2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe arrives with 603 horsepower, $117,050 price tag

The latest Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe would like a word with your expectations and definitions for a tall-riding luxury crossover SUV. That word is “goodbye.”

Coming to showrooms late this year as a 2021 model is the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe—a handsome, coupe-like SUV with an electrified twin-turbo V-8, 22-inch wheels, and a sport-tuned air suspension system.

It will sit above the less powerful GLE Coupe and Mercedes-AMG GLE53 Coupe, and start from $117,050 for the 2021 model year.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe

Turbos and electrons

As with any AMG model, it starts with what’s under the hood. AMG’s hand-built, twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 makes 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque and is paired with a 48-volt electrical system that can supplement the engine with up to 21 hp and 184 lb-ft in certain situations, including quicker initial acceleration. A 9-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four 22-inch wheels.

Mercedes-AMG said the rakish crossover SUV will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds on its way to an electronically limited 174 mph top speed.

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The powertrain has seven drive modes that modify engine response, transmission, suspension, and steering including: Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, Race, Trail, and Sand.

Standard air suspension, adaptive dampers, and active roll bars will help keep the big hatchback on stilts upright and tie into the 48-volt electrical system. There are three modes for the suspension separate from the drive modes: Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. The system can level the crossover to adjust for heavy loads and lowers the GLE63 S Coupe at speeds over 74 mph for better fuel-efficiency.

To control wheel slip and help accelerate out of corners an electronically controlled locking rear differential is standard.

Braking power comes from six-piston fixed front calipers that grab 15.7-inch front rotors with single-piston floating calipers and 14.6-inch discs in the rear. A carbon ceramic brake rotor upgrade will be on the options list to remove mass and prevent cooking the brakes on a racetrack.

Pretty, yet aggressive

The GLE63 S Coupe puts an angrier face on a pretty SUV. A Panamericana grille instantly ties the GLE63 S Coupe to the other performance cars from Affalterbach, while the gaping intakes on both sides of the front bumper are ready to suck in every bit of air to feed the turbocharged V-8 engine.

The rakish roofline carries over from other GLE Coupe models, but the fenders give the GLE63 S Coupe a bulldog-like appearance. Out back, AMG-specific quad rectangular exhaust tips bark the 4.0-liter’s song.

Inside, the GLE Coupe gets the AMG treatment with nappa leather, AMG badges, three-spoke flat-bottom AMG steering wheel with aluminum shift paddles, and AMG Drive Unit steering wheel buttons to change the vehicle parameters on the fly. Swaths of carbon fiber trim cover the dashboard and doors.

If you aren’t a fan of coupe-like SUVs, there’s also the regular Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S. It has the same mechanicals but a roomier cabin and a lower starting price of $115,000 for the 2021 model year.

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