At this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Mercedes showed off its updated GLE 63 S performance SUV for the upcoming model year. The form of the model hasn’t changed substantially; it looks as refined as ever. But the engine is now a 4L instead of a 5.5L, and tech and performance feature sets have received significant revisions.
The 2021 GLE 63 S makes the most of the M177, one of the ubiquitous AMG-series engines in use since the middle of the decade, tuning the 4L V8 biturbo to produce 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. Like other Mercedes performance models, it features a 48-volt motor in place of a starter, which adds another 21 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque to the equation. A 9-speed auto gearbox sends the power to either all four wheels or only the rear axle, and the incoming GLE 63 S can hit 60 MPH in 3.7 seconds on its way to a limited top speed of 174.
Standard performance features for the model include AMG’s active roll stabilization and adaptive air suspension; the former keeps the car stable on turns, while the latter feature includes two special off-road driving modes—‘Trail’ and ‘Sand’—which raises the chassis to keep detritus from flying into the drivetrain.
New cabin tech includes the 12.3” infotainment touchscreen and 12.3” instrument panel. Mercedes’ MBUX voice recognition and the 64-color ambient LED lighting system that’s becoming a familiar feature of upper-end Mercedes models are also included in the features profile.
Mercedes is keeping shtum on pricing at present. But expect the 2021 GLE 63 S in dealerships around the middle of next year.