Fans of expensive, sporty SUVs will be pleased to hear that Mercedes-AMG has revealed a new GLE 63 Coupe to face BMW’s X6 M. Like its boxier sibling, the swept-back model uses AMG’s most potent M178 twin-turbo V8 powerplant, with an EQ Boost starter-alternator and 48-volt on-board electrification system. It gives the regular 63 571hp and the 63 S 612hp, with the latter trailing its Bavarian rival by 13hp. The electrified 63 S matches the X6 M’s 3.8-second 0-62mph sprint time and beats its 155mph top speed by 19mph, however, ensuring a pub chat victory from the off.
Still, this new GLE 63 Coupe will no doubt continue to split opinions when it comes to its design. But what lies beneath does remain pretty compelling, not least because the use of an electric system ensures that something this big and heavy can still use a high-output V8 in the face of 2020s emissions limits. The EQ Boost hardware helps trim the 2.3-tonne machine’s CO2 output to 236g/km, as well as injecting an additional 22hp of extra shove when under load. Total torque peaks at 627lb ft from just 2,500rpm in the S; the ‘regular’ 63 having 553lb ft from 250 revs earlier.
That immense muscle is supplemented by a nine-speed automatic gearbox and fully variable all-wheel drive system that’s able to shift more torque rearwards in sportier modes, as well as a chassis controlled by AMG’s Ride Control air suspension and active roll stabilisation. It’s a combined setup we know to be highly capable of achieving physics-defying agility in other big AMGs, albeit in a glued-down juggernaut sort of way, rather than anything convincingly like a true sports car. That being said, AMG’s adjustable ESP system is included, so it is possible to wind back on its interventions.
As standard, the GLE 63 gets 21-inch wheels, with the S receiving rims an inch larger in diameter as well as slightly more prominent tailpipes to emphasise its extra punch. There’s the usual raft of AMG trim, including that Panamericana front grille and front bumper vane, while the cabin is fitted with Mercedes’ latest widescreen MBUX infotainment tech and button-light centre console. Neither of the AMG GLE Coupes can be described as lacking kit; they get 3D-look graphics and a multi-mode instrument cluster so drivers can customise the view ahead of them. There remains space for five onboard, and a boot capable of swallowing 650 litres of luggage despite the obvious constraints of that roofline.
For those who love this sort of stuff – and judging by sales, there are a lot of them – order books will open in the spring. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but we’re expecting something nudging six-figures. Not that anyone actually buys these cars outright anymore.