Picture: Rupert Culwick.
Picture: Rupert Culwick.
Picture: Rupert Culwick.
Picture: Rupert Culwick.
Picture: Rupert Culwick.
Picture: Rupert Culwick.

Sabie - A disguised prototype of what is almost certainly the next-generation Mercedes-Benz GLE has been spotted in the Sabie area in Mpumalanga by observant reader Rupert Culwick. 

The redesign version of Merc’s mid-sized SUV (which was known as the ML until the current generation’s mid-cycle facelift) is likely to debut later this year.

Although remaining faithful to its predecessors’ basic design themes, the newcomer appears bolder and more modern, with a bigger grille upfront, flanked by angular, CLS-like headlights, while the curvier silhouette seems to take inspiration from the smaller GLC.

All the vital stats are still under wraps, of course, but you can take it as a given that the new GLE will inherit Merc’s new 3-litre straight-six turbopetrol engine (and its diesel counterpart) in a range topped and tailed by a 4-litre twin-turbo V8 AMG bahnstormer and a few four-cylinder petrols and diesels for those seeking a more frugal option.

The prototype's interior was all taped up, but you can expect it to feature Merc’s latest dual-screen layout with adjacent instrument and infotainment screens, although it doesn’t appear to be ‘free floating’ as in the next-gen A-Class.

A raft of semi-autonomous driving tech should be part of the deal too as the GLE moves into line with modern Merc trends. But more on all that when Mercedes actually reveals the vehicle.

IOL Motoring