Reworked internal combustion engine develops 443bhp
The new Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Hybrid 4Matic+ has been unveiled, forgoing the mild-hybrid drivetrain of its predecessor for a plug-in hybrid system with up 536bhp and 553lb ft of torque.
The heavily facelifted performance SUV is the first AMG model to receive the new petrol-electric system, which includes a series of electrification developments already seen on parent company Mercedes-Benz’s GLE 400e 4Matic and GLE 350de 4Matic.
Autocar understands that the plug-in hybrid GLE 53 will not come to the UK, where the current car will remain on sale for the foreseeable.
The GLE 53 Hybrid 4Matic+ combines a newly developed version of Mercedes-AMG's turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine with a gearbox-mounted electric motor and a 31.2kWh lithium ion battery.
The reworked combustion engine develops 443bhp and the electric motor contributes up to 134bhp to give a combined system output of 536bhp and 553lb ft - a significant 87bhp and 170lb ft more than the earlier GLE 53 4Matic+.
By comparison, the BMW X5 M60i and X6 M60i’s mild-hybrid drivetrain develops 523bhp and the same 553lb ft.
Power for the electric motor is stored in a 31.2kWh battery – the same unit used by the facelifted GLE 400e and GLE 350de. It can be charged at up to 11kW on an AC charger and at up to 60kW on a DC system. The electric range is put at between 50 and 53 miles for the straight-backed SUV, and between 51 and 54 miles for the more aerodynamically efficient coupé version.
The new plug-in hybrid system offers up to seven driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Smoothness, Individual, Electric and Battery Hold.
AMG has yet to provide a weight figure for the GLE 53 Hybrid 4Matic+, but it claims a 0-62mph time of 4.7sec. This is 0.4sec inside the time quoted for the earlier GLE 53 4Matic+. Top speed remains limited to 155mph.
The official consumption is put at between 188.3mpg and 217.3mpg for the GLE 53 Hybrid 4Matic+ SUV and between 201.8 and 235.4mpg for the GL E53 Hybrid 4Matic+ Coupé. CO2 emissions are 29-33g/km for the SUV and 27-31g/km for the coupé.
Among the styling changes brought to the new AMG model is a new-look front bumper with altered cooling ducts and new 21in wheels. The GLE 53 Hybrid 4Matic also receives new 'Hybrid' badges within the front wings and at the rear.
The brakes have also been upgraded with 400mm discs together with six-piston calipers adopted up front and 370mm discs with single-piston calipers at the rear.
Inside, AMG has provided the new SUV with hybrid-specific displays and functions. They include a charging menu with graphics on charging status and the temperature of the battery.