Over the coming weeks as deliveries begin to arrive in greater numbers, eagle-eyed motorists will spot the first arrivals of the innovative, new Mercedes-Benz GLE coupé on Irish roads.
Said by Mercedes-Benz to be the trailblazer for what it believes will become another new model segment within the international motor market, the GLE coupé is a new concept that expands an already rapidly-growing Mercedes-Benz model range.
It enters the market here equipped with what Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, says is “a very high level” of standard and optional equipment. Standard is intelligent light system, active parking assist, leather trim and upholstery, satellite navigation, metallic paint, and heated front seats and mirror pack - to name but some.
Special emphasis is placed on its ‘dynamic select’ handling control technology with its workings visualised on a central media dashboard display. Others include ADS variable damping, ESP, agility control, airmatic suspension, collision prevention assist and ECO stop/start.
The new GLE coupé has a distinctly sporty appeal, helped by its obvious all-road, off-road characteristics. With prices starting at €86,455 (ex works ) for the 350d, the sleek, low-slung, four-door is a car for aficionados – those who relish exclusivity within a design that is both innovative and sure to turn heads.
Its sweeping lines give it an elegance and sophistication tempered only by its robust, beaten-track-ready appearance. Features that underline its robust off-road capability include signature front and rear under guards. Inside its roomy cabin, its compact sports steering wheel, raised seating position, expansive visibility, infotainment system and upholstery and trim elements all point to its SUV-like parentage.
In initial test reports, words like “stunning” and “rock-solid” have been used to describe its drive characteristics. Powering the GLE coupé are engines both drawn from the M-Class replacement GLE line-up.
Likely to prove most popular here – and the one certain to occupy front-row space in dealer showrooms – is the three-litre,V6 turbo-powered GLE350d diesel. Stats include a 258bhp output, a massive 620Nm of torque, top speed of 226kph, 0-100kph acceleration of seven seconds and a claimed 37mpg or 7.6-litres/100kms in metric language.
A nine-speed G-tronic automatic gearbox and 4-Matic permanent all-wheel drive are standard elements within its Sport Plus drive programme. Petrol alternative is an AMG-Sport model GLE 450 AMG with 4MATIC transmission.
Claimed by Mercedes-Benz to have the coupé world record for luggage capacity, it has 1,650 litres of carrying space and a towing capacity of 3,500kg.