Whenever Mercedes-Benz launches a new model, it’s only a brief matter of time before we see the inevitable AMG variants. To that point, meet the new Mercedes-AMG GLE53: the higher-power version of the 2020 GLE-Class we first tested late last year.
Performance wise, the GLE gets the same upgrades as Mercedes’ other AMG 53 models, the E53 and CLS53. Power comes from a 3.0-liter, turbocharged I6 engine, which on its own produces 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes’ mild-hybrid EQ Boost starter generator provides an additional 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque for small bursts, and powers the 48-volt onboard electrical system.
With a nine-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels, Mercedes claims the AMG GLE53 will sprint to 60 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds. That isn’t a huge increase over the 5.5-second 0-60 time of the GLE450, mind you, which uses a less-powerful version of this 3.0-liter engine. But hey, every tenth of a second counts, right?
The GLE53 gets Mercedes’ Active Ride Control system, which uses the four-corner air suspension for continuously adjustable suspension damping. The variable-ratio power steering gets a different tune for this sportier GLE, and the brakes are upgraded to provide the necessary stopping power this AMG can throw down.
Visually, you’ll be able to spot the AMG GLE53 thanks to its 15-strip “Panamericana” grille, standard 20-inch wheels, fat fender flares and quad-tip exhaust. Inside, the GLE53 gets the same high-quality, super-lux interior as the rest of the GLE range, right down to the dual-screen MBUX infotainment system, with natural-speech voice commands (just say, “Hey, Mercedes…”).
Pricing isn’t available just yet, but expect the AMG GLE53 to command a hefty sum over the GLE450’s $61,150 starting price. Following its debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show next week, the Mercedes-AMG GLE53 will arrive in US showrooms in late 2020. In the meantime, onto the next AMG.