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  • First Look – 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S

First Look – 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S

Super-Sporty Midsize SUV Arrives to Battle BMW X5 M

Dec 2, 2019
Photo 2/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Exterior Front Quarter 01
Mercedes-AMG will apply its blend of magic and engineering to the all-new GLE-Class SUV for the 2021 model year. The GLE 63 S, as it will be known, promises to be the sportiest and most energetic sport-ute in the company's portfolio.

Clean(ish) Energy

Photo 3/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Exterior Fender Badge
Photo 4/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Engine Bay 01

The AMG formula, as per the usual, starts under the hood. The GLE 63 S will come standard with a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V-8 that produces 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, routing power to the ground via an AMG Speedshift nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic+ all-wheel drive. Engine output is significantly higher than the 5.5L twin-turbo V-8 in the 2019 GLE 63 S (577 hp and 561 lb-ft), in spite of the new SUV's smaller engine.

We wouldn't be surprised if the 2021 model were faster than its predecessor as well, since it features two more cogs in the gearbox and an efficiency-enhancing EQ Boost 48V mild-hybrid system. Mercedes-AMG seems to think the same, as the company's estimated 0-60 mph times drop from 4.1 seconds to 3.7 seconds. The 2021 GLE 63 S will be electronically limited to a top speed of 174 mph, plenty fast for a run to the carpool lane.
Photo 5/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Exterior Front Quarter 02

Of course, fuel economy isn't this machine's primary mission, but nevertheless, EQ Boost avails itself to smoother automatic engine idle stop, allowing that feature to be used more frequently for gas savings and lower emissions. EQ Boost also provides a small amount of low-speed electric assist, improving efficiency a bit.

In-Car Electronics

Photo 6/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Exterior Rear Quarter 01

In addition to the outrageously energetic stuff under the hood, the GLE 63 S will boast a lot of software engineering to ensure it stays glued to the road, no matter how twisty. A standard electronic locking rear differential routes power more effectively to the ground when exiting corners, as well as in low-traction situations like snow or dirt. Also helping in both slippery and racy situations is a fully variable 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system that has been tuned by AMG. The rear axle is always receiving engine power, but when wheel slip is detected, an electromechanical clutch sends motive force to the front wheels, helping preserve (or initiate) momentum.

Photo 7/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Exterior Side Profile 01

Like the larger Mercedes-AMG GLS 63, the GLE features AMG Dynamic Select drive mode settings—Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. But, being a GLE 63 S and not just a regular GLE 63, the midsize SUV also boasts a hyper-sporty Race mode, which tunes the steering, suspension, throttle, and shift points for maximum performance. Like the GLS, there's also an Individual mode that allows drivers to tune each parameter independently, and Trail and Sand off-road modes lift the standard air suspension 2.2 inches for more ground clearance.

That air suspension also automatically lowers the GLE 63 S at speeds above 75 mph, helping streamline aerodynamics and improve efficiency. The lower suspension setting also comes online when Sport, Sport+, or Race modes, reducing body roll and improving response. The 48V electrical system enables AMG Active Ride Control, which automatically counteracts body roll through electromechanical actuators on the front and rear axles.
Photo 8/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Exterior Rear Quarter 02

Vanity Muscles

Although the AMG's true beauty lies under the surface, the performance arm still wasn't content to leave the GLE's aesthetics alone. Befitting a German super-SUV, the GLE 63 S features an A-wing front bumper resting beneath a more aggressive grille opening, the latter trimmed with AMG-signature vertical chrome bars. Body-color accents abound, including the wheel arches and side skirts. Wheels measure 21 inches as standard; 22s are available as well. The rear bumper features a diffuser done in "silver shadow," jazzing up the view most drivers will see of the GLE.
Photo 9/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Exterior Front Quarter 03

Photo 10/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Exterior Cockpit

An available AMG Night package sees a good amount of the vehicle draped in aggressive accents. The front splitter, front and rear bumper trim, side skirt inserts, mirror caps, and window frames all get blacked out, with the tailpipe dressed in sleek black chrome.

Inside, it's AMG business as usual, thanks to aggressive sport seats with Mercedes Exclusive Nappa leather upholstery. A three-spoke steering wheel is contoured for both a racy appearance and good grip, and it's done up in leather and Dinamica faux suede. AMG-specific displays adorn the gauge cluster and MBUX infotainment system, while drive selector buttons, suspension controls, and transmission adjustments can be found in the center console.
Photo 11/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Interior Front Cabin

Hanging on Tight

Photo 12/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Exterior Headlight Detail

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S promises to be one of the sportiest sport utility vehicles on the market when it arrives in mid-2020. According to manufacturer claims, it will be nearly as fast as the 707hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, and it should match the BMW X5 M jab for jab. It also looks the part, with gorgeous styling and a sumptuous interior—we loved our time in the non-AMG GLE-Class, and we see no reason to think the GLE 63 S will be anything but an improvement.

Expect it to be priced such. The outgoing 2019 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S starts at $110,200, so we expect the new one to demand at least $115,000 and possibly as much as $125,000. But in this rarefied space, potential owners needn't think about such trivialities as money, and we'd bet many current AMG owners are just waiting for the day they can add to the stable with something as stylish, comfortable, and outrageous as the GLE 63 S.
Photo 13/25   |   2021 Mercedes Amg Gle 63 S Exterior Front Quarter 04

Source: Mercedes-AMG