Mercedes' midsize luxury 'ute is going to get a big redesign in the next few years, but it looks like most of the changes are under the skin.
Mercedes Gle Class
The luxury crossover coupe isn't always the most loved auto segment in terms of styling, but Mercedes-Benz clearly sees room there to grow. The company's new GLE Coupe shows a new take on the styling to challenge the established BMW X6. Whether buyers opt for the GLE450 or GLE63, they get a mountain of power from either a twin-turbo V6 or V8, respectively, with 4Matic all-wheel drive. They're both on display at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.
Mercedes-Benz is calling 2015 its "Year of the SUV." This means, in addition to the debut of the GLE-Class Coupe in Detroit, we'll see the standard GLE-Class (which replaces the M-Class), the new GLC-Class, and the GLS-Class, with some featuring plug-in hybrid variants.
The 2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe 4Matic might have a mile-long name, but this luxury crossover coupe has its crosshairs set on the BMW X6 M. With a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 making 577 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque, it bests the Bimmer in power. In addition, this is the first time AMG is using its A-wing front grille on a CUV.
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Say what you will regarding the form and function of the BMW X6, the bottom line is that BMW essentially pioneered a winning formula, sloping a roofline onto an existing model to make a new and highly lucrative) derivative. No wonder rival Mercedes-Benz is clamoring to follow suit with models like the one pictured here.
Beginning in 2015, Mercedes-Benz is revising its nomenclature strategy for many of its models. This isn't shocking news, nor is it anything new in the industry – look at the recent Q-ification of Infiniti, or the forthcoming CT/XT strategy being deployed at Cadillac. But unlike those luxury brands, Mercedes isn't shaking up the whole system, and it's actually (kind of) making things a bit easier to understand. Here's how.
Mercedes-Benz is still hard at work developing a refresh for the M-Class, a model that is rumored to change its name to the GLE-Class in the process. This is hardly the improved model's first time testing, but the latest shots reveal Mercedes' plan for a plug-in hybrid version for one of its luxury crossovers.
Automotive naming schemes can get a little bit weird as they age. Just look at the impending BMW lineup with a rear-wheel drive 2 Series and front-wheel drive 2 Series Active Tourer on sale together – of course, to say nothing of the fact that the 2 Series is actually the successor to the 1 Series coupe/convertible in the States. Crazy. However, Mercedes-Benz might be taking steps in the opposite direction to actually make its SUV and crossover lineup easier for customers to understand.
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