FAMILY oriented fans of the high performance Mercedes-AMG brand have more options to choose from, with the arrival in Australia of the agile five seat Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC+, and the ‘S-Class of SUVs’, the seven seat Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 4MATIC+.
It’s just over 20 years since Mercedes-Benz released its first high performance SUV, the ML 55, with this pair of direct descendants offering a suitable homage to the trailblazing model.
But it’s the astonishing steps forward in power, driveability, technology, comfort and luxury since that landmark release, that are truly on show.
The GLE 63 S 4MATIC+ and GLS 63 4MATIC+ are generously equipped for the performance focused driver, driven by the latest iteration of the proven Mercedes-AMG 4.0 litre bi-turbo V8 engine that also powers high performance GT models.
In this instance, the V8 in either SUV model sends an awe-inspiring 450kW and 850Nm via an AMG speedshift TCT 9G nine speed transmission. with 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive and fully variable torque distribution courtesy of AMG Performance.
A rear axle-mounted limited-slip differential completes the package. In contrast, the output from the V8 engine in the 1999 Mercedes-Benz ML 55 AMG SUV was 255kW, which was considered an astounding figure in its day for an SUV.
Power delivery is supplemented by an EQ Boost starter-alternator, that includes a 48-volt on-board system capable of adding an extra 16kW and 250Nm in short bursts. For the first time, EQ Boost is also responsible for idle speed control.
The potent combination means the GLE 63 S is capable of acceleration from standstill to 100km/h in just 3.8 seconds on the way to a top speed of 280km/h, with the larger GLS 63 covering the same sprint in 4.2 seconds.
The engine is also equipped with a cylinder shut-off function that can deactivate four cylinders under partial load, reducing fuel consumption. The transition between modes is immediate, fast and torque-neutral.
AMG active ride control roll stabilisation ensures precisely controllable and direct handling, in conjunction with the AMG ride control+ continuously adaptive damping system.
AMG dynamic select as standard enables a choice of modes including Comfort, Individual, Slippery, Trail, Sand, Sport, Sport+ and RACE.
Both inside and out, muscular design cues affirm membership of the Mercedes-AMG family, including the imposing power domes in the bonnet, a redesigned rear apron featuring a striking diffuser, and a roof-edge spoiler to round out the sporty appearance.
The GLE 63 S model is fitted with 21-inch AMG 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels painted in black with a high-sheen finish. Interior highlights continue with multi-contour front seats in AMG Exclusive Nappa leather.
There’s an AMG Performance steering wheel finished in Nappa leather and dinamica microfibre, and the MBUX ‘High’ infotainment system, including AMG specific displays and the track-focused AMG Track pace data logging program.
Completing a comprehensive array of features are four-zone climate control, seat and armrest heating, plus temperature controlled cupholders for front passengers, power closing doors, a Burmester surround sound system and a panoramic glass sunroof.
A suite of safety features includes driving assistance package plus, active traffic assist, pre-safe impulse side crash preparation system, active parking assist and traffic sign assist.
The spacious GLS 63 4MATIC+ brings luxurious appointments to occupants in all of its seven, electrically operated seats. It’s comprehensively equipped with all the GLE 63 S 4MATIC+ has to offer, and more.
The GLS 63 adds five zone climate control with an air balance package, the MBUX innovation package including MBUX interior assistant, MBUX augmented reality for navigation, and 22-inch AMG multi spoke alloy wheels to its standard specification.
The large body style also offers the most generous cargo carrying ability of the Mercedes-AMG passenger car range.
The Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC+ starts from $220,600 (plus on-roads), while the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 4MATIC+ comes in at $255,700 (plus on-roads).
Both models are on sale now, with customer deliveries to begin later this month. For further information, please contact your local Mercedes-AMG dealer.