2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe is a 174mph reminder that SUVs aren't dull

Mercedes-AMG has revealed its latest toasty four-door coupe, with the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe promising 603 horsepower along with an unexpected degree of off-road performance. Taking the GLE as its starting point, AMG throws in its 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbo with EQ Boost, and thus cuts the SUV's 0-60 mph time to 3.7 seconds.

Top speed is 174 mph, meanwhile, with the GLE 63 S Coupe offering 627 lb-ft of torque between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm. A fair chunk of that comes from EQ Boost, Mercedes' 48-volt electric starter-generator: that's responsible for up to 184 lb-ft of torque, and up to 21 horsepower.

Outside, there's a new AMG-specific grille in high-gloss chrome, paired with a jet-wing designed body-color front bumper. That gets black air intakes, while the front splitter is finished in silver chrome. Vehicle color side skirts, mirror housings, and wheel arch flares are standard, as are 22-inch AMG wheels.

At the back, there's a new black diffuser with silver chrome trim, atop two rectangular high-gloss chrome tailpipes with an unusual fluted shape. The AMG Night Package will be an option, with tinted windows and black finish to the front splitter, front and rear bumper trim, side skirt inserts, mirror caps, and window frames. The package also gives the tailpipe trim a high-gloss black finish.

The engine should live up to the aesthetic. Mercedes-AMG puts the twin turbochargers inside the "V" of the eight-cylinder engine, for perkier performance, and pairs it with a 9-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT transmission and AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution. There's speed-sensitive sports steering too – with driver-adjustable levels – while standard AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension can self-level the SUV as well as raise it for trickier terrain. Trail and Sand modes join the Sport, Sport+, Comfort, and RACE modes.

Indeed a whole lot of the 2021 GLE 63 S Coupe is about straddling performance, off-roading, and luxury. The transmission, for example, has an automatic double-declutch feature when downshifting, but can also switch into glide mode for better economy when you're cruising. The V8 can automatically deactivate half of its cylinders to cut consumption, while the AMG Active Ride Control stabilization both cuts body roll when cornering aggressively and damps down on body motion when cruising on ill-kempt roads.

Inside, special nappa leather covers the AMG sports seats, with AMG badging; other leather is optional. AMG's Performance steering wheel is standard, with aluminum shift paddles and a combination of leather and microfiber trim. AMG Drive Unit steering wheel buttons are standard, too.

In the center console, there are extra stitches for the 3-stage ESP, manual transmission mode, controlling the Adaptive Damping System, the AMG Performance exhaust system, and the vehicle level. AMG throws in brushed stainless steel sports pedals, door sill panels, and individually adjustable ambient lighting, too, along with some carbon fiber trim pieces. MBUX, Mercedes' latest infotainment system, is standard, with AMG-specific displays.

Sales of the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe will kick off in the US in fall 2020. Pricing will be confirmed closer to release.