Automotive

Mercedes GLE gets hybrid power along with its new moniker

Mercedes GLE gets hybrid power...
The Mercedes GLE is an updated version of its old ML-Class
The Mercedes GLE is an updated version of its old ML-Class
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Although the styling remains much the same, the GLE is packing a range of new engines
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Although the styling remains much the same, the GLE is packing a range of new engines
A plug-in hybrid option is available on the GLE
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A plug-in hybrid option is available on the GLE
The plug-in option will give owners 30 km (19 mi) of electric-only range
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The plug-in option will give owners 30 km (19 mi) of electric-only range
The GLE in its natural environment
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The GLE in its natural environment
Mercedes has made some minor styling changes to the car's rear
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Mercedes has made some minor styling changes to the car's rear
In profile, the GLE is largely unchanged from its predecessor
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In profile, the GLE is largely unchanged from its predecessor
The GLE500 e 4MATIC will do battle with BMW and Volvo's hybrid SUV offerings
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The GLE500 e 4MATIC will do battle with BMW and Volvo's hybrid SUV offerings
Mercedes is keen to point out the practicality that the GLE offers
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Mercedes is keen to point out the practicality that the GLE offers
The range starts with a 150 kW diesel engine
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The range starts with a 150 kW diesel engine
The GLE can be specced with a system that leans the car into curves
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The GLE can be specced with a system that leans the car into curves
The GLE will be tackling the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90
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The GLE will be tackling the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90
Two petrol engines are available on the GLE - a V6 and V8
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Two petrol engines are available on the GLE - a V6 and V8
Very few of these cars will get to go off road
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Very few of these cars will get to go off road
A V6 diesel is available on the GLE
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A V6 diesel is available on the GLE
For power-hungry buyers, the AMG is the best option
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For power-hungry buyers, the AMG is the best option
Selecting the GLE63 AMG brings a number of unique interior changes
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Selecting the GLE63 AMG brings a number of unique interior changes
AMG's crest is in the headrests
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AMG's crest is in the headrests
The extra bolstering on the GLE63 AMG's seatsis designed to reflect the car's sportier character
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The extra bolstering on the GLE63 AMG's seatsis designed to reflect the car's sportier character
A 5.5-liter V8 powers the GLE63
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A 5.5-liter V8 powers the GLE63
The AMG's front styling has been designed to reflect the cues on the rest of the AMG range
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The AMG's front styling has been designed to reflect the cues on the rest of the AMG range
Ticking the 'S' box makes the GLE63 AMG a bit faster to 100 km/h
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Ticking the 'S' box makes the GLE63 AMG a bit faster to 100 km/h
Owners can configure almost any aspect of their car
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Owners can configure almost any aspect of their car
The AMG GLE will do battle with BMW's X5 M
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The AMG GLE will do battle with BMW's X5 M
Dark wheels contrast with the AMG's bodywork
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Dark wheels contrast with the AMG's bodywork
Inside, the GLE's interior is mostly unchanged compared to the ML's
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Inside, the GLE's interior is mostly unchanged compared to the ML's
The GLE's lights have been designed to fit in with the rest of Mercedes' range
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The GLE's lights have been designed to fit in with the rest of Mercedes' range
As a German luxury car, the GLE is offered with a number of interior packages
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As a German luxury car, the GLE is offered with a number of interior packages
In profile, the GLE is quite an attractive car
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In profile, the GLE is quite an attractive car
For an SUV, the GLE has a number of concessions to off-roading
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For an SUV, the GLE has a number of concessions to off-roading
The AMG-powered GLE won't be winning any Greenpeace awards
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The AMG-powered GLE won't be winning any Greenpeace awards
Big wheels give the GLE a good stance on the road, but also may impact on ride quality
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Big wheels give the GLE a good stance on the road, but also may impact on ride quality
The devil is in the detail with the GLE's headlamps
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The devil is in the detail with the GLE's headlamps
Owners can customise the GLE's interior to their hearts' desire
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Owners can customise the GLE's interior to their hearts' desire
Quilted leather is a cue taken from the brand's higher-end luxury cars
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Quilted leather is a cue taken from the brand's higher-end luxury cars
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The Mercedes GLE is an updated version of its old ML-Class
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The Mercedes GLE is an updated version of its old ML-Class
View gallery - 36 images

