Mercedes-Benz has revealed the new GLE350de 4Matic, a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid SUV boasting a class-leading EV range and CO2 emissions, at the Frankfurt motor show. It has also released details of an updated petrol plug-in hybrid GLC.
But while the two saloons use a relatively small 13.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, Mercedes-Benz has more than doubled its capacity to provide the GLE350de with a sizeable 31.2kWh unit - the largest battery it has ever used in a series production hybrid model. The result is a claimed WLTP electric range of 61.5 miles.
The move mirrors that of BMW, which has fitted a 24.0 kWh battery to the petrol-electric X5 xDrive45e plug-in hybrid to give it an official range of up to 54.1 miles.
At the heart of the new Mercedes-Benz SUV’s driveline is a longitudinally-mounted turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine developing 192bhp and 295lb ft of torque.
It is supported by an electric motor mounted within the GLE350de 4Matic’s standard nine-speed automatic gearbox that produces up to 134bhp and 324lb ft.
Together, the two power sources provide a total system output of 315bhp and 516lb ft - some 11bhp shy and the same torque loading as the turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder diesel-powered GLE400d. By comparison, the X5 xDrive45e turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor boast a combined 389bhp and 442lb ft.