The newcomer raises the number of Mercedes SUV models to eight, indicating the significance to the brand of a sector that accounts for a third of its global sales. The GLE Coupé joins an ever-growing segment of style-focused variants of traditional high-riding models and can also count the Porsche Cayenne Coupé, Audi Q8 and Range Rover Velar as competitors.
Despite sharing its underpinnings with the standard GLE, the GLE Coupé is 15mm longer and a substantial 63mm wider. Its wheelbase is 20mm longer than the previous version’s but is still 60mm shorter than the GLE’s. Mercedes claims this benefits handling and visual proportions. The roof height is 1722mm, 56mm lower than that of the standard model. Mercedes says aerodynamic efficiency has improved by 9% compared with its predecessor.
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From the bottom of the A-pillar forwards, the GLE Coupé looks nearly identical to the GLE, but from there back, it’s entirely different, with a steeper windscreen and rear window rake to account for that sloping roof, plus a bespoke rear-end shape. Wheels come in sizes from 19in to 22in, depending on the car’s spec.
The interior of the GLE Coupé shares almost everything with its sibling, too, with the same dashboard layout dominated by two 12.3in screens and a raised centre console with integral grab handles. However, sports seats and a nappa leather sports steering wheel are standard fitments in the Coupé. Amazon Music streaming will also be available at launch.
Mercedes claims the new car offers “tangibly more room” and a “significantly better sense of spaciousness” than its predecessor, thanks to the longer wheelbase and larger door openings. Storage capacity has increased, too. In seats-up form, the boot is only five litres larger than the old car’s, but with the 40/20/40 split folding rear bench down, that increase rises to 70 litres. The loading sill is lower than before, too, and the air suspension can drop the rear by a further 50mm at the press of a button.
The chassis of the GLE Coupé is said to feature different tuning from its sibling, which is aimed at offering a “sportier and tauter” driving experience, with the air suspension fitted as standard on UK cars. The same 48V E-Active Body Control system is also available, which includes the ability to individually control spring and damper forces at each wheel.
At launch, the standard GLE Coupé is offered with two versions of a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine, both featuring variable all-wheel drive. The base 350d model puts out 268bhp and 443lb ft of torque, with the 400d taking that to 325bhp and 516lb ft. Fuel economy is quoted at up to 37.6mpg combined for both, depending on spec.
A moderate increase over the £62,000 price of an equivalent standard GLE 350D is expected.
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