Mercedes-Benz is set to introduce 22 new models on to the Irish market in 2020, and the German carmaker has just unveiled one of those is a new GLE coupé, to be accompanied by an ultra-sporty stablemate, a Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC + version.
Currently accounting for one third of Mercedes-Benz sales, SUVs are of increasing importance with a global customer base of more than six million owners spread across an eight model range that includes GLA, GLB, GLC, GLC coupé, GLE, GLE coupé, GL,S and the G-Class itself.
Coming to Ireland early next year, the GLE coupé blends the sportiness and elegance of a coupé with the engineering of a large premium SUV. Some 39mm longer and 7mm wider than before, with a wheelbase 20mm greater than its predecessor (yet 60mm shorter than the GLE ), the new GLE coupé is an imposing creation, sporty both in its handling and in its appearance.
Muscular where it needs to be, the GLE coupé has a powerful, ready-to-pounce appearance accentuated by contoured body lines. Like other coupés in the Mercedes- Benz range, it sports the familiar diamond radiator grille with single horizontal louvre and headlamps featuring full-LED technology as standard.
Inside, it shares numerous common features with other models in their new premium-SUV family. Evident are its strikingly shaped instrument panel with upper surface covered in man-made leather as standard, and two large 12.3inches /31.2cm screens that seamlessly flow into the door trim. Its sporty emphasis is also seen in standard sports seats and in a new sports steering wheel. Other features include the latest generation ‘Mercedes me’ and MBUX infotainment system, with voice control features and a range of comfort options and apps.
More tightly tailored than the GLE, the four-door coupé offers tangibly more room than its predecessor with comfortable space for five occupants. Its entrance dimension has been enlarged by 35 cmm and its interior stowage space increased to 40 litres. All-round view has also been improved.
At 655 litres, boot space is generous, with folding rear seats that increase it to a best in segment capacity of 1790 litres, some 70 litres greater than before. Level load space extends to over two metres in length and up to 1080mm in width, better by 87mm and 72mm respectively than before. Its loading sill is inherently higher than on conventional SUVs. It is around 60mm better than before.
At launch, two powerful six-cylinder diesel engines will be available. There is a 350d (200kW / 272hp with 600Nm torque ) unit and also a 400d (243kW / 330hp with 700Nm torque ) whose combined fuel consumption is 8.0-7.5 litres/100km and combined CO2 emissions is 212-197g/km. A 300d will follow at a later date.
Petrol version available at launch will be the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ coupé with combined fuel consumption of 9.3 litres/100km and combined CO2 emissions of 212g/km. Preparations are also under way for a 350de plug-in-hybrid version. In both models, engines comply with Euro 6d standard (RDE/Real Driving Emissions Step 2 ) even in demanding driving situations. Transmission is 9G TRONIC automatic in both cases.
As ever, the new the GLE coupé comes with a host of optional extras, comfort elements, vehicle safety and driver assistance features, in what Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in Ireland, says is a "model that matches the emotive appeal of a sporty and elegant coupé to the imposing power of an off-road vehicle”.
Given that focus in Ireland will fall on the 350d model, and that detailed price and specifications will not be announced until closer to launch, Ciaran Allen says prices will be "competitive, just like those of our GLE SUV, which we introduced earlier this year with best in segment prices – and will differ marginally from its predecessor despite its significantly more advanced and comprehensive range of specifications”.