The industry for SUVs is thriving, with Aston Martin only yesterday revealing its own under the name of DBX. Unfortunately this slightly overshadowed the reveal of the new Mercedes GLE 63 S and GLS 63, so let’s put that right.
Mercedes is very good at building fast and muscled SUVs. The G-Wagen is fierce. It shouldn’t do the things it can do. It’s just stupid, and that’s why we love it. And now Mercedes has brought the GLE and GLS up to more modern standards and, boy, are they powerful.
Both models share the same powertrain, sporting a 4.0-litre V8 engine producing 602bhp and 627 lb ft of torque. Plus, thanks to an EQ Boost starter motor, you add an additional 21bhp and 184lb ft. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but these aren’t exactly light cars, so every little helps, as they say.
To control this extra weight, both cars embrace air suspension, and using a 9-speed auto and 4Matic+ all-wheel drive, the GLE 63 S can hit 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. This is achieved via fully-variable torque distribution, meaning 100% of the power can go to the rear wheels if needed. The bigger GLS will reach 60 only 4 tenths of a second later, but both are limited to a top speed of 174 mph.
Styling is certainly more subtle than what BMW has in store, with a larger but boxy grill at the front, a gaping mouth at the bottom of the front bumper, and quad exhausts at the rear. And such potent cars wouldn’t be able to get away without wider arches surely! They almost look slightly Durango from the side, no?
Of course you get all the tech you’d expect from a top-tier Mercedes, such as four-zone climate control, a Burmester audio setup, and a head-up display. So while pricing hasn’t been revealed yet, we can be sure both models won’t be cheap. Think $110 grand minimum.
Both the GLE 63 S and GLS 63 will be added to the market mid-2020 in the UK. Pricing will be confirmed closer to the time.