In a world where SUVs are in demand, why not give consumers what they want? And while you’re at it, make them immensely powerful and quick enough to rival robot to robot warriors that are performance hatchbacks. Well, this is what Mercedes-Benz had in mind when they engineered the new  GLE 63 S, GLE 63 S Coupe, and the mammoth GLS 63 4Matic.

Design

These are by no means small vehicles, at over 5m long, 3m wide and with a height of nearly 1.8m, the GLS dwarfs most vehicles on the road and for good reason. It’s built on the S Class platform which as you know, is not only the epitome of luxury and comfort in the Benz stable, it’s also an unusually large sedan. The new GLS 63 is an imposing vehicle and everything in it is built big, including its 21-inch wheels and the optional 23-inch set. Mercedes-Benz’s vertical slat grille has been upscaled here to match the GLS’s face, and an AMG bumper resides beneath it.

Launched at the same event are its stablemates, the GLE 63 S and its Coupe variant which have somewhat of a brawny look them in true AMG fashion. Similar to the bigger GLS, the GLE’s have all the signature AMG bits at the front and rear, including the quad tailpipes. The most significant update to these performance SUVs is their source of power.

Engine specs

Those fearing that AMG’s V8 engine may have been omitted from these latest products need not worry. The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine still lives and takes duty in both the GLE 63 S as well as the new GLS 63 4Matic. In both variants, the V8 powerplant produces 450 kW and 850 Nm of torque. Hefty figures, although by today’s standards these sort of numbers are becoming more and more common in non-supercar vehicles. Mercedes-Benz has paired the V8 up with an EQ Boost starter-alternator, which will give the AMG’s an additional 16 kW and 250 Nm for a brief period when pulling the swift overtaking manoeuvrer in the fast lane. It also acts as a hybrid when the Benz needs to move in stealth mode. For improved efficiency, the V8 is equipped with a cylinder shut-off function that deactivates half of the 8 cylinders between 1000 and 3250rpm, and seamlessly brings them back to life when you need the grunt of the V8.

AMG RIDE CONTROL+ with air suspension is also available as standard equipment in these variants. This makes for a dynamic suspension suitable for all purposes including raising the ride height for off-road activities. Although not many of these super-fast SUV’s ever see the dirty side of the tarmac.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S & GLS 63 4Matic pricing

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC+                            R2 885 000

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupe                R2 948 000

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 4MATIC+                               R3 154 000

By Gugu Masuku