The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe is upon us, and we get to see it in AMG 53 form first. Get a load of the exterior design to start. Does it look a whole lot like the last GLE Coupe? Yes, but there are plenty of changes in store. To begin, this GLE Coupe is based off the new 2020 GLE — Mercedes cuts the wheelbase down by 2.4 inches for the “Coupe.” It's still a rather frumpy thing out back, but is slightly easier on the eyes. The biggest change of all comes via the non-coupe end of the vehicle.
Up front we have the massive and angry AMG Panamericana grille that every AMG vehicle uses these days. You’ll notice lots of similarities with the regular GLE, like the hood, lower bumper design, headlights and taillights. However, this GLE, being an AMG variant, also brings added performance. Under the hood is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that pumps out 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque with 48-volt technology onboard, too. The EQ boost starter generator is responsible for delivering 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. All this propels the AMG GLE 53 Coupe to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph, and the shifting is done by Mercedes’ nine-speed automatic transmission. For comparison’s sake, the GLE 450 (non-Coupe) hits 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. It also has 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, so the power advantage isn’t huge in this case. It’ll take the AMG 63 to really put a dent in those acceleration times.
The suspension isn’t the exact same magical E-Body Control that’s found on the regular GLE, but it does have its own fancy AMG Active Ride Control as an option. There’s an active roll stabilization feature with electromechanical actuators on both axles. It’s able to reduce roll in corners and also increase ride comfort by being able to balance out road imperfections like one-sided bumps. The dampers can be set to three different modes, and it also has an all-around pneumatic level control system. You’ll be able to raise the vehicle by up to 2.2 inches when driving up to 43 mph. It’ll also lower 0.6 inch in Sport, Sport+ and when you exceed 75 mph.
All-wheel drive is standard on the GLE 53. So are 21-inch wheels, but 22s are available if you like the larger things in life. An optional AMG Performance exhaust system can be had — there are variable exhaust flaps built into this exhaust that you can adjust by changing the modes.
No price was provided to us initially, but this is a 2021 model year vehicle we’re talking about here. It'll make its physical premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September, and go on sale here in mid-2020. In the meantime, we’ll be looking out for the non-AMG version and bonkers AMG 63 version of the new GLE Coupe.