Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Based on the first all-new GLE, the GLE 53 4Matic has no direct predecessor, although it occupies the same space as the GLE 43 4Matic, which was a version of the previous generation GLE-Class.
Although performance-wise it is not as brutal as the V8-powered GLE 63, the 53 does get the same “Panamericana” grille, with 15 vertical strips, to signify that it’s very much part of the Mercedes-AMG family.
Apart from the wild exterior design, the main focus on the model is obviously the engine, which is a mild-hybrid 3.0-liter straight-six. Featuring twin-turbocharging and an electric auxiliary compressor, it develops 435 hp and 520 Nm of torque by itself, but thanks to the 48 V on-board electrical system it can also benefit from an additional 22 hp and 250 Nm from the EQ Boost starter generator. Sent to all four-wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission, all that power gives the GLE 53 a 0-100 kph (62 mph) acceleration of just 5.3 seconds, onward to a top speed of 250 kph (155 mph).
With an increased demand for performance SUVs, Mercedes-AMG worked on the mid-size GLE model and gave it a big boost.
Mercedes-Benz introduced the third generation of the ML-Class in 2011 and, four years later, it unveiled its refreshed version. At the same time, it changed the nameplate from ML to GLE. Along with the new version, the mid-size SUV received an AMG version, which was now known as a separate performance brand of the Stuttgart premium carmaker.
At the front, the car sported an AMG-specific grille with a twin-slat over the grille, supporting the big three-pointed-star badge. The bumper featured a large, trapezoidal-shaped grille in the apron flanked by two side-scoops. Nothing was just aesthetic, and everything was functional. The GLE needed the side air-intakes to cool the front discs. From its sides, the carmaker enlarged the wheel-arches to emphasize the car’s wider stance. AMG installed four rectangular exhausts in the rear under the apron to complete the car’s sporty look.
But no AMG customer would take a vehicle without a specific interior. For that, the Affalterbach company installed carbon-fiber trims on the dashboard, door panels, and center stack. The three-spoke steering wheel featured two aluminum paddle-shifters marked UP and DOWN, challenging the driver to shift gears manually. Last but not least, the bucket seats with high-bolstered sides were part of the package.
Under the hood, the carmaker dropped a 5.5-liter V-8 bi-turbo engine that provided up to 585 hp in the AMG GLE 63S version, while the non-S provided 557 hp. The all-wheel-drive system was biased toward the rear axle to enhance the SUV’s sporty feeling.
Initially unveiled as the GLE 450 AMG 4Matic and then renamed as the Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 not even a year later, the sporty version of the GLE is not as brawny as the 63 model, but it does get the job done when you push the pedal to the metal.
The sporty SUV is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that develops 367 horsepower and 520 Nm (384 lb-ft) of torque, which is more than enough to propel that not-exactly-small SUV from naught to 100 kph (62 mph) in just 5.7 seconds. The power is sent to all four wheels with a rear-biased torque distribution of 40:60 and through a 9-speed automatic transmission revamped by Mercedes-AMG engineers.