Mercedes-Benz’s new BMW X5-challenger, the GLE, has become the latest model to receive Mercedes-AMG GmbH “diet-AMG” treatment with the GLE 450 AMG 4MATIC.
Powering the GLE 450 is the same 367hp/520Nm 3-litre biturbo V6 engine you might otherwise find in the other two “AMG sports models”, the GLE 450 AMG Coupé and C450 AMG. Like its coupé cousin, the GLE 450 also gets Mercedes-Benz’s 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission, and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive with a torque split of 40:60 to the front and rear axle.
Despite having an upright body, the GLE 450 gets from 0 to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds, and is capable of a 250km/h top speed, similar figures to that of the Coupé.
As befit its status as the sportier offering in the GLE line-up, the GLE 450 AMG comes with neat design touches such as the two chromed twin tailpipes, black-painted and high-sheen 20-inch 5-spoke alloy rims, and black and silver chrome to ensure that it stands out from the regular GLE. Inside the GLE 450 gets nappa leather flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, while the cabin features AMG carbon-fibre/black piano lacquer trim combined with aluminium trim, and brushed stainless steel sport pedals.
Settings for all sorts of Conditions The GLE 450 gets five selected drive programmes ‘Individual’, ‘Comfort’, ‘Slippery’, ‘Sport’, and ‘Sport Plus’ for drivers to adjust the vehicle parameters such as throttle response, load development, transmission switch points and shift speeds, chassis, steering, engine sound, and instrumentation.
While ‘Sport’, ‘Sport Plus’, and ‘Comfort’ are in its self, pretty descriptive of the adjustments it would bring, the ‘Slippery’ mode on the other hand optimises the GLE 450’s handling on low friction surfaces such as snow or ice. ‘Individual’ on the other hand allows drivers to store personal preferences in individual setting parameters.
GLE 450 Specific 4MATICAccording to Mercedes-AMG, the standard-fit 4MATIC system has been specifically designed for use in the GLE 450 to suit its performance-oriented use. The system has also been fitted with a specific AMG rear axle transmission with a shorter 3.47:1 ratio.
Set to a rear-biased configuration to deliver improved ‘lateral dynamics’, the 4MATIC works in tandem with the vehicle’s adapted acceleration skid control (ASR), the ESP with Curve Dynamic Assist and its 4ETS all-wheel drive control system.
Sharpened up Chassis and SteeringThe GLE 450 comes standard with the AIRMATIC package, which includes air suspension, ADS Plus variable adaptive damping system, and automatic level control. The damping system can be adjusted from one of the five drive programmes, and automatically adjusts the damping forces to each wheel with information on current operating conditions fed from the vehicle’s steering angle sensor, four turning angle sensors, driving speed from the ESP signal, and the brake pedal. Should the ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus’ drive programme be selected, the AIRMATIC system will drop the ride height by 15mm.
Aside from the suspension package, the GLE 450 is specified with the Sport Direct-Steer system, which offers a quicker steering ratio at 17.4:1. Fitted with a smaller sports steering wheel, the steering system is expected to bring heightened and sharper responses to the GLE 450.
Complete with Advanced Safety FeaturesThough cantered towards a sportier disposition, the GLE 450 AMG isn’t complete without its complement of safety systems as standard. The list of features that comes as standard in the GLE 450 AMG include Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Adaptive Brake, Attention Assist, Pre-Safe, Crosswind Alert, and a Tyre Pressure monitoring system.