2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S is a proper performer
When the original Mercedes M-Class was first given the hi-po AMG treatment, the suits that be weren't entirely sure the world would embrace this new idea of performance.
Fast-forward more than two decades and 50% of AMG vehicles leaving dealerships are SUVs.
This trailblazer has hardly rested on its laurels at any point, and for the 2021 model year, things are shaping up to be as righteous as ever.
At the heart of the matter is a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 producing 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque.
That power heads to all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission, and sandwiched in the driveline is the same EQ Boost mild-hybrid system found on AMG's -53 models.
It can add up to 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft, in addition to extending stop-start use.
The car wants to be driven hard as often as possible, and I found doing so very rewarding, but the fact that it's still serene at lower speeds highlights the hard work AMG's engineers undertook to ensure the GLE63 S is producing quality in every situation.
It's easy to just give something 600 horsepower and call it a day while owners struggle to figure out what to do with all that power.
It's much harder, but far more rewarding, to create something that is perfectly fine to putt around in but immediately ready to jump into action at a moment's notice with a character shift that almost makes the SUV feel like two cars in one.
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