2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe – More luxury, more coupe. Over the last several months, we’ve gradually watched the camouflage fall away from the new Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe. The day has finally come where we see the luxury people mover in all its glory, and it’s joined on-stage with the new entry-level AMG model as well. Say hello to the 2021 GLE Coupe and its AMG GLE 53 sibling, though U.S. buyers will only meet the AMG version in person. As with the previous-generation fastback GLE, Mercedes will only sell the high-performance model in North America.
Having met the conventionally shaped GLE-Class SUV previously, the evolutionary styling update isn’t really a surprise. A nip-tuck to the headlamps and a bolder lower fascia are the eye-catching differences. The sloping rear clip is where things obviously differ for the GLE Coupe, which gets its own taillights mounted in rounded quarter panels. It also gets a unique rear fascia to accommodate the different rear hatch, though the lowermost portion with the trapezoid exhaust outlets mirrors what you find on the GLE SUV. The interior also matches up, save for reduced headroom and cargo capacity in the rear, and under the hood, you’ll find the same mild-hybrid 3.0-liter turbocharged-six. It produces 362 horsepower (270 kilowatts) and sends power to all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic. Diesel options are also available in some markets.
Of particular interest to U.S. readers is the new AMG GLE 53 variant, as it’s the one you can actually buy. Once again, the formula generally mirrors what we saw on the standard GLE SUV. The AMG-spec Panamericana grille is front and center, with a more aggressive rear fascia flanked by quad exhaust outlets at the rear. Side skirts and a subtle trunk spoiler add a bit more aggression to the base AMG model, and if it looks like it sits a bit lower, it does.
Specifically, it sits approximately half an inch lower, but the GLE 53’s AMG Ride Control air suspension can vary the distance depending on settings. Aside from Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual, the Coupe also gets Trail and Sand modes for occasional off-roading. The GLE 53 Coupe’s wheelbase is two inches shorter compared to the SUV variant, and 15.75-inch brake rotors with dual-piston calipers in the front help bring the big crossover to a stop.
Speaking of which, the GLE 53 Coupe doesn’t offer any surprises under the hood, either. It makes use of the same 429-hp (320 kW) 3.0-liter turbocharged I6 revealed earlier this year in the GLE 53 SUV. It’s a mild hybrid setup, utilizing Mercedes’ EQ Boost starter generator to both power on-board equipment and to supply the wheels with an extra 21 hp (16 kW) for short periods. All four wheels are driven, with shifting duties handled by AMG’s TCT 9-speed automatic.
Compared to the current Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 and its 385-hp (287 kW) engine, the new GLE 53 Coupe amps up performance quite a bit. Mercedes tells us the Coupe hits 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, and maxes out at a governor-limited 155 mph. Of course, the new GLE 53 gets the full Mercedes digital makeover inside, including the latest MBUX infotainment setup with AMG-specific displays.
Pricing and availability haven’t been released yet. Mercedes says the new GLE Coupe is a 2021 model, so we expect it will hit dealerships early to mid-2020.
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