The standard GLE is a good-looking and well-proportioned SUV; the AMG version adds a dash more tabasco. Starting at the front, there’s a meaty AMG grille with its vertical louvres, above a front apron in a jet-wing design flanked by two massive black air intakes. The bonnet’s powerdomes hint at the power beneath, while the side skirts, exterior mirror housings and flared wheel arches are finished in body colour. At the rear there’s a roof spoiler and a sporty diffuser with a trim strip in silver shadow that accentuates the impression of width. The 22" AMG cross-spoke light-alloy wheels are matt black with contrasting high-sheen rim flanges. The optional Night Package includes heat-insulating, dark-tinted windows and gloss black finish on the front splitter, front and rear apron trim, mirror caps and window frames.


It’s all change at AMG with a new flagship engine; a high-tech biturbo V8 of 4.0-litres capacity that develops 612 metric horsepower, augmented by an integrated EQ Boost starter-alternator. This combines the functions of a starter motor and an alternator in a single, powerful electric motor, integrated between the engine and the transmission. It can contribute an extra 22 hp of output plus 250 Nm of torque, making a total peak torque figure of 850Nm. As well as boosting full-throttle acceleration, the EQ Boost also intervenes to let the vehicle ‘glide’ at cruising speeds, or smoothly restarting when in start/stop mode. Vital statistics for the GLE 63 S include a 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds and electronically governed top speed of 175mph. Harnessing that immense power is a nine-speed AMG Speedshift TCT 9G transmission and AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution; rear-drive is permanently engaged, while the front axle is only driven when required. Air suspension with a 48-volt Active Ride Control damping system reduces body roll while delivering a precise handling and a supple ride.


The standard Driving Assistance package includes multiple active safety measures, including Active Distance Assist when in cruise control, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist and Emergency Lane Function. The optional Driving Assistance Plus package includes Active Stop-and-Go Assist and PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side for additional protection in the event of a side collision.


Unique features of the Mercedes-AMG 63 S 4MATIC+ include AMG seats in nappa leather and a new AMG Performance steering wheel trimmed in leather and Dinamica microfibre. Twin 12.3-inch instrumentation and infotainment displays are both housed under a single, widescreen glass cover; the choice of displays includes Modern Classic, Sporty, Discreet and the AMG Supersport screen, which has a central rev counter flanked by 3D supplementary data. Selectable drive programmes include Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, RACE, Trail and Sand. 64-colour Ambient lighting and a Memory package come as standard.