Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
3 minute read
14 Oct 2015
8:00 pm

Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S is king

Mark Jones

BMW might have invented this segment with their X6, but it is the Mercedes-Benz AMG that is looking to own it with their just launched bad-ass R1 859 000 GLE 63 S Coupe.

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S Coupe is king of the coupe segment. Picture: Supplied

I say this because, while this segment is largely pointless – other than to brag to your friends – it is the AMG that got all the compliments while nobody really noticed the X6 when I had it. So what is a GLE 63 S Coupe? In the words of Mercedes-AMG, it is a vehicle that combines the sportiness of a coupe with the strengths of a SUV. Offering high agility, distinctive engine sound and typical sports car acceleration are united with poise and assurance, tremendous pulling power and perfect traction.

The prerequisites for a highly dynamic on-road driving experience come courtesy of the suspension, which has been systematically designed for a sporty performance. The high-performance SUV coupe comes with the AMG Ride Control sports suspension with active roll stabilisation, Active Curve System and the Sports Direct-Steer system.

The 4Matic all-wheel drive with rear-biased power distribution and the Dynamic Select transmission modes promise to deliver AMG driving performance. And it does so in spades!

The Mercedes-Benz  AMG GLE 63 S Coupe is king of the coupe segment. Picture: Supplied

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S Coupe is king of the coupe segment. Picture: Supplied

The wide choice of different worlds of experience is based, among other things, on the Dynamic Select transmission modes just mentioned, which for the first time permit such a wide spread of driving dynamics – from “Slippery” to “Individual”, “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport Plus” – which you are able to select using a rotary control on the centre console.

Not that I see too many GLE 63 S Coupe owners really venturing far off the beaten track: at least if you do, you know you should get to the other side without too much fuss. But where the 63 gets going with a capital S is on the road.

The 430kW/760Nm AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine gets the two ton vehicle to 100km/h in just 4.71 seconds, crosses the quarter mile in a quick 12.99 seconds, and hits the 1km mark at 228.27km/h, while only electronically stopping at 280.34km/h, thanks to the R34 250 optional extra AMG Driver’s Package fitted.

Obviously, you would be fooling yourself if you thought you would get down to the claimed fuel consumption figure of 11.9 litres/100km. It is just not feasible in the real world, and making use of all the AMG power is too tempting to behave all the time. So expect a far more realistic 16-plus litres per 100km in general everyday use.

The Mercedes-Benz  AMG GLE 63 S Coupe is king of the coupe segment. Picture: Supplied

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S Coupe is king of the coupe segment. Picture: Supplied

The higher-powered GLE 63 S Coupe also offers a few added benefits in the interior, such as the performance steering wheel covered in Dinamica microfibre. The instrument cluster features sporty fine red scale graduations around the speedometer and rev counter and a grey decorative band. Your passengers are accommodated on high-grade exclusive nappa leather upholstery. AMG medallions in the head restraints lend the interior a special, luxurious note. Set against black interior appointments, the grey seat belts and grey contrasting topstitching produce a nice touch.

I have to say it: if I were shopping in this specific segment, I would take the GLE 63 S Coupe over the X6 M. This segment is about showing off – and the AMG does that better.