What is it?
AMG isn't holding back in launching a go-faster version of the second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé. From the outset of UK sales of the bold SUV, a new GLE 53 model sits alongside the standard GLE 350d and GLE 400d diesels and diesel-electric plug-in hybrid GLE 350de in a four-strong initial line-up.
The successor to the earlier GLE 43 Coupé has been conceived to rival to the likes of the Audi SQ8, BMW X6 M50i and Porsche Cayenne S Coupé, providing a stepping stone to the range-topping GLE 63 Coupé that was revealed at the recent Los Angeles motor show.
The GLE 53 Coupé is clearly a more focused and resolved proposition than its predecessor, bringing with it a more powerful and responsive mild hybrid drivetrain, an excellent nine-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles and a new 4Matic+ four-wheel drive system featuring a fully variable apportioning of drive between the front and rear wheels. There's also the latest incarnation of AMG’s Ride Control air suspension.
It's distinguished from its standard siblings by a series of typical AMG design elements, including a so-called Panamericana grille, restyled bumpers, powerdomes on the bonnet, a prominent diffuser, chromed tailpipes and unique 20in wheels as standard (with both 21in and 22in alternatives available among a long list of optional equipment). Inside, there's an AMG-specific digital instrument display, the latest AMG multifunction steering wheel with a rotary dial to alter the driving modes, carbonfibre trim details and brushed stainless steel pedals and sills.