With the new high-performance GLE 63 S SUV, Mercedes-AMG continues a 20 year tradition: in 1999 the M-Class based ML 55 AMG set a new standard in SUV performance with its handcrafted 342 hp V8 engine. This high-performance benchmark has been raised yet again with its current successor, the new Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S. This top-of-the-line performer comes to the starting line with state-of-the-art engine technology: the AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine generates 603 hp in the GLE 63 S and is paired for the first time with an EQ Boost starter-generator. This sophisticated system provides an additional electric output of up to 21 hp, powers the 48-volt on-board electrical system and helps optimize efficiency. Fully variable all-wheel drive, air suspension with adaptive damping and active roll stabilization along with an extremely fast-shifting TCT 9G transmission, further enhance this top-performer’s dynamics. On top of these performance enhancements, all the advantages of a luxury SUV also shine through: ample visibility and road presence, plenty of space for passengers and luggage, high- quality materials and the brand’s very latest driving assistance, infotainment and connectivity features. Even more versatility is provided thanks to improved off-road capabilities with the two additional drive programs of “Trail” and “Sand”, as well as a variable vehicle level. The new GLE 63 S is where high on- road performance, first-class off-road characteristics and remarkable day-to-day usability meet.
“With our new GLE Performance models we are transforming a 20-year tradition into the future. For the first time we are electrifying our well-proven 4.0-liter 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 hybridization. With our new premium SUVs, our customers can look forward to an unrivalled package of Driving Performance, high day-to-day suitability, optimum traction on practically all surfaces and also comfort on long journeys with high levels of efficiency,” says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Featuring an EQ Boost starter-generator for the first time: the AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine
The 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine in the new GLE 63 S is paired for the first time with an integrated EQ Boost starter-generator. It combines a starter motor and an alternator in a single, powerful electric motor integrated between the engine and the transmission. An additional 21 hp of output plus 184 lb-ft of torque can be called upon temporarily, enabling even more responsive acceleration. This innovative component supplies power to the 48-volt on-board electrical system and is used as a generator to perform hybrid functions. These include boost, recuperation, gliding and the virtually imperceptible restarting of the engine with the start/stop function. For the first time, the EQ Boost starter-generator is also responsible for idle speed control. This allows fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology.
The AMG 4.0-liter V8 engine works with well-proven twin turbocharging, in which two exhaust-gas turbochargers are arranged between the cylinder banks. The advantages of the “hot inside V” are the compact engine design and the immediate response of the exhaust-gas turbochargers. These are implemented using twin-scroll technology to make optimal use of the exhaust gas flow and improve responses even further.
Spray-guided direct fuel injection with piezo injectors, the all-aluminum crankcase, the four-valve-per- cylinder design with camshaft adjustment, air-water charge air cooling, alternator management, the ECO start/stop function and the gliding mode have all been retained.
Improved efficiency: intelligent AMG Cylinder Management
For increased efficiency, Mercedes-AMG has also equipped the V8 engine with cylinder shut-off. In the partial-load range, cylinders two, three, five and eight are deactivated, which reduces the fuel consumption. When the driver has selected the “Comfort” drive program, the cylinder deactivation system is available in a wide range from 1,000 to 3,250 rpm. A special display in the instrument cluster indicates whether the cylinder deactivation system is in use and whether the engine is presently operating with four or eight-cylinders. The shift between these two operating states is immediate, fast and torque-neutral, so the transition is not noticeable.
The new GLE 63 S also features innovative active engine mounts. These active mounts can achieve as soft a connection as possible to the powertrain for high comfort, and as rigid a connection as possible for optimized driving dynamics. The active mounts can realize these competing aims by seamlessly and quickly adapting their rigidity to the respective driving conditions.
Optimized handling: air suspension with continuously adjustable damping
The standard AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension and the adaptively adjustable ADS+ (Adaptive Damping System) combine great agility with maximum traction and high everyday comfort. The damping characteristics can be preselected in three stages – “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport+”, allowing a clear distinction between high long-distance comfort and sporty driving dynamics.
Thanks to pneumatic self-levelling, the new GLE 63 S maintains a constant ride height regardless of the vehicle load. This can be adjusted depending on the driving mode, or manually using a rocker switch in the center console. The vehicle level is generally lowered by 0.4 inches when selecting the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs “Sport”, “Sport+” and “RACE”. In the “Comfort” driving mode, the vehicle is lowered by 0.4 inches from a speed of 75 mph, and raised back to normal level when the speed falls below 44 mph. This reduces aerodynamic drag and therefore fuel consumption. In addition, handling stability is improved thanks to a lower center of gravity.
