Regardless of exterior trimmings, the GLE-Class will feature the elegant, organic curves we've come to expect of Mercedes-Benz. The cabin appears more upright than the current model, in part because of the very large glass area. Prominent fender flares are another addition, and they're a rugged black plastic on the basic model, while the AMG Line gets body-color flares. Naturally, the grilles are different between standard and AMG Line models, the latter getting a single cross bar in the middle with little studs surrounding it, and the standard one just has plain slats. The AMG Line also has sportier, lower bodywork while the standard model has bumpers that taper to emphasize a more off-road-ready character.
This set of spy shots also gives us one of our first looks at the new GLE-Class interior. It mostly looks like what you'd find in most recent Mercedes-Benz cars. It has the dual screens for the instruments and infotainment system, along with the various climate controls and vents slung underneath. While the layout is familiar, the GLE-Class does have unique square vents not found in the cars. Also interesting are the big grab handles in the center console. They're very reminiscent of those found in Porsche Cayennes.
Since these prototypes look virtually production ready, we wouldn't be surprised if we see the new GLE revealed within a year, probably during the upcoming auto show season. We expect it will use engines from the E-Class range, which currently includes a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 in normal and AMG iterations, and a twin-turbo V8 AMG model.