Mercedes-Benz sees the market for SUVs growing to even greater proportions in 2015 and it will make sure its U.S. lineup is well-stocked for this growth. On the first day of the New York Auto Show, Mercedes showed off its revamped 2016 SUV line — now known as GLE — that includes a plug-in hybrid, several gas models, and one AMG model featuring 621 horsepower that runs buyers over $200,000. Here is a rundown of the brand’s 2016 SUV line.
Mercedes decided on a shift in nomenclature to simplify its line of sport utility vehicles. Gone is the M-Class, and the G-Class designation will cover any SUVs in the brand lineup from A-Class to the S-Class. As for the new GLE midsize SUV, the automaker is offering four models to American consumers.
The base model, GLE350, sports a 3.5-liter V6, capable of 302 horsepower and 273 pounds-feet of torque. Both standard and four-wheel drive models (4MATIC) are available. With the next step up, Mercedes offers the GLE400 4MATIC with twin-turbo V6 featuring 329 horsepower and 354 pounds-feet of torque.
Alternative fuel models bring the new SUV line into 2016. There is a GLE550e 4MATIC with twin-turbo V6 and electric motors for 426 horsepower and 479 pounds-feet of torque. Finally, the GLE300d 4MATIC carries a four-cylinder turbo diesel engine capable of 201 horsepower and 369 pounds-feet of torque.
The GLE550e is Mercedes-Benz’s answer to the budding plug-in hybrid SUV segment, and the model from Stuttgart will be formidable with nearly 19 miles of electric range to go along with its massive power specs. Four different hybrid modes will allow drivers to modify their consumption of battery power while they drive.
Joining the GLE Mercedes line with New York debuts were the GLE AMG 63 and the GLE AMG 63S, both of which feature a twin-turbo V8 with well over 500 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes also revealed pricing for its most imposing SUV, the AMG G65.
In the AMG G65, Mercedes has created an SUV in its performance wing that can rival nearly any sports car on the road. Its V12 engine delivers 621 horsepower and 738 pounds-feet of torque and is capable of hitting 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 5.3 seconds. Pricing begins at $217,900 in the U.S., making it the fourth AMG vehicle that exceeds $200,000.
At the Mercedes reveals in New York, company officials stressed the continued surge in SUV buying in the U.S. The brand set an all-time record with its 356,136 U.S. sales in 2014, which marked a gain of 7% over the prior year performance. Audi and BMW also had exceptional years.
Each of the three German luxury brands have redesigned SUVs coming to the U.S. market in 2015. By the looks of the its 2016 SUV line, Mercedes does not plan to budge in the slightest to rivals in any price point.