2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S takes on BMW X6 M
Mercedes-AMG has taken the new GLE to 11, with a 603bhp twin-turbo V8
The Mercedes-AMG GLE63 has always been considered something of an outsider’s choice by us here at evo, with the E63 S Estate a much more attractive proposition. Nevertheless, AMG has fettled the GLE again, adding yet more power and torque to the model’s undoubted practicality.
Separating the latest range-topping AMG versions from the standard GLEs is the addition of more aggressive front and rear bumpers, flared arches, a roof spoiler, quad exhaust pipes and a handful of carbonfibre parts both inside and out. The S variant comes with 21-inch wheels as standard, but 22-inch items are available at a cost.
Under the bonnet is the same 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 you’ll find in any current 63 AMG, pumped to 603bhp and 626lb ft of torque in S form – that’s 26bhp and 66lb ft more than the outgoing version. A non-S GLE63 can also be had, providing the same V8 in a 563bhp, 553lb ft state of tune, but this won’t go on sale in the UK. For reference, the AMG GLE’s closest rival, the current BMW X6 M Competition, produces 616bhp along with 553lb ft.
Unlike the last-generation model, the new GLE63 features EQ Boost, a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that aims to make the powertrain both more efficient and more responsive. The system can momentarily provide an additional 184lb ft of torque and 22bhp over the standard figure, boosting performance when it’s needed most.
Power is sent to the ground through Mercedes’ ubiquitous nine-speed automatic gearbox and a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system for a 3.8sec 0-62mph sprint and a top speed of 173mph (4sec and 155mph for the non-S). Helping to bring the model back down to sane speeds are six-piston, 400mm front brakes, and single-piston, 370mm units at the rear – of course, carbon-ceramics can be had as an option, should you want to take your dogs on a trackday...
Being an SUV, the GLE comes with adjustable air suspension, capable of raising the car 55mm when in ‘Trail’ or ‘Sand’ mode to increase ground clearance, whilst also lowering the vehicle automatically above 74mph for better efficiency and stability.
Inside, you’ll find the marque’s latest MBUX infotainment system, acres of nappa leather, contrast stitching and even the option to have full electric adjustment in the second row of seats, for ultimate passenger comfort. Ambient lighting, a three-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel and a raft of driver assistance safety systems all come as standard.
Pricing is yet to be announced, but expect the GLE63 S to start at just shy of £100,000.