Mercedes-Benz has just announced the new 2021 GLE Coupe. It will make its debut at the 2019 Frankfurt International Motor Show in October. The unique SUV coupes are expected to be on showroom floors in the spring of 2020.
These large four-door coupes have met with mixed success from other manufacturers. BMW just recently killed its 3- and 5-Series GT Coupes but is sticking with the X6 which is the GLE’s direct competition. In 2010 Acura produced a similar ZDX Coupe for four years.
In Mercedes’ ongoing quest to offer all things for every niche, it is continuing GLE Coupe production at a time when other manufacturers are trimming their lines. Puzzling still is that Mercedes cranked out barely 6,000 GLEs in 2018, down from over 10,000 in 2016. So the trend line is definitely pointing down.
SUVs Big For Mercedes
But SUVs make up about one-third of all Mercedes sales, so a variant of the GLE helps bolster those numbers and is cheaper to develop than an entirely unique model. All GLEs are built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Or, maybe Mercedes just needs to give some competition to their friends down the road in Munich.
The AMG Version
Mercedes will also offer an AMG GLE 53 4Matic Coupe version that will feature twin-turbochargers tied to a hybrid unit for an overrun mode. The in-line six-cylinder will crank out 435hp. The top speed is 155mph, hitting 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Two diesel versions will also be available in the OM 656 engine family.
The EQ Boost starter/alternator adds an additional 21hp and resides between the engine and transmission. It electronically gives a quick shot to the engine while the turbos spool up, for instantaneous acceleration without the typical turbo lag. Of course, it also aids in fuel economy and provides a 48-volt onboard electrical system aiding overall battery capacity.
The AMG SpeedShift TCT 9G nine-speed automatic transmission backs up the six. The all-wheel-drive features a permanently-driven rear axle with a front axle that varies torque distribution depending on needs. This not only aids in traction and control but launches as well.
In the suspension department, AMG offers its Ride Control plus air suspension with AMG Active Ride Control electro-mechanical roll stabilization and continuously variable damping. It will also offer seven driving modes. The GLE will raise 2.2 inches up to 43 mph, and lower (in Sport or Sport+ mode) when getting past 75 mph.
AMG models will also feature unique interior fabrics and details. The most current Mercedes Benz User Experience infotainment system is available in all GLEs and features a large screen on the instrument cluster.
The new GLE Coupe body has better aerodynamics than previous models. The wheelbase has been increased by 20 mm but is still 60 mm shorter than its GLE SUV sibling. The increase should help the coupe’s proportions just a bit more. The AMG version will be distinguished by badges and 15 vertical fins on the large Panamericana grille. Mercedes calls the new front fascia an “A-wing” that enhances the grille. OK, then!
It will be interesting to see how much marketing Mercedes puts behind the new GLE Coupe and to see if they can increase sales over the current Coupe.