Whenever the apocalypse happens, some will want a stylish ride – something jacked up a few inches and a coupe like body style. Until now, your only true option was the BMW X6 and the world may have though that was enough. It turns out that BMW is selling a fair number of their high riding coupe worldwide and Mercedes Benz will not let that stand. Behold the Mercedes Benz – GLE class – luxury-crossover-four-door-coupe. I could have thrown in some more dashes and descriptors but there is only so much space. Detroit has fired the AMG salvo first and we will also see garden variety variants as well as a possibly compelling plug in hybrid version at other auto shows soon.
The fascia of the AMG version gets their traditional A front spoiler and has truly massive air intakes and bisected AMG grille. There are also two power bulges on the hood line in keeping with traditional MB performance cues. The rear features multi-strip wraparound taillights joined by a Porsche Cayman like chrome strip. A rear diffuser and sport exhaust tips round out the package nicely. The visual impression is a significantly more lithe and overall more subtly styled shape when compared to the X6 and especially when it has the M styling package.
There is enough power under the hood to bring a smile to any grocery getting hoon. The 450 AMG has a twin-turbo V6 with 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque coupled to a nine-speed automatic. There will also be a GLE63 version with a tire melting 577 hp and 561 pound-feet from a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 coupled with a seven-speed gearbox. Of course 4Matic all-wheel drive is on the menu as well.
Inside you will find the usual assortment of Mercedes quality appointments capped off with a beefy sport three spoke steering wheel. Trim choices will range from a selection of woods, aluminum, and carbon fiber depending on how rugged-plush-sporty you want your cabin to be.
Overall the impressions left inside and out from a craftsmanship and styling perspective are positive – the only question remains is if the segment appeals to you.