The BMW X6 competitor, Mercedes-Benz GLE, comes to Detroit and takes the center stage for the Stuttgart-based automaker.
And just like the bimmer, Benz brings a controversial design that will split opinions. The GLE Coupe is based on the $48,300 M-Class SUV, but differs visually.
The design follows the lines of a Sports Activity Coupe with a slopping roof and muscular wheel arches. At the front, the strips of chrome and the iconic logo remind us this is a high-end Mercedes while also following the design language of their recent models.
The rectangular, three large lower air intakes and the headlights fit in with Benz’ latest styling language. The taillights are similar to those on the S-Class, sleek and wrapped around the stocky rear-end.
Inside the cabin the GLE stands out with a high-level of luxury and craftsmanship, combined with a sporty design. Lots of carbon fiber is used inside and a solid-looking steering wheel to steer off the fairly heavy Sports Activity Coupe.
A large tablet-like display dominates the center stack, featuring a touch-controlled interface and input dial.
“The GLE Coupe is the trailblazer for a versatile vehicle class,” said Ola Kaellenius, head of sales and marketing at Mercedes. “It will enable us to win new customers.”
The entry point will be the Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG. The GLE coupe will come in later under the GLE63 name. In Europe, customers get order two further models: the 329-hp GLE400 and the GLE350d with a 255-hp 3.0-liter diesel V-6.
The GLE63 features a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing about 500 horsepower. The GLE450 is confirmed to pack a twin-turbocharged V-6 rated at 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard, and the system features a 40/60 front-to-rear torque distribution. A nine-speed automatic transmission is used.