2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe
All new for the latest model year, the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe is a performance-focused version of the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. It is closely related to the GLE63, but it stands out thanks to a sportier-looking body.
Power for the Coupe comes from a hand-built 5.5-liter V8 engine that uses two beefy turbochargers to make 577 horsepower between 5,250 and 5,750 rpm and 561 lb-ft. of torque from 1,750 all the way up to 5,250 rpm. Bolted to a seven-speed automatic transmission, the eight-cylinder sends the GLE63 from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds a statistic that's all the more impressive when the crossover's 5,180-pound weight is factored in.
Fuel economy is rated at 14 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway thanks in part to a standard start/stop system.
Air suspension (called Airmatic in Mercedes-speak) comes standard. The crossover-coupe also boasts an AMG Dynamic Select function that lets the driver pick from five driving modes: Individual, Slippery, Comfort, Sport and Sport +. Selected using a rotary knob located on the center console, the modes change a variety of parameters including the suspension firmness, the steering response, the throttle response, how long the transmission holds each gear, and even the sound emitted by the exhaust system.
Charting the Changes
Outside, the GLE63 S Coupe stands out from the GLE450 AMG thanks to a full body kit that adds larger front air inlets, a front splitter and flared wheel arches. It rides on 22-inch alloy wheels.
The upgrades continue in the cockpit with a three-spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminum shift paddles, an AMG-specific instrument cluster and anthracite poplar wood trim.
With a high seating position and a tall dashboard, the connection between the GLE63 Coupe and the standard GLE63 is immediately evident as soon as you step in the cockpit. The instrument cluster is made up of four analog gauges and a configurable color screen in the middle.
A larger, high-definition color screen sticks out from the top of the dashboard, and an innovative, smartphone-like touch pad located on the center console lets the passengers control the COMAND infotainment system with simple finger gestures. Occupants can also use the touch pad to enter an address in the navigation system (if equipped) or to add a contact to the phone book. Alternatively, COMAND can be navigated via a controller knob located under the touch pad, voice commands or buttons on the center stack.
Trunk space checks in at just 12.6 cubic feet with five occupants on board. Folding down the 60/40 rear bench yields 60.7 cubes.
Standard and Optional Features
The list of standard features includes an active curve system that keeps body roll in check, high-performance brakes all around, a sport exhaust system, 22-inch alloy wheels, illuminated running boards, brushed aluminum pedals, a panoramic sunroof, tinted windows, keyless start, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, parking sensors, heated and ventilated 14-way adjustable front seats, a garage door opener, Nappa leather upholstery on the dashboard and on the seats, navigation,
Highlights from the list of options include an AMG Dynamic Performance exhaust system, a carbon fiber engine cover, gloss black exterior accents, a wi-fi hotspot, a rear-seat entertainment system, aluminum trim on the dash, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel and soft-close doors.
The GLE Coupe offers front, front side and front pelvic air bags, a driver's knee airbag and side curtain airbags for both rows. It also comes with Mercedes' Pre Safe technology, which tightens the front seat belts, adjusts the seats and closes the windows if it senses a collision is imminent, Collision Prevention Assist, which can apply the brakes to avoid or reduce the severity of a collision, and Crosswind Assist, among other electronic safety-enhancing features.
The fire-breathing Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe fights head-to-head against the BMW X6 M. Buyers willing to trade style for space can also look at the BMW X5 M, the Porsche Cayenne GTS and Land Rover's Range Rover Sport SVR.