Mercedes-AMG Cranks GLE Coupe up to 603 Horsepower

The latest member of Mercedes-AMG’s performance lineup is, unsurprisingly, another SUV. Meet the 2021 GLE 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupe.

Completely redesigned for 2020, the midsize GLE already offered a great selection of engines ranging from 255 to 429 horsepower, but that clearly wasn’t enough for the mad scientists at AMG.

They came up with a new model featuring a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine that’s way mightier than all the others at 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. An EQ Boost mild hybrid system even provides an additional 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet which can be called upon temporarily to enable a more spontaneous throttle response.

Photo: Daimler

You think those numbers are crazy? In a way, sure. But the company didn’t really have the choice. You see, the new BMW X5 M and X6 M use a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 that produces up to 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque in Competition trim. Both the folks in Affalterbach and Munich claim their super SUV sprints from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. We’ll have to rely on the photo finish to crown a winner.

The Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupe also benefits from a specially tuned, nine-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch transmission, fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system, AMG sport steering and AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension with active roll stabilization.

Naturally, it needs ultra-powerful brakes. There are six-piston fixed brake callipers and 400-mm brake discs at the front, plus single-piston floating brake callipers and 370-mm discs at the rear. As an option, a high-performance ceramic brake system saves weight and improves fading resistance.

Photo: Daimler

AMG DYNAMIC SELECT technology adapts important parameters such as the responsiveness of the engine and transmission, the characteristic curve of the accelerator and steering, the suspension damping and on rare occasions, the vehicle's sound. Seven drive modes are available including Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, Race, Trail and Sand. The last two, of course, are specifically designed for off-road environments (though we suspect few drivers will ever use them in real life).

Styling is enhanced with an AMG-specific grille, black air intakes, a silver chrome front splitter and power domes on the hood. Side skirts, flared fenders and 22-inch wheels add muscle to the profile, while the rear apron with integrated diffuser and two sets of twin tailpipes get the AMG treatment. An optional AMG Night Package gives the vehicle a more sinister look.

In addition to the aforementioned BMWs, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupe will directly take on the Audi RS Q8 Sportback, Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe and Lamborghini Urus. Its Canadian pricing and on-sale date remain unspecified at the moment.

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