The SUV is truly putting the sports car on notice, or at least that’s the message you can’t help but take away from the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S SUV, which makes its debut today at the LA Auto Show 2019. Headed to dealerships in the US midway through next year, its 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine is good for 603 horsepower, and that makes for an SUV that can do 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds.
Torque clocks in at 627 lb-ft foot. Factor in EQ Boost, which uses an electric starter generator as a temporary boosting system, and you’re looking at an extra 21 hp and 184 lb-ft.
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed transmission is standard, as is AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. That can push up to 100-percent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels, or split it up to 50:50 front to back. AMG Dynamic Select has seven drive modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport +, Individual, RACE, Trail, and Sand. An AMG Electronic Limited Slip Differential is standard.
The AMG Dynamics system handles the ESP and the 4MATIC+ settings, and there’s also AMG Dynamic Select to control things like the standard air suspension and the adjustable damping. There are Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ settings, and there’s a 48v system to adjust the roll stabilization bars. The same EQ Boost system can also allow the SUV to “sail” without the gas engine turned on, for greater efficiency.
Inside, there’s Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system, with natural language voice control. There’s a 12.3-inch driver cluster and a 12.3-inch center touchscreen; navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are all standard. Blind-spot assistance and a surround camera are included, and there’s active parking assistance. 21-inch wheels are standard.
The front seats are heated and ventilated, and there’s wireless phone charging, five USB ports, and special display graphics for the AMG performance modes. A Driving Assistance package adds things like adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping. There’s also the option of a head-up display, 4-zone climate control, massage seats, and a Burmester 3D surround sound audio system.
All in all, if you really need an SUV that can show up most sports cars at the lights, AMG’s latest version is probably for you. Expect the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S SUV to arrive in the US midway through 2020, with pricing to be confirmed closer to launch.