The 2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S is an overly indulgent, totally unnecessary crossover. And that's exactly why I love it.
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.