Mercedes-Benz took the covers off the GLE Coupe at the local launch this week.The GLE Coupe features in Jurassic World quite prominently and Mercedes SA put on a Jurassic-themed launch to reveal the Coupe SUV. There was even a GLE Coupe wrapped in a ‘Jungle camouflage’ kit. We then had a chance to drive it through the Knysna forest before opening it up on the roads surrounding the Garden Route.
What’s a GLE?Mercedes-Benz has renamed its entire SUV lineup to confuse everyone. Thankfully however, after thinking about it, it actually makes more sense now. The letter G denotes that it’s an SUV. The L is a linking letter and the E determines the level of luxury. Think of it like the normal range of Mercedes-Benz where it has A-, C-, E- and S- Class. So the GLE Coupe is an E-Class Coupe SUV. It’s a direct rival to the BMW X6 and I’m sure Range Rover’s Sport falls into the segment as well.
Engine rangeThe GLE Coupe will be available with three engines from launch, one of which is a mega AMG unit. At the bottom of the range there’s a GLE 350 d 4-Matic, meaning it has built in four-wheel drive. The turbodiesel in the 350 d is capable of 190 kW and 620 Nm of torque. It’s a beauty of a diesel motor, pulling as smoothly as you could ask for with no hint of a tractor clutter from the bonnet. Middle of the model lineup is taken care of by a GLE 450 AMG 4Matic. This is the launch of the AMG Sport range that will filter into other models throughout the Mercedes-Benz brand.
It’s like a mini AMG but with real AMG bits. The 450 AMG is powered with a 3-Litre V6 with twin turbocharging and develops 270 kW and 520Nm of torque. Those are impressive figures and it's able to thrust the 2.2-tonne GLE Coupe around with nonchalant ease. Fuel economy is apparently decent on this model too, claiming anywhere between 8.9 and 9.4L/100km. The top-spec engine is the 63 AMG thunder-gargling dragon beast. The 5.5-Litre twin-turbo V8 thumps out 430 kW and 760 Nm of torque complete with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The other two engines have a nine-speed ‘box.