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GLE: Mercedes launches first SUV ‘coupe’, revamped ML

Derryn Wong
25/11/2015

 

  • GLE 400 (left) is the main offering for the new SUV priced at $345,888 with COE
  • GLE Coupe (right) offered in 400 and 450 AMG 4MATIC, $357,888 and $383,888 with COE  
  • 450 AMG is the first ‘sub-AMG’ sport model for Singapore

SINGAPORE –
Mercedes-Benz launched a new model name tonight at the Capitol Theatre, the GLE-Class sport utility vehicle (SUV).  

The GLE name follows the brand’s new naming convention with the last letter of the model names now indicating the size of the car, and the first two letters indicating the type of car. Thus ‘GL’ refers to an SUV, while ‘E’ refers to  European size designation, in this case, a large SUV, or a car equivalent in size to the E-Class.

As reported earlier by CarBuyer.com.sg, the GLE replaces the M-Class (aka ML) large SUV, while a new GLE Coupe is aimed at stealing sales from BMW’s X6, a coupe-style SUV that was until recently, in a segment of its own.

Marking an entry into a new segment for Mercedes is the GLE Coupe, a ‘four-door coupe SUV’. Ironically Mercedes began the entire four-door coupe nonsense craze back in 2001 with the CLS, but since then, stranger things have happened such as this, for one.

But in a sign of just how perceptions have changed, Mercedes has only one ‘regular’ GLE model, but will sell two variants of the GLE Coupe in Singapore.

The first is the GLE 400 Coupe which has the same V6 engine and 4MATIC all-wheel drive but has the newer nine-speed automatic gearbox which was first seen in the CLS facelift.

That accounts for it being slightly faster and more efficient than the non-Coupe. Its performance figures are 6.0 seconds for 0-100km/h acceleration, a top speed of 247km/h, fuel consumption of 8.9L/100km and CO2 emissions of 207g/km.

It sees a very similar standard and optional equipment list as compared to the GLE (see below), but has sports seats instead of the comfort-biased ones on the normal SUV, you can’t option the off-road package (for obvious reasons)  and it lacks the AMG-Line exterior styling bits.

The most interesting model though, is the new GLE 450 AMG 4MATIC Coupe (pictured above). While impressiveness isn’t tied to name length, the 450 is the first ‘sub-AMG’ model to debut in Singapore – like the C 450 AMG 4MATIC, the car is a ‘bridge’ between the higher-powered ‘regular’ variants and full-on AMG models.

A higher state of tune for the 3.0-litre V6 sees 367bhp in total, plus 520Nm of torque, cutting the 0-100km/h time to 5.7 seconds. Top speed is 250km/h (electronically limited) while fuel consumption is an average 9.2L/100km, while CO2 emissions are 214g/km.

The 450 model receives various AMG-themed bits such as 21-inch AMG design wheels, a boot-lid spoiler, silver chrome front splitter, larger perforated brake discs and coloured brake callipers, plus twin chrome tailpipes. The 4MATIC all-wheel drive system has a 40:60 split (rear biased, instead of 50:50 for normal models). There’s also a tuned air suspension system with active roll stabilisation, plus the drivetrain and suspension have more dynamic modes.

Priced at $383,888 with COE, it’s a little cheaper than the BMW X5 M50d, although it’s slightly less powerful and slower in a straight line.

Speaking of AMG models, the 557bhp biturbo V8 GLE 63 AMG (regular and coupe versions) will be launched at a later date.

READ MORE: Munich’s key competitors to the GLE, GLE Coupe and GLE Coupe AMG 4MATIC

BMW X5 xDrive50i

BMW X6 xDrive50i

BMW X6 M50d

The sole non-coupe GLE offering for Singapore is the GLE 400, which features the same 3.0-litre, V6 biturbo engine as already debuted in the C 400 and E 400 sedans, and was also found in the pre-GLE ML 400. The re-naming of the car also brings a late life-cycle refresh (the ML debuted in 2011) which helps to keep it competitive against its key rival, the X5, which itself saw a refresh in 2014.

The V6 engine makes 333bhp and 480Nm of torque. Performance stands at 6.1 seconds for 0-100km/h acceleration, with a 247km/h top speed, fuel consumption of 9.2L/100km and CO2 emissions of 215g/km. Mated to the V6 engine is the updated  7G-Tronic plus automatic transmission and Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

The GLE 400 costs $345,888 with COE. It comes standard with LED adaptive headlights, Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system, keyless entry/start, soft-close doors, 20-inch AMG design wheels and the ‘AMG Line’ exterior kit. There’s also internal sun-blinds, start stop, tyre pressure monitoring and even ‘temperature controlled cup holders’. New on the GLE is a four-way drive mode selector system ‘Dynamic Select’ (as seen on the C-Class) which adjusts the car’s settings to your preference.

Optional equipment for the GLE includes an Offroad Engineering Package ($9,000) that includes an engine bash plate, Airmatic air suspension (itself a $8,100 option) and additional driving modes. There’s also a panoramic sunroof ($8,300), rear seat entertainment ($9,200) and even an illuminated Mercedes star ($1,900).

Tags:

2015 2016 4x4 AMG benz buy Coupe GLE GLE Coupe GLE-CLass launch local M-CLass Mercedes Mercedes-Benz ML new off-road price review SG Singapore sport sports SUV test

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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