Like its bigger brother, the GLE 63 makes use of the familiar AMG 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, this time mated to a mild hybrid ‘EQ Boost’ starter-alternator system system bringing an extra 22bhp and 184lb ft when called upon. The result is 563bhp in the ‘standard’ GLE 63 and 603bhp in the GLE 63 S.
That translates to a 0-62mph time of four seconds dead for the 63 and 3.8sec for the 63 S, with a respective top speed of 155mph or, on the S with the optional AMG Driver’s Package, 174mph. Only the latter figures are relevant as the UK will not be taking the non-S model, the brand has confirmed.
With the benefits of the mild hybrid system including boosting and regeneration, cylinder shut-off and seamless restarting with the engine start-stop, Mercedes-AMG quotes fuel economy figures of between 24.5 and 24.7mpg, and CO2 emissions as low as 261g/km. As before, it makes use of a nine-speed automatic gearbox that is said to have been further developed from previous uses to improve reaction times.
Standard equipment on both GLE 63s includes AMG Ride Control+ air suspension and three-mode adaptive dampers, all configured specifically for this car to “combine outstanding agility and excellent vehicle dynamics with maximum traction and super day-to-day comfort”, Mercedes claims.
Pneumatic self-levelling makes the BMW X5 M rival maintain a constant ride height regardless of load, with Comfort mode lowering the car by 10mm at over 75mph while Sport and Sport+ modes do the same from the get-go. There are also seven Dynamic Select drive modes.
Further handling-focused features include a 48v active roll stabilisation system and an electronic locking differential for the rear axle. To reign everything in, the GLE 63 features six-piston, 400mm front brakes, with a ceramic braking package also optional.
As with the larger GLS, the GLE 63 benefits from model-specific design touches including a new grille, redesigned front apron, side skirts, flared wheel arches, a diffuser-style rear bumper and twin black chrome tailpipes.
Inside, there’s AMG specific nappa leather seats, an AMG wheel with aluminium shift paddles, control panels and instrument functions specific to AMG and a whole heap of new AMG badging elements. Expect the GLE 63 S to be available to order in the UK from the start of next year, with customer deliveries in the middle of 2020.