In the drive programs “Trail” and “Sand”, the suspension is raised by 2.16 inches to increase ground clearance on poor surfaces, and automatically lowered to normal level when the speed reaches 44 mph. This function can also be controlled using the rocker switch.
Agile and precise: AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL roll stabilization
The AMG-specific dynamics configuration is greatly enhanced by the active roll stabilization system ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL with 48-volt power. This system precisely compensates for changes in vehicle movement. This ensures that even in sporty situations near the limits, the handling remains precisely controllable and extremely direct. The system uses two independently operating, electromechanical actuators at the front and rear axles, each with an integrated planetary gear. The stabilization system not only reduces body roll when cornering, but also allows for more precise tuning of the cornering and load cycle properties. In addition, it increases ride comfort when driving in a straight line, through balancing out one-sided road bumps, for example. Body movements can be actively adapted to the driving status, which intensifies the driving experience.
Another benefit compared with the usual hydraulic-based systems is a significantly faster response. The AMG control system can adapt the driving status to the conditions in a matter of milliseconds.
AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution
The performance-oriented all-wheel drive system continuously ensures the best possible ratio of performance dynamics, high traction and efficiency. An electromechanically controlled clutch connects the permanently driven rear axle variably to the front axle. The best possible torque split is continuously computed according to the driving conditions and driver’s input. The transition from rear-wheel to all- wheel drive and vice versa is seamless, as the intelligent control is integrated into the overall vehicle system architecture. Alongside traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel drive also improves the longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration. Torque distribution is influenced by the driving speed, the lateral and longitudinal acceleration and the steering angle, and also the difference in rotational speed between the individual wheels and the gear selected.
The all-wheel drive is controlled depending on the selected stage of the 3-stage Electronic Stability Program ESP® – from sporty with a focus on safety to highly dynamic. The 4ETS dynamic handling control system further enhances handling safety and agility, in particular on slippery surfaces or on surfaces with different friction coefficients. It uses brake interventions to keep individual driven wheels from spinning when starting off or accelerating. At the same time the differential locking effect enables the drive torque to be shifted to the wheels that are not spinning.
More traction and improved dynamics: the locking differential
To further improve traction and driving situations, the GLE 63 S has a standard electronically controlled locking differential at the rear axle. Slip is suppressed at the inner wheel on turns, ensuring optimum grip and maximum handling safety. The driver is therefore able to accelerate out of corners earlier and with more power thanks to the improved traction. The vehicle remains more stable when braking from high speed, while the limited-slip differential also improves traction when accelerating from a standstill.
Direct and immediate: AMG speed-sensitive sports steering
The electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering has a variable ratio. It impresses with its precise feedback thanks to the AMG-specific rack-and-pinion steering with a variable ratio. The steering assistance is assigned to the various stages of the AMG DYNAMICS system. The configuration in “Basic” and “Advanced” is comfort-oriented. In “Pro” and “Master”, a configuration is programmed that supports a sporty driving style and provides more road feedback.
Good control and fade-resistant: the AMG high-performance braking systems
In line with the high engine output and its associated performance, the new GLE 63 S includes a large and highly-effective high-performance brake system. Featuring 6-piston fixed brake calipers and 16 x 1.5 inch brake discs at the front, plus single-piston floating brake calipers and 14.6 x 1.3 inch discs at the rear. The GLE 63 S also features red brake calipers.
As an option, a high-performance ceramic braking system with bronze-colored 6-piston fixed calipers at the front and single-piston floating brake calipers at the rear can be ordered, saving weight while also reducing unsprung mass. Further advantages include strong fading stability under high stress and a long operating life with particularly fast responses.
Fast and agile: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission is specially tuned to the requirements of the eight-cylinder engine in the GLE 63 S. Systematic hardware and software developments have made it possible to further optimize the reaction times. This improvement means that automatic and manual shift commands can be implemented more quickly than ever before. The extensively tailored software enables extremely short shift times and fast multiple downshifts, delivering an especially dynamic gearshifting experience thanks to the double-declutching function. Gear changes are performed with no interruption in tractive power. Dynamic acceleration and very short shift times are available, as well as a more fuel-efficient driving style – depending on the selected mode.
