will soon introduce a fastback version of its all-new midsize SUV, starting with the 2021 Mercedes
-AMG GLE 53 Coupe. With sleeker styling than the outgoing GLE Coupe and all the technology of the conventional GLE,
the AMG-branded SUV should be more attractive to fashion-conscious luxury consumers than ever.
| 2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 53 Coupe Exterior Front Quarter 01
Elegant GLE 53 Styling
The BMW X6
rival boasts a longer wheelbase than its predecessor but a 2.4-inch shorter wheelbase than the conventional GLE SUV, at 115.5 inches. The slightly squatter stance is compounded by a coupe-like fastback roofline, which pre-empts the regular GLE's optional third-row seat. The roof is much more attractive than the outgoing GLE Coupe
's, which looked a bit hunchbacked when viewed in profile.
| 2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 53 Coupe Exterior Rear Quarter 01
Other changes between the generations include a front clip that's all but identical to the one on the conventional GLE, enhanced with AMG-specific vertical grille bars and "A-wing" front bumper openings. The side profile is more graceful, with smooth body surfacing that echoes Mercedes' current, melted-candy styling language. And the rear view is dominated by more aggressive taillights than either the outgoing GLE Coupe or the all-new GLE sport-ute, and quad exhaust outlets hint at the GLE 53's performance potential.
Show, With Lots of Go
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe is powered by the same 3.0L turbocharged I-6 as other 53-badged machines. Producing 429 hp and 384 lb-ft, the straight-six gets some assistance from Mercedes' EQ Boost 48V mild-hybrid system, which can contribute an additional 21 hp and 184 lb-ft for short periods, such as when initiating a passing maneuver or starting from a dead stop. We've experienced EQ Boost in several different applications, and its ability to smooth out transmission behavior, improve throttle response, and mitigate turbo lag is impressive. AMG claims a 0-60-mph time of 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph.
| 2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 53 Coupe Exterior Rear Quarter 02
| 2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 53 Coupe Exterior Front Quarter 02
Mated to the I-6 is a nine-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox tuned by AMG for aggressive performance. The GLE 53 Coupe features standard shift paddles for manual gear selection as well. The gearbox (as well as the throttle, suspension damping, and steering effort) is optimized by AMG Dynamic Select and its seven drive programs: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, Trail, and Sand. AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive is standard.
| 2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 53 Coupe Exterior Front Quarter 03
Variable-ratio, electric power steering helps control the GLE 53's exuberant power, as do high-performance brakesâ15.75-inch front rotors with two-piston fixed calipers and 13.6-inch rear rotors with one-piston floating calipers. AMG developed its parent company's Airmatic air suspension into AMG Ride Control, which is capable of continuously variable damping as prioritized by the GLE 53's drive-select settings. AMG Ride Control also offers automatic load leveling and adjustable ground clearance, lowering the vehicle by 0.6-inch when in Sport or Sport+ to provide improved aerodynamics and a lower center of gravity. Furthermore, the system can also raise the GLE 53 by 2.2 inches at speeds up to 43 mph, helping the SUV avoid large obstacles.
| 2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 53 Coupe Exterior Rear Quarter 03
The GLE 53 Coupe comes with some slight performance alterations inside as well. MB-Tex and Dinamica microfiber upholster the standard sport seats, which feature aggressive red contrast stitching and flashy red safety belts. Leather upholstery is available in a variety of colors, and interior trim options include aluminum, wood, and AMG carbon fiber.
A sporty steering wheel sets the tone as soon as the driver settles in, trimmed as it is in black Nappa leather with red contrast stitching and a red hatch mark at the 12 o'clock position. It also features aluminum shift paddles for the nine-speed automatic transmission.
When and How Much?
Unfortunately, Mercedes hasn't committed to a model launch or pricing strategy for the GLE 53, and so far, it has only announced the six-cylinder AMG version of the GLE Coupe—no word of a M-B GLE 450 or an AMG GLE 63 Coupe. We'd be surprised if the company wouldn't want to launch a lower-cost model to compete with the base BMW
X6 xDrive40i, but so far, only the AMG GLE 53 has been confirmed.
Nevertheless, with hybridized power and efficiency and sleek, AMG-chic styling, there's no reason to expect the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe to wave a white flag in the face of its BMW X6, Audi
Q8, and Porsche Cayenne
| 2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 53 Coupe Exterior Front Quarter 04
| 2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 53 Coupe Exterior Rear Quarter 04