autoevolution

Hello 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, Goodbye Mercedes ML

The traditional midlife facelift Mercedes-Benz rewarded its M-Class with is not entirely about revised engines and refreshed looks, as from now on we’ll be referring to the SUV as the Mercedes-Benz GLE.
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 68 photos
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Nothing new under the sun regarding the new name policy, as Mercedes announced a while ago that they would be revising nomenclature around the entire fleet. But as a leopard can’t change its spots, the GLE will still have to battle against the same rival trio as the ML, featuring the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Range Rover.

Mercedes couldn’t leave their flagship SUV underpowered so the engine department has plenty to offer, as the Stuttgart-based company ran a serious upgrade on powertrains. In that respect, the bulky SUV is available in the following versions: GLE 250d (204 HP coming from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder banger), GLE 300d (258 HP injected by a V6 diesel) but that’s only the diesel camp.

In the petrol settlement, the 2016 Mercedes GLE is offered as the GLE 400 (333HP courtesy of a twin-turbo V6) or as the GLE 500 (435 HP pushed to the road by a twin-turbo V8 mill).

One bold move from Mercedes is the introduction of the GLE 500e 4MATIC plug-in hybrid. It takes the GLE 400’s powerhouse and couples it with an electric motor delivering 116 HP for an overall rating of 442 HP and 650 Nm (479 lb-ft). The wheels are acquainted with these performance stats via a 7G-tronic transmission that allows the driver to swap between four driving modes: Hybrid, E-Mode, E-Save and Charge.

Don’t expect the electric range to take you around the world on one single charge, but Mercedes says that when E-Mode is activated, the GLE 500e can go as much as 30 km (19 miles) on a single charge and reach a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph), by only sipping 3 l/100 km or 94.2 mpg US.

The superstars of the range will no doubt remain the GLE 63 AMG and his 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 sidekick good for 557 HP, topped only by the 585 HP GLE 63 AMG S.

Design-wise, there’s nothing we didn’t see before on the GLE Coupe plus some new refreshing touches on headlights and taillights. What you’re really interested in when it comes to a luxury SUV is the interior and Mercedes-Benz knows that very well. That’s why the driver will now spin a new steering wheel while playing with the infotainment system via a 7.0-inch screen sitting on top of the dashboard and a touch-sensitive controller.

In case your boy scout spirit emerges from time to time, Mercedes-Benz can keep that vice well fed with a Off-Road Engineering pack that features a reduction gear and a differential interlock in case you decide to take quick stroll on anything but asphalt.

The Mercedes GLE will go on sale later this year as a 2016MY with Mercedes-Benz hoping that the new makeover will emulate ML’s profitability for the brand, but we'll get to see the SUV as it debuts at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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