The BMW X6 is a magnificent vehicle that has a magnificent sales record attached to it. For almost seven years, the X6 has dominated the SUV-Coupe-Crossover niche market and now, Mercedes-Benz has decided they want a piece of that cake. The GLE-class coupe will be available in the US market joining the AMG sport lineup. The GLE coupe will be available as the GLE450 AMG and the GLE63 AMG. Unfortunately there will be no diesel engines available for the US market so far, but Europe will be happy to hear that the GLE350D with a 255-hp 3.0-liter V6 diesel will be ready for 2016.
While the announcement comes with the promise of more information landing at a later date, we do know that the GLE63 will be powered by the magnificent 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that is rated for 500 horsepower. The GLE450 will have the twin-turbocharged V6 that is only 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. In both instances, the power will be fed to an all-wheel drive system that will feature a 40/60 torque split. Maximum torque will be available to drivers at a mere 1400 rpm. The GLE will also feature a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The GLE450 AMG will have 21 or 22-inch wheels and with a staggered set up in terms of tire width. (Rear tires wider than fronts.) The rears on the 22-inch wheel setup will have fat 325-section tires and 285s in the front. The German automaker confirms that the suspension will be tuned for sportiness and little body roll—Mercedes confirms the GLE will feel like a true sports coupe, despite the obvious high center of gravity, four doors, and crossover looks. Personally, the X6 and now this GLE-coupe frustrate me. A Coupe is meant to have a fixed roof and two doors, end of story. But, the sales of the X6 mean that BMW is doing something right, so more power to them. The chassis will also have full adjustability in terms of 5 pre-set modes; Comfort, Slipper, Sport, Sport +, and individual (custom settings.) These affect steering, suspension and engine response.
Inside, the GLE will enjoy the full treatment of Mercedes’ latest COMAND infotainment system with an 8 inch display, paired to a proven Bang & Olufsen audio system. There will also be a rear-seat entertainment system, a panoramic sunroof, and a plethora of interior leathers and trims. Despite the sloping roofline towards the rear, the GLE coupe will offer ample room for five occupants. Mercedes-Benz says it will provide the widest rear seat and the largest cargo area in its class. (Read: BMW X6.) However, it will be less practical than the regular GLE.
While this niche coupe-crossover market has been dominated by the X6 thus far, it is good to see that Mercedes-Benz is making an effort to try and butt their way in. But, the GLE coupe just feels like a status symbol request. Only having AMG models shipped means those who buy it will just be looking to ‘out-do’ their friends who own X6’s and X6 M’s. It is hard to really justify buying a ‘coupe-crossover’ considering it is not as practical as other SUVs that Mercedes-Benz and BMW offer. Though, like I said before, more power to them.