Mercedes-AMG unleashes new GLE 53 performance SUVs in SA
PRETORIA - Those seeking a speedier Mercedes SUV can now opt for the ‘53’ AMG versions of the latest midsize GLE series. Buyers can choose between the conventional-bodied GLE 53 model, priced at R1 837 000, and a ‘Coupe’ at R1 925 000. The company is also planning to release the 450kW V8-powered AMG 63 models this week, priced at R2 885 000 and R2 948 000 (Coupe).
Like its E-Class and CLS saloon counterparts, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 models are powered by a straight-six turbopetrol engine with a ‘mild hybrid’ boost. The petrol engine develops 320kW at 6100rpm and 520Nm from 1800 revs, while the EQ Boost starter generator can briefly add an extra 16kW and 250Nm to the tally.
According to Mercedes, both models can sprint from 0-100km/h in just 5.3 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.
The powertrain is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission, with multiple downshifting and double-clutching functions, and power goes to all four wheels through a fully-variable 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system.
The chassis seeks to strike a balance between agility and ride comfort with an AMG Ride Control+ air suspension system that features adaptive damping, which can be varied via three modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Thanks to pneumatic self-levelling at the front and rear axle, the GLE 53 models maintain a constant ride height, regardless of the vehicle load. When needed, the GLE 53 can also be raised by up to 55mm at the touch of a button, even while the vehicle is moving.
The AMG models can be told apart by 20-inch alloy wheels (although buyers can upsize to various 21” and 22” options) as well as an AMG-specific grille. The unique garnishes continue inside where you’ll find an AMG steering wheel in black Nappa leather with red top stitching, which you’ll also find on the seats. The performance division has also thrown in red seatbelts to match the aforementioned top stitching, while the MBUX infotainment system has various AMG-specific functions.
On a more practical note, buyers can opt for a seven-seat interior configuration, with an electrically adjustable Easy Entry function for the second row.