Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that it will, as of the upcoming model year, move in favor of an all-hybrid GLE model lineup. However, with the exception of the plug-in 450e 4MATIC, the shift toward ecological relevance isn’t overnight dramatic; the GLE 350 4MATIC, GLE 450 4MATIC and GLE 580 4MATIC feature 48-volt starter systems.
The cabins of the series have borrowed elements from the Maybach and S-Class family branches. Among the new interior details: a new steering wheel with touch elements, chrome and piano black accents, new Maybach black-beige and black-brown color schemes, and S-Class ambient lighting and color options. The second generation of Merc’s MBUX system is standard, with a pair of 12.3-inch screens for vitals and creature comforts and the Hey Mercedes AI-driven assistant.
Exterior changes to the series include a new front bumper, grille details, and tail light design. High-performance LED headlamps are standard, but Merc’s Multibeam headlamps may be optioned. AMG Line-level trim is standard on the GLE 580, and may be optioned on its siblings. Mercedes is introducing two new colors for the trio: Twilight Blue Metallic and Alpine Grey.
Power-wise, the lineup begins with the four-cylinder GLE 350’s 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and tops out with the V8-powered GLE 580’s 510 HP and 538 lb-ft. The 450e’s 134-HP electric motor in conjunction with a six-cylinder gas-burner gives that variant 381 HP and 479 lb-ft in all; its all-electric range hasn’t yet been verified by Mercedes.