall energy balance
- E-MODE: all-electric driving
- E-SAVE: this mode preserves the current state of charge of the battery to be able to drive on all-electric power at a later time, for example in urban traffic
- CHARGE: battery is charged while driving and when the vehicle is stationary
The compact hybrid module is fully integrated into the seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. The electrical energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery with an energy content of 8.8 kWh, which can be recharged using public charging stations, the wallbox charger at home or on a conventional 220 volt power outlet. The charging time using the wallbox charger or the charging station is around two hours.
Intelligent drive system management
The best strategy for efficient driving has always been anticipatory driving without unnecessary braking and accelerating. This is even more important in a hybrid model: because braking manoeuvres serve not only to deliver deceleration, but are also used to recover kinetic energy. The route or the traffic also has influence on the most efficient charging and discharging of the high-voltage battery. For this reason the intelligent drive system management aids the driver with specific control strategies in adopting the most efficient driving style.
Popular V6 diesel engine, new 9G-TRONIC
In addition to the equally efficient and powerful four-cylinder diesel engine for the GLE 250 d and GLE 250 d 4MATIC models with an output of 204 hp, the proven V6 diesel engine producing 258 hp of power and a hefty torque of 620 Newton metres is available in the GLE 350 d 4MATIC. An extensive package of measures makes a cut in fuel consumption from the previous model by around nine per cent making 44.1 mpg (NEDC combined) possible. The updates involve above all a modified engine control unit with combustion management, which in particular during the warm-up phase regulates the injection of diesel fuel for each cylinder in dependence of the combustion air. The emissions-reducing and fuel-saving measures furthermore include an optimised turbocharger, a revised EGR valve and a new demand-controlled rotary vane oil pump.
With the start of the new GLE generation, all diesel models will be equipped with the nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission as standard, for the first time also with the optionally available off-road reduction gear and inter-axle differential lock. The transmission is fitted with a new type of torque converter with a high efficiency of 92 per cent and a wide spread of 9.15 across the nine speeds. Both contribute to the high energy efficiency of the GLE models. A double turbine torsional damper with centrifugal pendulum and the torque converter lock-up clutch with return spring ensure the extremely refined operation typical of the brand. Depending on the mode selected for the DYNAMIC SELECT variable dynamic handling control system, the 9G-TRONIC impresses with great agility and responsiveness or poised composure. In this process the potential of the new transmission is exploited to the full. It impresses with fast gear changes and perfect transitions for energetic sprinting as well as with gentle, barely perceptible gear changes for delightful cruising and with gear-change strategies designed to increase traction in terrain.
Workout for the best-seller: Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC
The new Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC is now stronger and more appealing than ever with an expanded model line-up and even more power. Following the introduction of the new naming logic, the successor of the successful Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG is now called the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC. The AMG 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 engine is even more powerful than before: the highly sporty S-Model is rated at 585 hp. The chassis was completely revised to deliver even better driving dynamics and agility. The throttle response of the engine and the shift times of the transmission are now on a new, even sportier level and thereby underscore the hallmark AMG Driving Performance. With the characteristic AMG family face featuring "A-wing" and twin-blade radiator grille, the power SUV also has a more dynamic appearance than before.
DYNAMIC SELECT combined with off-road drive programmes
The DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control system of the new GLE offers up to six drive programmes. In addition to the established settings INDIVIDUAL, COMFORT, SLIPPERY and SPORT, in the 4MATIC models the driver can choose the additional OFFROAD setting for mild terrain with the DYNAMIC SELECT controller on the centre console. If the GLE model is equipped with the optional Off-Road Engineering package, the OFFROAD+ setting is available. In this setting, the off-road reduction gear and a 100% inter-axle differential lock come into play to generate high traction even in challenging terrain. This is further boosted by the expanded functions of the AIRMATIC air suspension with raised ride heights for a ground clearance of up to 285 millimetres and a fording depth of 600 millimetres. The reinforced underfloor panelling of this equipment variant protects important components against not so gentle contact with the ground.
The selection of the individual drive programmes effect the DYNAMIC SELECT variable dynamic handling control system to activate entirely different characteristics. The system networks all the control systems, generating different sets of parameters for distinct driving experiences. The names speak for themselves: SPORT turns the GLE into a sporty and dynamic vehicle with strong linear and lateral dynamics. COMFORT is the opposite end of the spectrum. Here the emphasis is on the feel-good parameters so typical of classic Mercedes-Benz saloon cars, for relaxed, effortless cruising with the greatest possible energy efficiency. SLIPPERY optimises the handling on surfaces with low friction coefficients such as snow or ice. And special off-road algorithms for ABS, 4ETS or ESP boost traction in the OFFROAD settings. In addition, INDIVIDUAL mode enables the driver to programme and store personal preferences in the individual control strategies, regardless of the engine variant.
