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The Mercedes-AMG GLS and GLE 63 have gone hybrid…
… but only so they can make over 600bhp. Hurrah!
What’s that? You’ve not had enough of all these uber-fast, uber-massive SUVs? Great news, because here are two more from the folks at Mercedes-AMG.
Both the GLE 63S 4MATIC+ and its bigger brother, the GLS 63 4MATIC+, feature AMG’s stonking 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 with 603bhp and 627lb ft, but they’re also both supplemented by a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system that Mercedes is calling EQ Boost.
This starter/alternator system can provide an extra 21bhp and 184lb ft of torque on demand, as well as performing a whole host of other hybrid functions like commanding the start/stop. It’s also surely something we’ll start to see in the rest of AMG’s performance cars that aren’t SUVs.
Despite their heft, though, both the GLE 63S (there will be a non-S but that won’t arrive on UK shores) and the GLS 63 are monstrously fast. The seven-seat GLS manages 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 155mph, whilst the slightly smaller GLE does the sprint in 3.8 seconds and will head on to 174mph. Crikey.
Both feature the same nine-speed automatic gearboxes, air suspension and fully-variable all-wheel drive systems that can send torque to where it’s needed most. Plus, the now-signature AMG grille and a few other flared pieces of bodywork help them to stand out from their standard siblings.
There are seven driving modes in each, with ‘Trail’ and ‘Sand’ giving a 55mm lift in ride height – not that they’ll ever be taken off road of course. On road, the active ride control should keep things stable when you get an inevitable lick on. You can even spec optional ceramic brakes on the GLE.
The interiors are classic modern-Merc, but both get an AMG steering wheel and some optional carbon fibre to remind you you’re in a ‘performance SUV’ – shudder.
Still, how do we feel about hybrid AMGs people?