The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe is set to arrive in mid-2020.
The powertrain includes a special EQ Boost electric auxiliary compressor.
It has a shorter wheelbase than a conventional GLE SUV with sportier handling.
Have you seen Mercedes-Benz’s SUV offerings lately? If you’re familiar with the German automaker’s growing lineup, the GLE coupe has always been offered in AMG trim. Not that we’re complaining, but I personally think it has something to do with America’s desire for large, fast, and ultimately stylish gas-guzzlers. And for the average American who’s looking for a large, fast, and stylish gas-guzzling SUV, allow me to introduce the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe.
This SUV is meant for folks who think the regular GLE is too boxy and conventional for the modern world.
Before you say the AMG GLE 53 Coupe is simply a restyled GLE SUV with a sexier sloping roofline, Mercedes-AMG is on a mission to put all doubts to rest. The new offering here from Affalterbach is more than a pretty face and it’s anything but ordinary.
Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe: Same Face, Different Body
It’s hard to discern the changes at first glance. The task is more difficult if you’re not totally familiar with the outgoing AMG GLE. While the new model is wearing the same hood, lower bumper, headlights, and taillights as the regular GLE, it’s the changes underneath that matter most.
For starters, Mercedes-AMG reduced the wheelbase of the GLE 53 Coupe by 2.4 inches. This gives the vehicle a sportier feel while also slightly improving the rather bulbous rear design. The styling is still a love-it or hate-it affair, but Mercedes finally succeeded in making the GLE Coupe look cleaner and saner than the previous model. Think of it this way: if you’re relatively young and have two kids, the GLE Coupe is more appealing as long as you can afford it.
Now that I mention it, it’s important to point out the GLE Coupe (albeit in AMG trim) is approximately $15,000 dearer than a base model GLE. You’ll have to be relatively young (or young at heart), affluent, and have two kids to even consider the GLE Coupe.
Distinctive AMG Styling
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe is clearly a member of the AMG family with that wide and gaping, AMG-specific Panamericana grille design. The twin power domes on the hood are hinting at the potent engine underneath while the slim headlights and A-wing in the front bumper enhance the sporting intent of the vehicle.
Speaking of the front bumper, it receives AMG-specific features like those sporty outer air inlets, twin side louvers, and that front splitter in a silver chrome finish. The vehicle also receives AMG side skirts and a subtle trunk lid spoiler. The new rear bumper houses a diffuser and an AMG exhaust system with twin chrome tailpipes.
Did I fail to mention the AMG GLE 53 is an electrified SUV? It has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and an EQ Boost electric auxiliary compressor. If all this sounds familiar, it’s the same motor and EQ Boost compressor in the 2019 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Sedan. Both vehicles produce 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft. of torque. The EQ Boost starter generator powers the 48-volt on-board electrical system while providing an additional 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque when it matters most.
With this setup, the new Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe rushes from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. It outruns the outgoing AMG GLE 43 but falls short when accosted by the AMG GLE 63 S with its 577 horsepower, twin-turbo V8 motor. But still, the AMG GLE 53 is pretty quick for a family SUV.
Shifting duties are courtesy of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT nine-speed automatic; driving all four wheels via a fully-variable 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system. The latter continuously monitors and calculates the torque distribution between the front and rear axle to enhance traction and lateral dynamics. Suffice it to say, this SUV is meant to be driven hard.
AMG Dynamic Select Drive Programs
The GLE Coupe is still an SUV with all-wheel drive. It’s only natural to expect some mild to moderate off-road capabilities despite the sporting apprehensions. In order to address this fact, the AMG Dynamic Select system offers seven drive programs. Besides the usual Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual modes, it also has Trail and Sand modes if you happen to find yourself off-road. Trail mode is for driving over soft, muddy, or slippery terrain. Sand mode offers the best possible grip and steering control over loose surfaces like sand dunes and slopes.
The standard AMG Ride Control (air suspension) with continuously-adjustable damping also reacts, depending on the chosen drive mode. Damping changes from soft to firm as you shuttle between Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ along with Trail and Sand. It also raises or lowers the GLE 53 Coupe accordingly. In fact, the air suspension can raise the vehicle by up to 2.2 inches even when moving at 43 mph. Meanwhile, it can also lower everything by 0.6 inches at speeds up to 75 mph.
We’re still talking about a proper Mercedes here. Hence, it’s only fitting for the new AMG GLE 53 to have a luxurious and high-tech interior. You’ll find a lot of red elements in the cabin to distinguish the vehicle from a conventional Mercedes. The AMG sports seats are wrapped in black DINAMICA microfiber while genuine cowhide remains an option.
The newest Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 also comes with the MBUX infotainment system. Mercedes’ trademark widescreen cockpit combines a digital instrument cluster and a touchscreen display with voice control. The multi-function AMG performance steering wheel comes with aluminum shift paddles and intuitive touch controls to operate the MBUX system. The tiller feels wonderful to touch courtesy of premium black leather and red contrast stitching. There’s also a red 12 o’clock marking front and center.
Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe: Pricing & Availability
Mercedes-AMG will debut the 2021 GLE 53 Coupe at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which begins on Thursday, September 12th. Expect it at dealerships by the middle of next year. Complete pricing and other specs are forthcoming.
Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.