Stuttgart, Germany –
Mercedes-Benz has officially killed off the ML-Class….at least in name. In line with its revised naming scheme, the big sport utility vehicle (SUV) will now be called the GLE.
Earlier this year Mercedes-Benz announced the four-door coupe version of the GLE, the GLE Coupe, a BMW X6 competitor.
That fits it nicely in the brand’s soft-roader stable now: The GLS (which used to be the GL) is the biggest, then there’s the GLE, and with the smaller GLC (formerly known as the GLK), then the even smaller GLA.
As you might have figured, the actual European segment names underpin the various sizes of each vehicle (compare the relative sizes of an A, C, E or S-Class for example).
Naming madness aside, the GLE is essentially the mid-life facelift for the ex-ML-Class, with the new car receiving the very C-Class-esque curvy front end, and more shaped, tapered rear end styling too.
The engine variants are comprised of two diesel, three gasoline. The engines are also mated to the new nine-speed automatic gearbox that debuted in the revised CLS.
But the biggest news is that Mercedes is throwing the new GLE 500e 4MATIC into the plug-in hybrid hat. The GLE 400’s V6 plus an 85bhp electric motor gives a system total output of 442bhp and 650Nm, while it also has an electric-only range of 30km. Efficiency figures are 78g/km of CO2 and only 3.3L/100km.
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Expect the car to launch some time later this year, although the plug-in is still to be confirmed.
The diesel models are the GLE 250 d and GLE 350 d, each with a 2.1 and 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine with 204bhp and 258bhp respectively. The base gasoline model is the GLE 400, which has a now familiar 333bhp, 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 that replaced the old ML 350’s 3.5-litre V6 prior to this. There’s also the GLE 500 which has a 4.7-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. It makes 430bhp and 700Nm of torque.
The other gasoline engine is the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC which has a 5.5-litre twin-turbo monster under the hood. 585bhp means 0-100km/h in a ridiculous 4.2 seconds and 250km/h limited top speed. It also now looks like an E 63 on steroids.