Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE S Is Unbearably Powerful

Mercedes-Benz is introducing an all-new engine, and its fuel-efficient performance specs are designed to impress. Coming in the summer of 2020, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE S has incredible punch.

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE S test drive

MotorTrend took the GLE S out for a test drive on some California canyon roads, and the results were impressive, to say the least. The driver noted how often the V8 SUV operated on 4-cylinders, one of the fuel-saving features of the GL line.

The GLE and the GLS are the two most powerful SUVs that the company makes, and there was a seamless transition when the vehicle shifted from 4 to 8 cylinders despite an annoying blue square lighting up on the dash every time. This all-new Mercedes-AMG engine has beast-like power on tap whenever it’s needed. 

Mercedes claims this 2.5-ton SUV rockets from 0 to 60 MPH in 3.7 seconds, and MotorTrend basically confirmed it on one try. In their test drive, the GLE S flew from 0 to 60 MPH in 3.9 seconds on pavement. Overall, the driver called this machine “absurdly quick,” so much so it had him giggling. He also liked how it stays flat through the corners thanks to AMG’s active ride control.

The test driver found the steering a bit sluggish, both due to the weight of the vehicle and its massive tires. Basically he found the handling to be similar to older Mercedes-AMG vehicles with way more power than it needed. He opined that Mercedes-AMG lovers will be right at home driving the 2021 GLE 63 S.

Complex power under the hood

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupé GLE Class luxury crossover SUV car on display at Brussels Expo
The Mercedes-AMG GLE S | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

The 2021 GLE 63 S has a brand-new engine, the very first AMG in the lineup to have it. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 packs more punch with more efficiency than the previous 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 in the 2020 version. Nicknamed the M176 engine, it produces more power and torque through a beltless design with an integrated starter generator. 

The bi-turbo engine has, for the first time, an electrified EQ boost starter that increases both the horsepower and efficiency of the GLE 63 S. It is a liaison between the transmission and engine, boosting hybrid functions and fuel economy.

The handcrafted powerhouse puts out 603 hp and the EQ boost adds another 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The AMG sport suspension uses pressurized air and dynamic selection to let drivers set throttle response, exhaust sound, shifting, and suspension settings. 

Additional AMG performance features

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S SUV will have a host of additional impressive performance features. The engine is mated to an AMG Speedshift nine-speed transmission. It has AMG Drive Unit steering wheel buttons, AMG Track Pace, and an AMG performance exhaust system. All this technology helps the GLE 63 S hit a top speed of 174 miles per hour. The driver can select from seven different driving modes for optimal performance or maximum comfort – whatever the day’s demands call for. 

The interior surrounds the driver with a sports car feel that is unmistakably Mercedes-AMG. It has a leather-trimmed steering wheel with aluminum paddle shifters. It also has Nappa leather seats exclusive to AMG and designed for the most ideal driver lateral support, and they sport the AMG badge in the front backrests. Driver-assist features that keep your attention focused on the road include active blind-spot assistance, a surround-view camera, and active brake assist standard.

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE S has a comfortable, luxury interior with all the latest connectivity and driver-assist technologies, and the MotorTrend test driver certainly appreciated the massive power available under the hood.