LOS ANGELES, CA
- Mercedes-Benz has just revealed a pair of massively powerful crossovers and one of the greatest sets of retro wheels we've ever seen. It's the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 and the GLE 63 S.
Both get a version of the massively powerful 4.0L twin-turbo AMG V8. That's 603 hp for both of these big bruisers, with 627 lb-ft of torque. It's a 48V electrical system version that gives the V8s some extra power and performance, as well as helping them to be a little thriftier at the pumps. If that's something you're worried about in your 600+ hp monster crossover.
The EQ Boost starter-alternator adds 21 hp to the system, and more importantly 184 lb-ft of torque. That torque shows up from zero rpm, meaning that it can deliver theses AMGs a shove in the tiny time before the turbos start to spool. The fuel-saving part comes from the recuperation and the ability to allow the vehicle to glide during cruising. The electrical system is also used for controlling engine speed at idle, helping it to use less fuel. Both the GLE and GLS get a nine-speed AMG Speedshift automatic that can handle multiple gear ratio drops, say from ninth to fifth or fifth to third. The GLS can hit 100 km/h from a stop in 4.2 seconds, the smaller and lighter GLE in 3.8. Both are limited to 280 km/h flat out.
Typical of AMGs, the GLS gets the Panamericana-style front grille, but here it's bigger than other AMGs. Fitting of their largest model. The wheel arches are flared, and wheels in 22 and 23-inch sizes are available. Those 23-inch options include that amazing set of 23s on the display vehicle that look like a massive version of the monobloc-style wheels Mercedes-Benz put on some of its coolest models through the 1980s and 1990s. It's a retro-throwback we love, even if they are manhole-cover size. AMG's Night package adds gloss black trim to a few parts like the front splitter and the mirrors, as well as the exhaust tips. Inside, it gets AMG sports pedals and sports seats, with eight total interior colour options on offer. The widescreen digital cockpit display adds an AMG-only Supersport display mode.
AMG's Ride Control + adaptive air suspension balances ride and handling, and it can lower the ride by 10mm to improve aerodynamics. Take your AMG off-road, as you're likely to do in a 603 hp crossover with 23-inch wheels and rubber-band sidewalls, and the height can climb up to 55 mm. The 48V electrical system lets the AMG Active Ride Control adjust the front and rear anti-roll bars independently, and in real-time, to balance ride and handling depending on drive mode and road conditions.
Most of these changes apply to the GLE 63 S as well, like the Panamericana-style grille and widened arches. It gets the AMG Ride Control + adaptive suspension like its larger sibling, and it also gets the AMG active anti-roll bars.
Expect both of these to go on sale here sometime next summer, with the price released closer to that on-sale date.