This is our first look at the all-new Mercedes GLE Coupe ahead of its big unveil in 2019. It’ll rival cars like the BMW X6 and new Audi Q8, with a range of six-cylinder petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains.
Mercedes will be hoping a full refresh can continue the success of the previous-generation car, which piggy-backed the demand for coupe SUVs back in 2014. The new model will keep the old car’s raised body and sloping roof, with styling inspired by the forthcoming GLE SUV.
Our spy shots show prototypes heavily camouflaged, but it’s not enough to hide features like the big grille and headlamps design. The lights will be slimmer than before, though we’re expecting similarly large air intakes in the bumper.
At the back, it looks like the high bootlid will be reshaped with thinner LED lights. The number plate sits on a smoother bumper, with twin exhaust pipes integrated within the bodywork. The rear screen looks even more steeply raked than before.
While we’ve not been given a look at the interior, it’s likely Mercedes will try to address current criticism by improving cabin space. Despite its huge footprint, the outgoing car’s rear seats were compromised by the sloping roofline. Bootspace should grow, too.
Up front, we expect the GLE to inherit the firm’s latest MBUX infotainment system, with a full-width central touchscreen and a set of fully digital dials. It’ll use the A-Class’s ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice control set-up, with augmented reality sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. A heads-up display will be on the options list, too.
All models will come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and 4MATIC all-wheel drive. It’s unclear whether Mercedes will offer any four-cylinder engines; the current car was available exclusively with six-cylinder petrol and diesel motors, as well as a range-topping V8 AMG.
Speaking of which, it’s likely the new AMG GLE 63 will switch the existing car’s 5.5-litre V8 for the 4.0-litre bi-turbo unit found in the E-Class and S-Class. A hybridised AMG GLE 53 should join the range later, lifting the six-cylinder 48-volt system from the CLS. Elsewhere, we should see GLE 350 d and 400 d models, as well as 350 and 450 petrols.
With the standard GLE SUV due for reveal at the LA Motor Show in November, we should see the Coupe early next year.
What do you think of the current demand for coupe-SUVs? Let us know below…