Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE63S Coupe Review
Then come the mighty numbers that make you go weak in the knees if it's the first AMG you’ll ever drive or own. 612hp and 850Nm come from the twin-turbo V8 while an additional 22hp and 200Nm is compliments of the 48V mild-hybrid system and adding them up isn’t for the faint of heart. All this power means that this two plus tonne beast can reach the ton in less than four seconds. Physics? Ha!
Tech: Loaded inside and under
Mercedes isn’t wrong in calling this a “coupe”, even though it has four doors. The sloping roofline adds a distinct look that is sexy and menacing at the same time. The humongous 22in wheels shod with rubber as wide as most Indian B-roads look intimidating, not to mention the AMG-specific Panamercana grille that looks like it wants to swallow autoricksaws whole and bumpers with aggression dripping out of every inlet and fin.
Step on the floorboard and on to the cockpit and things are familiar but just a bit more butch. The beautifully made seats in three different materials, twin 12.3in screens that feature special track-based graphics and info screens and the Dinamica microfibre clad steering wheel…all of it makes it a pretty special place to be, and you won’t be mistaking this for a regular GLE.
As you’d expect, heated/cooled front seats, heated/cooled cup holders even, head-up display, 13-speaker Burmester Surround sound system with 590W of power, panoramic sunroof, 64 colour ambient lighting, and a long list of sundry features are included as standard. Connectivity wise, lack of wireless CarPlay and Android Auto is surprising considering this is the newest generation of MBUX, but it does get wired mirroring, USB-C ports front and back and a totally customisable instrument cluster that is one of the best in the business.
Drive: to survive!
Even the ride height can be instantly increased from the steering wheel itself should you find yourself face-to-face with a metro construction site. Individual allows you to customise each parameter to your liking, so steering, suspension, throttle response, exhaust loudness..all of it can be mixed in the right proportions to suit your driving style or environment.
Grip levels, as expected from the 4WD system, are tremendous and unless you are out on a track, you will never experience life on the limit in a GLE63S. There is simply too much power for any public road in India and that is its trump card. Power that can be used on any road, if you can find it. With its ground clearance, helped by a height-adjustable air suspension, you could have all the drama of an AMG, without the tragedy associated with their usual body kits and aero packages.
Find an empty patch of road and you can’t help but floor the GLE63S just to experience the mind-numbing acceleration and soundtrack from the exhaust pipes. It’s so addictive to have more than a 1,000Nm at your disposal that going back to any other car just seems underwhelming and you will take time to recalibrate to reality. Well, if you’re already thinking of buying an AMG, your reality may be someone else’s dream and though the GLE63S isn’t the stuff of dreams, it should be! It has all the thrills of a proper AMG, but without the caveats that they usually come with.
Added practicality comes in the form of a 655 litre boot even with the seats up. Thoughtfully, there’s a suspension lowering button even in the boot area to make loading luggage easier. Seating comfort for four is fantastic and with the GLE63S in Comfort mode, while not as supple as the S-Class, it never gets bone jarring like its 22in wheels would suggest on paper. You could live with it as a daily driver, never worrying about bad roads or car destroying speed bumps.
Big and burly, the AMG GLE63S is a brilliant reminder of what a “proper” AMG should feel, and sound like!
|4.0L V8 bi-turbo
|612hp/850Nm + 22hp/250Nm (EQ Boost)
|4 wheel drive
|9-speed torque converter
|0-100 in 3.8secs