If you’re not sure what a Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S coupe is, let us help. Start with a GLE 5-door SUV, which is actually the newest name of what was Mercedes-Benz’s original luxury crossover utility, the M-class. Then replace its boxy body with a much sleeker looking coupe-like profile. And finally, add a whole heap of AMG performance. Got it? Then we’re good to go…fast!
The 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe is a recent entry into a curious subset of SUVs, 5-door coupes. And while some have come and gone already, it’s the German brands that seem most intent on keeping the segment going.
As with most things in our world these days, our office was very divided on the GLE Coupe. Comments ranged from simply “beautiful” to “not pretty, not practical, and what’s the point?”.
Well, if their point was to make a statement, it’s clearly been made; and no doubt the aggressive nature of the AMG elements, like these 22-inch cross-spoke alloys, make the most it.
And if their point was to make a near perfect clone of the BMW X6, well mission accomplished there too; it even basically drives like one.
Mercedes claims it’s the perfect embodiment of all of their design principles; from rugged fender flares and high ground clearance of an SUV, to the minimal greenhouse and sweeping roof of their sportiest coupes, and finally the smooth and elegant front end design showcased in their most luxurious sedans.
Looks aside, you really have to hate practicality to prefer it over the basic GLE SUV, but we clearly understand in this “looks are everything” world, there is certainly a market for it; it’s just not the kind of crossover we prefer.
But it’s also one clearly designed more for on road performance, as suspension is unique; and the standard 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system doesn’t come with off road settings.
Further indication is the powertrain situation, as all GLE Coupes are of the AMG variety. This 63 S boasts 577-horsepower and 561 lb-ft. of torque from a hand-assembled 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8. Transmission is AMG’s SPEEDSHIFT 7-speed automatic.
Its lesser sibling 43, gets a twin-turbo 6 with 362-horsepower and a 9-speed automatic.
At the track, it became clear from the first flooring of the throttle, that the launch of this GLE 63 S is worth the price of admission alone. The engine dumps a huge load of torque onto the wheels, and the AMG-tuned 4MATIC system quickly resolves where to put it to best use.
You hop off the line with urgency, hitting 60 in 4.1-seconds. From there, it’s a piece of cake; just hold on tight, as the transmission fires off shifts with a loud crack from the exhaust. Before you know it, 12.5-seconds have passed and you’re at the end of the ¼ going 112 miles-per-hour.
The fact that there was virtually no body roll through the cones in this 5,225-lb. monster is quite impressive; but overall, it still felt rather bulky. Everything is super rigid and overly sensitive in Sport+ mode; it was hard to find a real rhythm through here.
Dialing it back to simply Sport mode, seemed to be the sweet spot, providing a little more forgiveness.
With stops of just 115-feet from 60, brakes are the real deal, with a nicely firm short-travel pedal. The only downside here being the 285-series tires finding every groove of our rough track and sending a report about them straight to the steering wheel.
No matter if you’re on a full-throttle getaway, or just the daily commute; there’s plenty of comfort and luxury inside the cabin to keep you satisfied.
Though AMG sport seats and steering wheel, as well as the carbon-fiber trim, definitely present a sporty aura. Opt for the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system, and you’ll be awash in 900-watts of audio power as well.
The only thing you’ll really sacrifice here is cargo capacity, 23.0 cubic-ft. in back compared to the base GLE’s 38.2. 60.7 is the max with rear seats folded, down from 80.3.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 14-City, 18-Highway, and 15-Combined. We behaved ourselves for the most part, and averaged 17.2 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
If style over substance is your thing, you’ll have no problem dropping at least $70,575 for a GLE Coupe. The big dog GLE63 is a heftier $111,575.
Truly not for the faint of heart or light of discretionary funds, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe is a mega-powerful piece of rolling excess, that is not only a showcase for the Mercedes brand, but is more than capable of blasting you away from whatever it is you need to get away from. It isn’t cheap, it sure isn’t very practical, but it certainly is our kind of fun.
Engine: 5.5 liter twin-turbo V8
Torque: 561 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4.1 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.5 seconds @ 112mph
EPA: 14 mpg city / 18 mpg highway