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Mercedes GLE: M-Class Gets New Looks, New Name, New GLE 500e Hybrid Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Mar, 26 2015 | 4 Comments

The ‘new’ Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, AMG GLE 63 and GLE 500e have gone official, with the former M-Class SUV debuting its new name and a fresh facelift today.

The M-Class SUV range’s new name, GLE-Class, represents a key step in harmonising model classification across the Mercedes-Benz range.

All SUV models are now represented by the ‘GL’ prefix, while the ‘E’ of this model positions it as a large car that sits alongside the existing E-Class range.

Likewise, the midsized GLK will be known as the GLC when its successor appears, and the giant GL will become the GLS - the SUVs mirroring the position of the C-Class and S-Class models.

The new GLA, of course, continues as the small A-Class hatch's crossover SUV companion.

As for today’s update, the recent unveiling of the BMW X6-rivalling GLE Coupe gave buyers their first hint at what they could expect with the refreshed GLE.

The former M-Class, now GLE-Class, wears new headlights and a new grille, both largely identical to the GLE Coupe’s face, and a new front bumper is also featured.

The GLE will also wear a lightly updated rear, with a new tailgate, new lamp internals and a revised bumper.

The SUV’s interior has also been given a light update, with a large 7.0-inch tablet display flanked by tall new vents.

Mercedes’ latest steering-wheel design is also featured, and new highlights and features appear throughout.

 

GLE 500e

Perhaps the biggest news in the 2016 GLE-Class range is the addition of the new 500e 4Matic, Mercedes-Benz’s first plug-in hybrid EV.

Power is provided by the same 245kW/480Nm 3.0 litre twin-turbo petrol V6 and 85kW electric motor that features in the S 500e sedan, producing a combined 325kW and 650Nm of torque.

Power in the plug-in hybrid EV is sent to the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system through a version of Merc’s seven-speed 7G tronic auto, modified for this application.

Other models in the 2016 GLE-Class range will instead be matched to a nine-speed auto as standard.

Fuel consumption for the GLE 500e has not been detailed, but Mercedes promises an all-electric driving range of around 30 kilometres.

The GLE 500e will offer four driving modes - E-Mode, E-Save, Charge and Hybrid - and charging can be undertaken from either a wall-mounted box or a conventional power point.

Elsewhere in the 2016 GLE-Class range, and depending on the market, buyers will have the option of a 150kW 2.0 litre four-cylinder diesel in the GLE 250d, along with the more powerful 192kW/620Nm 3.0 litre turbodiesel V6 of the GLE 350d.

Topping the range is the hero AMG GLE 63 S, driven by the company's 430kW/780Nm 5.5 litre twin-turbo V8. AMG promises a 0-100km/h time of just 4.2 seconds for this flagship performer.

 

AUSTRALIA

Speaking with TMR today, Mercedes-Benz Australia’s Jerry Stamoulis confirmed a September launch for the GLE-Class range. Model spread and specifications will be confirmed closer to launch.

MORE: Mercedes GLE News & Reviews
MORE: Mercedes-Benz | SUVs | Prestige Cars

 
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