All DYNAMIC SELECT programmes are visualised on the central media display. Especially impressive are the off-road animations: various parameters such as slope angle, tilt angle, steering angle or heading are displayed dynamically in real time.
Superior high everyday practicality and perfect traction, sports-car agility and spontaneous throttle response - the new Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S guarantees its driver an exclusive driving experience without parallel. DYNAMIC SELECT is a major factor in this as well: the drive programmes provide even more variety in the area of driving dynamics. The additional SPORT+ setting offers the driver tailor-made characteristics for particularly sporty driving dynamics. Throttle response, gear-change strategy, ESP® thresholds, steering power assist or the characteristic of the continuous damper adjustment exclusive to AMG: the system networks all the control systems, generating a wide variety of distinct driving experiences.
The 4MATIC permanent all-wheel-drive system with a balanced 50:50 torque split between front and rear axle inherently boosts the safe, harmonious and sporty handling. A new rear-axle differential with aluminium case is considerably more efficient and furthermore weight-optimised.Mercedes-AMG uses a special transfer case for the AMG Performance 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive in the GLE 63 S. This exclusive solution splits the torque at a ratio of 40:60 between the front and rear axles, resulting in greater agility about the vertical axis of the vehicle. The pay-off for the driver: even more dynamic cornering.
Stable combination: AIRMATIC ADS and ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM
In addition to the ground-breaking powertrain configuration, the retuned AIRMATIC air suspension with ADS variable damping system guarantees extremely stable driving. The damping system changes its priorities depending on the preselected DYNAMIC SELECT mode. SPORT focuses on the greatest possible lateral dynamics with the best possible ride quality. Conversely, COMFORT mode enables maximum ride quality with the best possible dynamics. The current handling conditions are detected via a steering angle sensor, four rotation sensors, the driving speed from the ESP® signal and the brake pedal switch. The control unit uses these signals for continuous adjustment of the current damping force for each individual wheel.
In the GLE 350 d 4MATIC model, the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM roll stabilisation system can be combined with the AIRMATIC package with air suspension and ADS or with the Off-Road Engineering package. The system uses active anti-roll bars on the front and rear axle and compensates the roll angle of the body during cornering. This enhances agility and driving fun. At the same time, the system provides increased handling stability and therefore safety, especially at higher speeds. Better driving comfort both when cornering and on straights as well as expanded off-road capabilities are also part of the advantages of the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM.
All models with four- and six-cylinder engines are equipped with the AGILITY CONTROL steel suspension as standard. The AIRMATIC package with ADS is optionally available for these versions. An electro-mechanical Direct-Steer system is standard on all models.
The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with AIRMATIC package comprises more than just the air suspension with automatic level control. The new GLE 63 S is also fitted with special struts, which were refined with ADS Plus continuously variable dampers, a solution exclusive to AMG. The ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM roll stabilisation system is part of the standard equipment in this model.
For the first time in this segment, Mercedes-Benz is offering a power extendible and retractable trailer coupling, which also includes ESP® trailer stabilisation. The towing capacity of the GLE is up to 3500 kg.
High protective potential through comprehensive safety
As is already a tradition, the new GLE impresses with outstanding active and passive safety. The models regularly score highest marks in the international crash ratings. With its high protective potential, the GLE also creates the best conditions for passing future tests with the highest rating. The comprehensive safety concept follows the brand's hallmark strategy and comprises four areas:
- Safe driving: avoid dangers, provide timely warnings, and aid the driver with extensive assistance systems
- In the event of danger: prevent and activate protective measures preventively (PreSAFE®)
- In the event of an accident: provide tailor-made protection with a highly stable passenger cell, defined deformation zones and restraint systems such as airbags or belt tensioners
- After an accident: prevent the worst and make swift assistance possible
Modern times: new design with classic style elements
Even at first glance, the new GLE blends tradition and modernity. Classic SUV elements meet modern Mercedes-Benz design and form a convincing whole. On one hand, the confident appearance of the GLE is enhanced with the typical stylistic features of all generations: the characteristic C-pillar and the harmoniously integrated rear side window have been an integral part since this model series started in 1997. At the same time, elements of the modern Mercedes-Benz design idiom catch the eye. Radiator grille, bumpers, headlamps, wings and the bonnet with its two power domes follow the current sensuous and clear design idiom of Mercedes-Benz. Especially the harmonious, organic transition of the two radiator louvres to the central Mercedes star is convincing. New headlamps with the daytime driving lights forming the brand's hallmark eyebrows and the current lamp layout - optionally as LED Intelligent Light-System - blend harmoniously with the front end. The new wings with their arched wheel wells lend the entire front end more harmony and presence.
