We’re long past the point of moaning about the proliferation of crossovers and SUVs on our automotive landscape.
The shift in consumer tastes has stuck, and machines like this are here to stay. With that said, we might as well make the most of it. And a 429 horsepower AMG is a good place to start.
With the introduction of the GLE 53, the newly hyphenated Mercedes-AMG launches its performance offering for this next-gen GLE. It is outfitted with a 429 horse 3.0L inline-six, all-wheel drive, and a 9-speed automatic transmission. The AMG-specific drive programs are on board, as is and Active Ride Control air suspension A passel of AMG-specific design cues – such as a radiator grille with 15 vertical stripes that recall the gonzo AMG GT line – appear on this new rig as well.
That six-pot is turbocharged and electrified, it should be noted. The EQ Boost starter-generator combines a starter motor and generator that is fitted between the engine and transmission. This bit of gee-whiz tech works in concert with an electric auxiliary compressor that is responsible for producing a few extra electrons for more power and to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions.
The electric auxiliary compressor works to boost performance, too. By building up a high level of boost pressure at a near-instantaneous speed, it fills in power gaps until the traditional exhaust gas turbocharger kicks in. As a result, the 3.0-litre engine should react almost instantaneously to provide a dynamic response with virtually no turbo lag. The run from 0-100km/h will be yours in 5.3 seconds, according to Mercerdes.
A neat feature meant to help drivers take advantage of all this power is the optional AMG Track Pace. It enhances the infotainment system with a virtual engineer that can record vehicle-specific data and times on closed routes to be analyzed in detail. Many of these values can be displayed on the widescreen cockpit or on the optional head-up display in real-time.
See? SUVs don’t have to me milquetoast soccermobiles relegated to duty at the elementary school pick-up lane.
As expected, Mercedes-AMG is throwing the kitchen sink at the interior of this new GLE 53. Seats come tailored with Nappa leather as standard equipment while an array of different coloured leather upholstery options and a wide-range of trim elements are available so buyers can craft the interior to their heart’s desire. Optional carbon-fibre trim elements should add a sporty feel. A third row of seats is optional.
But never mind that third row. The star of this AMG show is under the hood and baked into the active air suspension which, by the way, has no fewer than seven different modes from ‘Slippery’ to ‘Trail’ to ‘Sport+’
We’ll take ours permanently set to the latter, please. Those 429 horses won’t run by themselves.