Mercedes-Benz has taken the wrapping off of its newest model in its SUV line, the GLE63 AMG. The GLE Class, which replaces the ML Class, is meant to take on the BMW X5 in a battle for SUV domination. Taking aim at the BMW X5 M directly, the GLE63 AMG is a brutish SUV, packing a 5.5 liter, twin-turbo V8 that makes 549 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. There will also be a GLE63S model, which will increase power to 577 hp and 560 lb-ft. That’s quite a bit of whollop, especially in comparison to the 567 hp and 550 lb-ft in the BMW X5 M.
The Mercedes-AMG GLE63S (the only one which will cross the Atlantic to the U.S.) is said to hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and top out at a limited 155 mph. The X5 M has the same limited top speed, but beats the big Benz to 60 mph with by two tenths at a claimed 4.0 seconds flat. Overall, these two bruising behemoths are properly fast, way faster than anything of their size should be. It’ll be interesting to get these two together and test them out on a track.
For the GLE63S, power will be sent through Mercedes’ typical 7-Speed automatic to a 60/40, rear-biased all-wheel drive system. It will also have active anti-roll bars, bigger brakes, larger air intakes and quad exhaust pipes. The X5 M also uses an 8-speed gearbox and sends power to all four wheels via BMW’s xDrive system, which can send almost 100 percent of power to the rear wheels. MB likes to fix the torque split on its all-wheel drive system, but the xDrive system torque vectors.
Both SUV’s look incredibly aggressive, with the X5 M looking more menacing. With its wider body, more aggressive front fascia and taller hoodline, the X5 M looks much more imposing than the GLE63S. Not that it necessarily looks better, just a bit more angry. The GLE63S looks mean, but the X5 M looks like it wants to punch faces.
The interior is a pretty standard affair, with both looking like sportier versions of their standard cars. They both have nav screens that seem to pop up from the dash, both have miles of leather and carbon fiber and both have paddles behind their three-spoke steering wheels. The big Benz has a column-mounted shifter, while the X6 M uses BMW’s typical teardrop, console-mounted shifter. Both look very good, but if it were my choice, I’d go with the X6 M for some ergonomic reasons. It seems to look a bit more sorted, and I like how the nav screen is the same height as the instrument cluster. Just looks a bit cleaner. Otherwise, both look fantastic.
Both of these mammoths are extremely impressive SUVs. Both look like sporty versions of the standard car. And both will be very, very fast. We won’t know which is better until they can be put on the same road at the same time, but it will sure be interesting to find out. Especially considering the similarities in power and performance. The X5 M looks a bit more angry and with its more rear-biased xDrive, I think it will be the more aggressive of the two. I, as well as everyone, can’t wait to find out.