The new GLE Coupé is a further example of the Mercedes-Benz strategy to address all the requirements of customers in the premium-SUV segment in a targeted manner. From a relatively small niche, the segment of SUCs, namely SUV coupés, has developed into a trend within a trend in no time. With the renewal of the premium-SUV family Mercedes-Benz is also putting the GLE Coupé on a new technical footing.
"The GLE Coupé blends the imposing power of an off-road vehicle with the emotively appealing sportiness and elegance of a coupé", says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG. "The sensuous, reduced design idiom in combination with the extreme proportions creates a unique design statement."
Like the GLE and the GLS, as a member of the large premium-SUV family the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé is being built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In total Mercedes-Benz now offers eight SUV models in the form of the GLA, GLC, GLC Coupé, the G-Class and the new GLB. With currently around one third of sales, the SUVs are a major structural pillar in the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio, and greatly contribute to the growth of the brand. To date, more than six million customers around the world have opted for a Mercedes-Benz SUV.
Exterior design: powerful presence
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé is a stately 4939 mm long and 2010 mm wide (39 mm longer and 7 mm wider than its predecessor). The wheelbase has grown by 20 mm compared with the predecessor, but remains 60 mm shorter than that of the GLE, which benefits its sporty handling as well as its appearance. The proportions thus emphasise the dynamics of the GLE Coupé.
The front view combines characteristics of the Mercedes-Benz SUV family with clear coupé attributes: the diamond radiator grille with the single horizontal louvre references the other coupés in the Mercedes-Benz range. The openings in the louvre, meanwhile, showcase the SUV character, as does the high-gloss chrome-plated underguard in the front apron. With the AMG Line the grille widens downwards in an A shape, and the pins in the diamond radiator grille are portrayed in chrome.
The headlamps feature full-LED technology as standard.
The flatter-angled windscreen not only makes the vehicle look more dynamic; it is also a better match for the rear-sloping roof line and injects harmonious elegance. The edge beneath it is consciously softly styled and surface-accented and effectively highlights the large, flush wheels (19 to 22 inches). The black plastic claddings on the wheel wells (for AMG Line painted in vehicle colour) and the optional running board between them emphasise the SUV character.
The dynamism of the coupé line is especially evident from the rear design. Beneath the C-pillar a broad muscle protrudes from the surface of the vehicle side, starting in the rear side door and encompassing the rear lamps. This muscle lends the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé its powerful, read-to-pounce look. Together with the slim and elongated rear lamps it highlights the width of the tail end. The autonomous, two-part rear lamps fit the characteristic day and night design of the Mercedes-Benz SUV rear lamps with their hallmark rounded blocks in a slim outline. The flush transition from the tailgate to the bumper, the licence plate in the bumper above the high-gloss chrome-plated underguard and the integrated tailpipe trim elements complete the synthesis of coupé and SUV.
Interior design: coupé without constraints
The interior of the new GLE Coupé shares numerous common features with the other models in the new premium-SUV family with a clear emphasis on the sporty aspect. The modern cockpit with two large screens in the format 12.3 inches /31.2 cm and the strikingly shaped instrument panel, horizontally divided by a trim element tier, and seamlessly flowing into the door trim, appear familiar. The upper surface is covered in ARTICO man-made leather upholstery as standard in the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé. The sporty emphasis comes courtesy of the standard sports seats, offering particularly good lateral support, with an ARTICO cover and the new sports steering wheel with a nappa leather rim, which is also standard in the coupé.
The SUV touch, meanwhile, is added by the high centre console with the dominant grab handles. The high-quality styling and processing of all surfaces and features and the impressive ergonomics convey a contemporary and luxurious impression. Of course, there are extensive opportunities for individualisation in the selection of decorative features and materials, which can take the sporty theme in the GLE Coupé to a whole new level and demonstrate the handcrafted quality of genuine luxury products. Leather/nappa leather seat covers and door panels in the colour combination classic red/black are exclusively available in the coupé.
As spacious as they come: custom work on the sports outfit
The line of the four-door coupé body has been deliberately more tightly tailored than on the GLE and offers tangibly more room than the predecessor, giving up to five occupants a comfortable amount of space. This is because the wheelbase is 60 mm shorter than on the GLE SUV, but 20 mm longer than in the previous coupé, and this extra benefits the occupants' seating and legroom. The entrance dimension has even been enlarged by 35 mm. In many places the new member of the family offers improvements to the interior dimensions, which add up to a significantly better sense of spaciousness. The capacity of the stowage spaces in the interior has been increased to a total of 40 litres. The sports suit features figure-hugging tailoring - but is a comfortable fit. The all-round view has also been improved and the optional sliding roof panel is larger too.
The boot is already generous in its standard state with 655 litres and in this position it conceals its load beneath a high-quality, folding and removable cover attached with magnets. The backrest of the rear seats which folds in a ratio of 40:20:40 increases the boot to up to 1790 litres - 70 litres more than in the predecessor and a best in this segment. It enlarges the level load space to over two metres in length and up to a minimum width of 1080 mm if required - both improvements of 87 and 72 mm respectively compared with on the predecessor. The loading sill is inherently higher than on conventional SUVs - but here too the new GLE Coupé is around 60 mm better than the previous model, and when equipped with AIRMATIC the tail end can even be lowered a further 50 mm at the press of a button.
