Fear not, enthusiast. If there's a will, there's a way to continue building performance vehicles with a closer eye on efficiency. The latest crop of Mercedes-AMG SUVs is proof of the theory, but on Tuesday, the company revealed the latest recipient of its electrified, twin-turbo V8.
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe (wow, that's a lot to say) shares its electrified heart with the latestand models, a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with a 48-volt hybrid system -- and it boasts identical performance specs. Should the GLS63 S be too large, or the standard GLE63 S too, well, standard, the GLE63 S Coupe still packs 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque.
Ah, but the electrified twist that I mentioned often already, that's the ace up the performance SUV's sleeve. For a short period of time, the 48-volt, which Mercedes-AMG calls , can ditch being efficient and act as a power generator. In this scenario, the system fills in power and torque where needed with an extra 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque available.
The engine sends power to a nine-speed automatic transmission, and finally to all four wheels. There are lots of gizmos that work to keep the power on the pavement, too, such as an electronic rear-locking differential and torque vectoring. The AWD system will also behave like a rear-wheel-drive setup until told otherwise. An air suspension with adaptive dampers will also suit a bevy of driving styles, which the driver can tinker with through a variety of modes.
Looks are subjective, but the latest GLE63 S Coupe does look a bit more muscular. I'd still personally go for the regular GLE63 S, but if the four-door coupe trend is your thing, have at it. Visually, the Coupe displays some AMG-specific bits, such as the grille finished in high-gloss chrome and a new rear bumper with an AMG diffuser finished in black. An AMG Night Packages will toss in more black-finished elements, like bumper trim and mirror caps, if that suits your fancy as well. The whole package rides on giant 22-inch AMG wheels.
Inside, it's identical to its GLE63 S sibling. The single screen makes up the gauge cluster and the infotainment center's home with AMG-specific graphics and some unique functions compared with standard Mercedes-Benz cars. For instance, there's a G-meter and even a stopwatch for timing laps on the track. Below the screen real estate are the same four HVAC vents, physical buttons and switches and the area used to control the MBUX infotainment system. Splashes of carbon fiber and lots of leather fill the cabin with mood lighting to boot, but Mercedes-AMG has a variety of options to make this Coupe a keeper.
The company wasn't ready to put a price tag on its latest creation, but it seems fair to assume it'll start above the current model's $113,000 MSRP. We'll learn prices closer to launch, which takes place this fall.
Originally published Feb. 18.
Update, Feb. 27: Corrects information on how EQ Boost system works.