The tail end of the GLE was likewise matched to the current design idiom and updated cautiously. New LED tail lamps now glow in the brand's hallmark night design. Also striking are the redesigned tailpipe embellishers firmly integrated in to the lower section of the bumper. Front and rear bumper furthermore are fitted with the likewise characteristic three-dimensional chrome-look underride guard.New light-alloy wheels boost the superior appearance of the new GLE.
Detail work for an even more harmonious interior
In the interior the larger media display stands out, which is now partially integrated into the instrument panel. The centre air vents next to the display and the outer air vents are framed by classy silver shadow surrounds. In combination with the black high-gloss surround this emphasises the sophisticated design of the interior. The centre console houses the COMAND controller with the touchpad fitted above in an optimal ergonomic position.
New colours make the interior even more attractive and lend it the feel-good atmosphere that is typical of the brand. The choices now also include ginger beige, espresso brown, saddle brown or porcelain, which in combination with black interior elements create an interesting contrast. In addition to the standard aluminium with light-coloured longitudinal grain, the large trim elements are also available in a version featuring a particularly classy black piano lacquer or various types of wood: open-pore brown ash wood or the shiny wood types brown eucalyptus, black poplar or brown burred walnut. And especially sporty minded customers can choose high-quality AMG carbon-fibre trim.
Complete standard equipment, attractive equipment packages
The extensive range of standard equipment of the new GLE is based on the predecessor model, enhanced with new assistance systems such as Crosswind Assist and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. ECO start/stop function, the DYNAMIC SELECT controller on the centre console, the revised multifunction steering wheel as well as the Audio 20 CD infotainment system with 7-inch display andcommunications module for the use of Mercedes connect me servicesare also part of the standard delivery scope.
This high equipment level can be upgraded further with attractive equipment packages. The Driving Assistance package Plus includes DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian protection, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE® PLUS. With the Comfort package, the equipment is enhanced with the automatic EASY-PACK liftgate, the soft and automatic power closing of all doors and a reversing camera. The Parking package with 360° camera and Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC guarantees an excellent overview and problem-free manoeuvring into and out of parking spaces. Night-time vision is improved by the LED Intelligent Light System which is available for all models; adverse weather conditions resulting in impaired visibility are defused by MAGIC VISION CONTROL, the heated adaptive windscreen wiper system with purposeful water distribution.
Freely combinable packages lend the GLE additional appeal. With the AMG Line exterior, the GLE has an even more dynamic and athletic appearance. The package comprises, among other things, special front and rear bumpers in the distinctive AMG styling and 50.8-cm (20-inch) AMG light-alloy wheels. Those who like things even more exclusive can combine this feature with the Night package, which features a high-gloss black radiator grille louvre and exterior mirror housings, for example. The line-up of options is rounded out by high-sheen black 50.8-cm (20‑inch) AMG light-alloy wheels.
The AMG Line interior transfers the sporty appearance to the interior with sports seats with ARTICO man-made leather upholstery (optional nappa leather), a black nappa leather multifunction sports steering wheel, an instrument cluster with distinct dial in chequered-flag design and brushed stainless-steel sports pedals with rubber studs.
As an option, the latest generation of COMAND Online offers perfect infotainment with a 20.3-cm (8-inch) display and intuitive touchpad. The system comprises, among other things, a DVD player and traffic sign recognition including wrong-way warning function. Customers can supplement COMAND Online optionally with a 6‑disc DVD changer, the Rear-Seat Entertainment System with remote control or a TV receiver. Also available are sound systems from Harman Kardon or Bang & Olufsen to elevate the music experience to the level of a concert hall.
Vehicle functions that can be controlled remotely or traffic information in real time - Mercedes CONNECT ME makes personal mobility easier and more convenient: from the basic services for safety and security and LIVE TRAFFIC information in real time to the in part fee-based Remote Online services, the desired data can be exchanged via the mobile phone network and via an internet connection.