Mercedes-Benz Unveils 2020 GLE 580 with Electrified V-8
4.0L Twin-Turbo Boasts 483 hp, EQ Boost Adds 21 hp Over Short Periods
Mercedes-Benz announced the 2020 GLE 580 as the midsize SUV family's new flagship, receiving the same 4.0L twin-turbocharged V-8 as the forthcoming 2020 GLS fullsize SUV. The GLE 580 will produce 483 hp and 516 lb-ft, while a standard 48V electrical system adds up to 21 hp and 184 lb-ft for short periods of time.
That "EQ Boost" setup incorporates what Mercedes-Benz calls an integrated starter generator (ISG), which brings such technologies as regenerative braking and torque addition—features previously reserved for fully hybridized vehicles. As we experienced in our first drive of the GLE-Class last year, the ISG also provides seamless engine idle stop, and paired with the turbocharged 3.0L I-6, EQ Boost brought incredible levels of smoothness to the powertrain. M-B also says that the ISG eliminates the need for an accessory drive on the front of the engine, creating space on the GLE 580 for a sophisticated exhaust after-treatment for further reduced emissions.
Well Equipped, For a Price
Like the GLE 350 and GLE 450, the GLE 580 will come standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive, and it will also add Airmatic air suspension with adaptive damping, leather seating, and AMG Line exterior styling (a more aggressive front fascia and body-color fender flares, among other bits). The 2020 GLE 580 arrives along with other members of the GLE family late this year, starting at $77,795 with destination. That price is a not-insubstantial $20,600 more than the base, non-electrified GLE 350, as well as $15,650 more than the GLE 450 with EQ Boost.
However, the GLE 580 is priced similarly to the 2020 BMW X5 xDrive50i, and its gas engine has 27 more hp and 37 more lb-ft—to say nothing of the EQ Boost system's off-the-line additions. In fact, the GLE 580 might come close to the BMW X5 M50i in terms of straight-line performance, although we'd still predict the Mercedes to prioritize ride comfort over handling and the BMW to lean toward stimulating our lizard brains.