Off-roaders have gone from being boxy beasts to sleek and sophisticated high-rise machines. The latest 4×4 attempting to blend the stylish lines of a coupe with the stance and scale of an off-roader comes from Mercedes, with the company attempting to attract younger buyers.
The German company is lining up to take on the BMW X6 with its new coupe-style off-roader, the GLE Coupe, which aims to offer those wanting an SUV a dose of extra style and a more sporty drive.
The new car is based on the M-Class off-roader, which will be rechristened the GLE and is due for a facelift at the start of 2015. The new GLE Coupe is set to cost around £10,000 more than the equivalent GLE when it goes on sale in June, reports Autocar.
The new car will be available from launch with three powerful engines – one diesel motor and two petrol units, all of which are mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox and permanent four-wheel drive. The company has re-engineered the GLE for sharper handling with updated suspension and altered driving modes.
The range-topping GLE450 AMG will feature a twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol motor, which produces a substantial 362bhp and should offer rapid acceleration. The driving experience can also be adjusted from racy and sporty to smooth and comfortable. An even more powerful GLE63 AMG version with more than 500bhp on tap is also on the cards. However, the diesel still produces 254bhp, meaning that it should be more than fast enough for most customers’ needs, though performance figures are yet to be released.
Mercedes claims that this new car gives the feel of a true sports car, despite its hefty dimensions, SUV scale and raised seating position. The company is also set to introduce the GLC, a smaller SUV based on the C-Class saloon, by the end of next year.