mercedes-benz redesigned its mid-size suv for 2020, but something was missing from the gle lineup: a performance-oriented amg version. not anymore; the new mercedes-amg gle 53 will make its debut at the 2019 geneva international motor show, and with performance goodies galore — starting with a quick boost system that adds extra horsepower at launch.
power for the gle 53 comes from a 429-horsepower, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder and nine-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive is standard. like other new mercedes vehicles, the gle 53 uses a 48-volt light-hybrid system that can recuperate energy and give some electric boost to help acceleration. thanks to the model's electric auxiliary compressor, the 48-volt electrical system and eq boost starter-generator, mercedes says the model benefits from an extra 21 hp and 184 pounds-feet of torque on demand, which is enough to launch it from zero-to-60 mph in 5.2 seconds.
the gle 53 offers five different driving modes thanks to the amg active ride control system, which works with the airmatic adaptive suspension system. three pre-selected modes — comfort, sport and sport plus allow the driver to fine tune, and trail and sand modes can be dialed in to modify the all-wheel-drive system's off-road response.
the new model joins the gle 350 and gle 450; the 350 comes in either rear-wheel-drive or 4matic all-wheel-drive configurations and gets power from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder used engine making 255 hp and 273 pounds-feet of torque. the 450 comes standard with awd and is powered by a turbocharged inline-six-cylinder used engine with a mild-hybrid system, good for 362 hp and 369 pounds-feet of torque.
outside, the 53 wears styling cues befitting its performance purpose: an amg-specific radiator grille with 15 vertical strips, 20-inch light alloy wheels and a silver chrome-plated front splitter.
inside, the model is decked out in black and trimmed in red, featuring black sport seats with contrast stitching and red seatbelts; brushed aluminum grain and carbon trim round out the sporty cabin. it also smells sporty (whatever that means), according to mercedes, thanks to a model-exclusive fragrance available in the air-balance package.
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like the 350 and 450, the amg 53 model gets the upgrades from the 2020 redesign, including the new mbux control system, which is a touchscreen instead of the previous system's console controller. it also uses voice recognition, activated by saying "hey, mercedes," and also features an available gesture recognition system that uses a camera embedded in the overhead console.
the new mercedes-amg gle 53 will go on sale in the u.s. in late 2020.
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