Highlights of the transmission:
- shift characteristics adapted to the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program
- in manual “M” mode the transmission responds directly to manual shift commands by the driver – the powertrain responds precisely and executes the commands almost instantly
- automatic double-declutching when downshifting: this effect is automatically active in drive programs “Sport”, “Sport+” and “RACE”
- the ECO start/stop function is automatically active in the “Comfort” drive program
- the “gliding” function can be individually activated in “Individual” mode
Driving pleasure to the power of seven: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT and AMG DYNAMICS
The seven DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs of Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, RACE, Trail and Sand enable a variety of driving experiences with a wide spread between maximum comfort and agile sportiness. The modes modify key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering.
- “Comfort”: comfortable and fuel-efficient driving, e.g. thanks to early upshifts. Suspension and steering are set up with an emphasis on comfort.
- “Sport”: Sporty characteristics thanks to more agile responses to accelerator pedal inputs, shorter shift times, earlier and more precise downshifts thanks to double-declutching. This mode also includes a more dynamic suspension setup.
- “Sport+”: extremely sporty characteristics thanks to an even quicker throttle response, double- declutching on downshifts and targeted torque interventions on upshifts with cylinder deactivation for optimized shift times. Increased idle speed for faster pulling away. An even more dynamic setup for suspension, steering and powertrain.
- “Individual”: individual adjustment of the drive system, transmission, AMG DYNAMICS, suspension and exhaust system. In addition, the gliding function is available in the “Reduced” and “Moderate” drive settings.
- “RACE”: This drive program is designed for highly dynamic driving on closed race circuits. In this program, all of the parameters are configured for maximum performance.
- “Trail”: safe driving at maximum performance on soft, muddy or slippery ground. The suspension is raised to a higher level (2.16 inches more ground clearance). From 44 mph the suspension is automatically lowered again.
- “Sand”: these adjustments to the suspension and the 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive are made for sporty driving on loose, sandy surfaces. The suspension is raised to a higher level (2.16 inches more ground clearance). From 44 mph the suspension is automatically lowered again.
The drive modes are linked to the AMG DYNAMICS agility control, which means that the handling characteristics can be closely matched with a variety of requirements and driving conditions. Behind the umbrella term AMG DYNAMICS are the agility functions “Basic”, “Advanced”, “Pro” and “Master”, whose functions are automatically selected by the respective drive program. Additionally there are the “Traction” and “Slide” levels in the off-road “Trail” and “Sand” drive programs when the ESP® is deactivated.
Parameters relevant to driving, such as the response of the engine and suspension or the control thresholds of the completely redeveloped ESP®, are intelligently adapted according to the drive program. The spectrum ranges from very stable and smooth to highly dynamic. The “Master” mode stored in the RACE drive program ensures optimum agility and brings out the high driving dynamics potential to maximum effect — through higher yaw rates and a faster response from the accelerator pedal, gearshift system, rear axle steering, electronically controlled rear axle locking differential or brake force distribution of the all-wheel drive system.
Irrespective of the drive program, the driver can use the buttons in the center console or control on the steering wheel to directly select manual transmission mode, the favored suspension level and also the exhaust system setting, for example.
Exterior design – muscular and distinctive
The exterior design theme embodies sheer energy and Performance Luxury. The AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical louvers reaffirms a clear membership in the AMG model family, while the dynamic arrow-shape of the front section with its small approach angle emphasizes the distinctive proportions.
As a typical feature of AMG performance models, the front bumper features a dynamic A-wing design painted in the vehicle color and includes black air intakes. Imposing powerdomes in the hood and a front splitter in silver chrome also emphasize the sharper all-round design.
The side skirts, exterior mirror housings and flared wheel arches are painted in the vehicle color, and seamlessly blend into the muscular overall look. Different wheel/tire combinations cover a variety of driving requirements. The GLE 63 S comes with 21-inch wheels as standard. Other wheel variants with diameters from 21 to 22 inches are optionally available.
The newly designed rear bumper with AMG-specific details such as a striking diffuser and a trim strip in silver shadow visually accentuate the vehicle’s width. The special AMG exhaust system with two rectangular twin tailpipe trims and the distinctive roof spoiler round off the sporty look.
Further sporty design options are available with the AMG Night package. This includes the front splitter, front and rear bumper trim, inserts in the side skirts, mirror caps and window frames in distinctive black. The twin tailpipe trim elements are also finished in black chrome.
Interior design – progressive elegance and robust ambience
The high-quality interior is characterized by a sporty ambience with a dynamic and exclusive touch. The standard AMG seats are upholstered in Exclusive Nappa Leather, provide optimized lateral support and have an AMG-specific seat pattern layout with an “AMG” badge in the front backrests. Exclusive nappa leather with a crystal grey seat band and crystal grey contrast topstitching, along with seat belts in dignified crystal grey is optionally available. Other available interior choices include: leather variants in black, black/truffle brown and black/red pepper. Individually adjustable 64-color ambient lighting is equipped as standard.
