AMG has, for the first time, introduced mild hybrid to its 4.0-litre V8 with the introduction of the new Mercedes-AMG GLE63 and GLE63 S.
Incorporating Merc’s EQ Boost starter-alternator, the twin-turbo V8 now produces 420kW in GLE63 guise, or 450kW as the 63 S, with an additional 16kW from the EQ Boost unit. On top of that, AMG says the GLE has access to a temporary 250Nm torque boost from the unit to “enable more spontaneous moving-off characteristics.”
For the GLE63 S, this means a maximum output of 466kW and 850Nm with the EQ Boost active. The 0-100km/h sprint can be dispatched in just 3.8 seconds, or 4.0 flat in the standard GLE63. This is helped along by AMG’s 9-speed TCT dual-clutch gearbox and its 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system.
Though AMG touts the GLE63’s “first-class off-road characteristics,” it’s likely most will remain on the tarmac where its adaptive air suspension will be soaking up bumps in Comfort or keeping the GLE as planted as approximately 2.3 tonnes of SUV can be when in Sport or Sport+ modes.
Active ride control keeps the big SUV stable by compensating for body roll and actively resisting the forces set upon the suspension. AMG says this also makes straight-line driving more comfortable “because stimuli by one-sided road bumps are balanced out.”
Stopping power for the GLE63 comes in the form of 6-piston fixed callipers on 400mm discs at the front, and single-piston floating callipers on 370mm discs at the rear.
Mercedes-AMG chair of the board Tobias Moers says the mild hybrid being introduced to the V8 is the next step in AMG’s performance ‘journey’.
"With our new GLE Performance models we are transforming a 20-year tradition into the future,” Moers says, referencing the two decades since the ML55.
“For the first time we are electrifying our well-proven 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine with an EQ Boost starter-alternator and a 48-volt on-board electrical system.
“As such we are embarking on another new chapter of our drive technology, which we are also successively extending further to other model series as we move towards electrification and hybridisation.”
Australian pricing and expected arrival for the new GLE63 S (the ‘base’ GLE63 might not even show up) is yet to be confirmed.