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Mercedes-AMG GLE53 thunders in at $166,700

320kW Mercedes-AMG GLE53 4Matic+ offers six-pot twin-turbo with mild hybrid boost

24 Apr 2020

MERCEDES-BENZ has added another string to its AMG bow with the arrival in Australia of the high-performance GLE53 4Matic+ large SUV, priced from $166,700 plus on-road costs.


This is the latest ‘53’ variant to emerge brandishing Mercedes-AMG’s 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six petrol engine with EQ Boost mild-hybrid system, producing 320kW of power and 520Nm of torque. 


The booster shot comes courtesy of a 16kW/250Nm electric motor-generator that slots in between the engine and AMG Speedshift TCT 9G nine-speed automatic transmission to not only increase power for brief periods but also start the engine from idle-stop and, under deceleration, recharge the 48-volt battery.


Driving all four wheels via the AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system, the GLE53 can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds and return fuel economy on the official combined cycle of 9.4 litres per 100km. CO2 emissions are listed at 214 grams per kilometre. 


The new 53 is now the torchbearer of the new-generation GLE range, at least until the GLE63 S returns later this year with a monster 450kW/850Nm 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 and EQ Boost.


It joins the $117,400 GLE450 which uses a 270kW/500Nm version of 53 engine, and two diesel variants: the $105,700 GLE300d with a 180kW/500Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder, and $124,400 GLE400d with a meatier 243kW/700Nm 3.0-litre inline six. 


A raft of exterior highlights mark the 53 as the kingpin of the GLE range, notably the 15-strut radiator grille, gaping lower intakes, ridged bonnet, aggressively flared wheelarches and quad exhaust tips.


Stopping duties come courtesy of 400mm discs up front and 345mm units at the rear, with the huge stoppers hiding behind a set of 21-inch AMG light-alloy wheels.


AMG’s Ride Control+ air suspension comes standard, offering adjustable damping courtesy of five different settings (comfort, sport and sport+, trail and sand), each designed to tailor the vehicle’s ride to match any given journey.


In a bid to provide a similar level of aural tuning as there is ride comfort, AMG has fitted a bi-modal exhaust system to either fly under the radar in comfort and quietness or “generate more characterful responses” during “spirited driving”.


Inside the cabin it is a typically AMG affair with the familiar side-by-side 12.3-inch screens providing access to the MBUX infotainment system and a wealth of AMG-specific graphics and content.


Standard equipment includes a leather-wrapped AMG Performance steering wheel, premium Burmester surround-sound system, panoramic sunroof, illuminated door sills, heated front seats (with memory function), wireless phone charging, head-up display, 64-colour ambient lighting, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio, bi-modal steering (comfort and sport) and anti-theft protection.


On the safety front, a myriad of active and passive systems are fitted including park assist, 360-degree cameras, active brake assist with cross-traffic function, steering assist, lane-change assist, blind-spot assist and monitoring, traffic-sign assist, Pre-Safe Plus accident preparation system and tyre pressure monitoring.


Also included in the price is access to the ‘Mercedes me connect’ suite allowing owners to access things like remote engine start and door locking, geofencing, retrieval of vehicle status and location, speed alert, predictive navigation, theft notification and maintenance management – all from their mobile devices.


“As the inventors of the performance SUV, it is important to us to continue to be at the top with the new generation of the GLE when it comes to innovations, driving dynamics, individuality and design,” said Mercedes-AMG chief executive Tobias Moers.


Last year, the GLE wagon chalked up 2081 sales to account for 12.2 per cent of the $70,000+ large SUV segment, behind the BMW X5 (3498, 20.4%) and Range Rover Sport (2202, 12.9%).


The new-generation GLE was launched in the second half of last year, and through the first quarter of 2020 Mercedes has recorded 976 sales, well up on the same period last year when the previous model was in runout. 


2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE pricing*

GLE300d 4Matic (a) $105,700
GLE450 4Matic (a) $117,400
GLE400d 4Matic (a) $124,400
GLE53 AMG 4Matic+ (a) $166,700

*Excludes on-road costs

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