AMG-specific interior appointments and controls provide a hallmark AMG atmosphere and support sporty, precise handling. The latest generation, three-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel with aluminum shift paddles impresses with its optimized driver-oriented ergonomics. The steering wheel rim is lined in nappa leather/DINAMICA and features a black 12-o’clock marking. Further options include AMG Drive Unit steering wheel buttons for quick operation of settings related to the driving-dynamics.
The center console has an AMG-specific control panel with additional switches, which can adjust the 3-stage ESP®, manual transmission mode, the adaptive damping adjustment, the standard AMG Performance exhaust system and the suspension level.
Alongside the AMG brushed stainless steel sport pedals, door sill panels and black floor mats with “AMG” lettering further accentuate the sporty look. A wide range of high-quality interior trim elements is available for further individualization of the interior. AMG trim elements in carbon fiber lend a particularly sporty and exclusive touch to the interior.
Featuring AMG-specific displays: the MBUX infotainment system
The innovative MBUX control and display concept in the new GLE 63 S creates an even closer bond between vehicle, driver and passengers. At the same time, the latest version of the infotainment system contributes to great day-to-day practicality. Vibrant displays such as the particularly striking Supersport mode with a central rev counter and 3D-look scales lend visual depth to the instrument display.
Whether it’s operated with the touchpad, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control or gesture control: the control concept is both versatile and flexible. Thanks to the innovative voice control – activated with the keyword “Hey Mercedes” – the AI software recognizes and understands practically all commands common in infotainment and vehicle control – even when spoken indirectly.
With the four AMG-specific display styles “Modern Classic”, “Sporty”, “Discreet” or “Supersport”, the vehicle functions are directly visualized on the instrument cluster on the left side and on the touchscreen display on the right. Visually, the two displays connect under one shared glass cover and blend into a Widescreen Cockpit.
In the “Supersport” mode, there is extensive additional information specific to AMG, such as a prompt borrowed from the world of motorsport to shift up in manual transmission mode. Via the AMG menu, the driver can call up various special displays:
- Gear display – with yellow “M” symbol in manual mode
- Warm-Up menu – engine and transmission oil temperature
- Set-Up menu – AMG DYNAMIC SELECT settings
- G-Meter – longitudinal and lateral acceleration forces
- Race-Timer – stopwatch, lap and sector times
- Engine data – output and torque, engine oil and transmission oil temperature
The newly designed visualizations in the multimedia display enable select vehicle functions to be experienced in new ways, including an animated presentation of the driving assistance, vehicle and communication systems, as well as the drive programs. When the AMG-specific DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs “Trail” and “Sand” are activated, off-road-specific settings such as gradient, incline and differential lock can be selected and displayed in the media display.
Increased comfort is assured by the optional ENERGIZING package Plus. It bundles many premium equipment items and includes: multi-contour seats for the driver and front passenger, seat climate control for the driver and front passenger (with seat heating and seat ventilation), the Warmth and Comfort package, the AIR-BALANCE package (fragrances, ionization and air purification) and six ENERGIZING Comfort programs as well as the ENERGIZING COACH for intelligent pre-selection of ENERGIZING Comfort programs to suit the driving situation and the driver’s condition. Also on board: ambient lighting with program-specific lighting moods.
Comfort and support while driving: Driving Assistance
The optional Driving Assistance package supports the driver on a situational basis, with speed adaptation, steering, lane changes and even when there is a risk of collision.
Components include Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Speed Limit Assist, extended automatic restart on motorways, speed adjustment based on the route, Active Steering Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Emergency Lane Function; Active Brake Assist, Cornering and Cross-Traffic Function, End of Traffic Emergency Brake Function, Evasive Steering Assist; Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Exit Warning Function; PRE-SAFE® PLUS, Traffic Sign Assist, Active Stop-and-Go Assist, and PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side.
Technical data at a glance
|2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S
|4.0-liter V8 with twin turbocharging and integrated EQ Boost starter-generator
|603 hp at 5750-6500 rpm
+ up to 21 hp from EQ Boost
|627 lb-ft at 2500-4500 rpm
+ up to 184 lb-ft from EQ Boost
|Drive system layout
|AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel
drive with fully variable torque distribution
|AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission
|Acceleration 0-60 mph
|3.7 s est.
|174 mph* (electronically limited)