Mercedes has given its ML-Class SUV a thorough reworking, with sharper styling, more efficient engines and brand-new name. The new GLE is the first Mercedes SUV to be offered with a plug-in hybrid option, perfect for tackling BMW’s recently released X5 xDrive40e and Volvo’s stylish XC90 T8 Hybrid.

The GLE 500 e 4MATIC combines a V6 gasoline engine with an 8.8 kWh electric module, adding an extra 85 kW (116 hp) to the internal combustion engine's 245 kW (333 hp). Drivers are able to drive in electric-only mode at speeds up to 130 km/h (81 mph), while ideal conditions will allow 30 km (19 mi) of electric-only running.

The plug-in option will give owners 30 km (19 mi) of electric-only range
The plug-in option will give owners 30 km (19 mi) of electric-only range

Like the models offered by Volvo and BMW, drivers can choose between a number of different drive modes depending on how they plan on using the car – Hybrid mode automatically chooses the most sensible combination of fossil fuel and electric power for the current conditions, while E-Mode uses only the battery. If drivers are planning to use the GLE’s battery power later, they can put the car into E-Save mode, which conserves the battery for urban driving. Finally, Charge mode uses the car’s regenerative braking to charge the battery while on the move.

If owners want, they can plug the GLE into a normal 220-volt wall outlet and charge the battery. However, public chargers or the home wallbox charger will do the job faster, taking about two hours. Interestingly, the GLE’s claimed electric range matches BMW’s claim for its hybrid X5, but is 10 km (6.2 mi) less than Volvo claims for its XC90 T8.

In addition to the hybrid system, four engines will be available on the GLE. Entry-level shoppers will be drawn to the GLE 250d with its 150 kW (204 hp) four-cylinder diesel motor, which emits just 140 g/km of CO2 and uses only 5.4 l/100km (44 mpg). The other diesel option is the V6 GLE 350d, which generates 190 kW (258 hp) and a massive 620 Nm of torque, while still returning 6.4 l/100km (37 mpg) on the combined cycle. Both diesel cars are now fitted with Mercedes’ nine-speed automatic gearbox, and can be fitted with an off-road reduction gear and inter-axle differential lock.

Owners can configure almost any aspect of their car
Owners can configure almost any aspect of their car

But some buyers won’t settle for anything less than a powerful gasoline motor, so to cater for this market, Mercedes offers the GLE 400 and 500. Powered by twin-turbo petrol V6 and V8 motors respectively, the GLE 500 puts out 320 kW (435 hp) and 700 Nm of torque – 75 kW (101 hp) and 220 Nm more than the V6-powered GLE 400.

For buyers who need even more grunt, Mercedes-AMG still offers the GLE 63 with its 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8. With a revised chassis and suspension setup, the 410 kW (557 hp) GLE 63 will do battle with the BMW X5 M, and sit alongside the GLE 63 Coupe in the brand’s SUV lineup. The base GLE 63 will sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.2 seconds, while its 20 kW more powerful “S” stablemate will hit the same milestone in 4.1 seconds.

The GLE launches with a Dynamic Select mode that can tweak the car’s feel. From the soft-riding, long-throttled Comfort mode to the sharper Sport mode, the GLE’s setup can be tweaked in a similar fashion to many sports cars.

As a German luxury car, the GLE is offered with a number of interior packages
As a German luxury car, the GLE is offered with a number of interior packages

The GLE will be offered with a number of options packages, including Mercedes’ Active Curve System derived from the system in the S-Class Coupe, which uses active anti-rollbars to compensate for the bodyroll that comes with cornering, allowing faster and flatter direction changes.

Pricing has not been announced for the GLE yet, but expect it to closely mirror the prices on the current ML-Class.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

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