Has to be experienced: Mercedes-Benz User Experience
The Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé offers the latest generation of the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. The information on the instrument cluster and media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens. An emotive presentation with brilliant graphics underlines the comprehensibility of the intuitive control structure.
The familiar LINGUATRONIC online voice control and MBUX's learning ability are of course also on board, as is a large range of comfort options and apps which can be included in MBUX or controlled with it.
Music streaming from Amazon too
In the course of 2020 Mercedes-Benz will be integrating the music streaming service Amazon Music into the new SUV models. If the customer has an Amazon Music Account they can transfer their music into the vehicle via the Mercedes me "Online Music" service. Individual songs, playlists or music from the desired genre can be played via touch or voice input. Amazon Prime members have two million songs to choose from, with 50 million for "Amazon Music Unlimited". The music streaming service TIDAL will continue to be available.
Powerful six-cylinder diesel for Europe
The driver-focussed, sporty standards of the new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé are likewise clearly apparent in its engine line-up. The base engines at market launch are high-torque six-cylinder in-line turbodiesel engines.
The two diesel-engined Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé models are powered by the OM 656, the six-cylinder in-line engine from the current engine family. It is available in two output levels, as the GLE Coupé 350 d 4MATIC rated at 200 kW (272 hp) and 600 Nm and as the GLE Coupé 400 d 4MATIC rated at 243 kW (330 hp) and 700 Nm torque. In both versions, the powerful engine already complies with the Euro 6d standard (RDE/Real Driving Emissions Step 2) even in demanding driving situations.
This is achieved, among other things, with an additional selective catalytic reduction (SCR) converter with an ammonia slip catalyst (ASC) in the exhaust tract of the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé. This allows dosing of the AdBlue® reducing agent that is even more closely aligned with the individual driving characteristics because any excessive ammonia surplus in the second SCR converter is broken down further.
Sportiness as standard: the powertrain engineering
Power on tap, i.e. torque on demand, is also the power transmission motto. Because all variants of the new GLE Coupé have a transfer case with an electronically controlled multiplate clutch as standard behind the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. This allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100 percent (torque on demand) between the axles. During cornering it can influence the yaw torque in a targeted manner towards over- and understeering of the vehicle and together with the shorter wheelbase it increases the agility of the new GLE Coupé.
Suspension: AIRMATIC or E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL on request
As standard the new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé is given the steel suspension chassis with sportier and tauter tuning. Compared with the preceding generation it benefits from firmer attachment points and improved geometry and offers even more precise wheel location and better shielding from vibrations caused by unevenness in the road surface. The enhanced air suspension system AIRMATIC is available with sporty tuning as an option. Its adaptive adjustable damping uses highly complex sensor systems and algorithms to adapt the damping characteristics to the road condition and driving situation in real time. Irrespective of the load the air suspension also keeps the vehicle at the same level and can also adjust the ground clearance - automatically or at the press of a button depending on the driving speed and situation.
A further improvement is offered by the optional E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension, which is combined with the AIRMATIC air suspension system. This is the only system in the market that can individually control spring and damping forces at each wheel. This means that it not only counteracts body roll, but also pitching and squat. Together with ROAD SURFACE SCAN and the curve inclination function CURVE, E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL makes a synthesis of roadholding and comfort possible, and supports the claim of Mercedes-Benz to build the world's most intelligent SUV suspension.
E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL operates with a voltage of 48 V, and is available as an optional extra. On poor road surfaces the system is even able to recuperate energy, roughly halving the energy requirement compared with the preceding system in the S-Class. The hydropneumatics generate dynamic forces that overlay the air suspension forces and actively support and dampen the vehicle body, e.g. during linear and lateral acceleration or when driving on uneven roads.
Driving assistance systems: superior support, in tailbacks and other situations
The new GLE Coupé has the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems giving cooperative support to drivers. This results in an especially high level of active safety. As standard the new GLE Coupé boasts the Active Braking Assist, which can help prevent rear-end collisions and collisions with crossing pedestrians and vehicles.
Some Intelligent Drive functions, which are also on the market at the highest level beyond the SUV segment, can be ordered as additional options. They include the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with Route-Based Speed Adjustment. If the driver switches it on the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé can react to information from Live Traffic, in the ideal scenario even before the driver or the radar and camera sensors can perceive this traffic obstruction. When a traffic tailback is detected, the speed is reduced to approx. 100 km/h as a precaution unless the driver specifically decides otherwise.
When actually driving in a tailback on the motorway, Active Stop-and-Go Assist is then substantially able to perform the tasks of keeping in lane and maintaining the safety distance with a high level of availability at speeds up to around 60 km/h. Moving off can be automatic up to one minute after coming to a stop. On multi-lane roads, Active Steering Assist is able to support the driver with the emergency corridor function. On motorways, at speeds under 60 km/h the vehicle refers to detected lane markings and applies swarm intelligence to take its bearings from vehicles in the surrounding area. If no such vehicles or markings are detected, the GLE Coupé will take its bearings from the vehicle ahead, as previously.