Automakers usually announce new models at auto shows because there are lots of microphones, podiums, stages, rotating platforms, rivals, reporters and drink tickets. Last week, however, Mercedes-Benz elected to skip all that by debuting the GLE Coupe online in the middle of December, as far away from auto shows as possible.
The GLE Coupe is a medium-sized SUV that hovers between car and truck. The headline to the announcement was, “a sportier choice,” and as one article pointed out, the word “sporty” was used 53 times in the press release. Leanness, athleticism and versatility are clearly supposed to be the virtues of the GLE Coupe.
It’s also the first model to utilize Mercedes-Benz’ new AMG® Sport Trim, a halfway measure between full AMG® and regular modes. Choosing the GLE 450 AMG® will gift drivers with a biturbo V6 engine which offers the performance that the AMG® badge represents.
Looking at the rear of the GLE Coupe, we can see similarities to the AMG® GT, another coupe from Mercedes-Benz that attracted attention this year (it was known for its bright yellow color). The GLE Coupe sits high off the ground, aided by tires that are definitely overkill for urban roads.
Where exactly does one drive a sporty SUV? Next to other sporty SUVs, we suppose. Perhaps they all drive together in packs, showing carbon fiber this and suede alcantara that. As murky as its ideal environment might be, Mercedes-Benz is betting that looks will trump everything else.
The press photos put it in a subdued, mature shade of red. Chunky alloy tires, quad-exhaust tailpipes and the prominent silver star cloy for attention with the subtlety of an all-caps tweet from Patton Oswalt. The 2016 GLE Coupe will arrive in showrooms next year, exact date to be determined.
In the meantime, if you’re in Durham and looking for a Mercedes, we would be delighted to make your acquaintance.