It’s no secret that I am not a fan of the current Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe design, previously congratulating it as the “new ugliest of all crossover coupes.” The look is back with the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe, which at least comes with more power.
Where the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe only made a measly 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque from its 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine paired with a mild hybrid motor generator, this new 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe, that’s 10 more with an “S,” makes up to 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque from a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 paired with a similar mild hybrid setup.
It has a claimed top speed of 173 mph and a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.7 seconds, with a nine-speed automatic transmission paired with all-wheel drive, with a permanently-driven rear axle and an electromechanically controlled clutch shifting power “seamlessly” to the front axle as needed. There’s also a locking rear differential, minimizing wheel slip in the corners for better handling such a big ugly beast.
There’s also a very expensive-sounding air suspension system with active dampening and three different ride comfort modes, supposedly keeping the ride height continuously level regardless of the variable road surface below.
So it is certainly quick, but I still don’t like how it looks. The taillights look like cheap stickers not even fit for NASCAR that are perpetually in a state of sliding off the awkwardly hunched deck lid. Even a significant margin of contrasting plastic cladding around the lower perimeter of the wagon is not enough to prevent it from resembling a classroom dry-erase board from the profile view.
And the face! It’s essentially unchanged from the earliest GLE coupes from back in 2016, with next to zero visible cohesion in the shapes of the headlights, which are too small, the grille, and the lower wishbone intake, which is only functional at its corners despite taking up almost half the fascia design.
The interior is really nice, though, if a little overboard with the carbon fiber trim.
Logic and reason would lead those remotely interested in this naturally to the non-Coupe version, which will likely have all the same performance but not look like a sick cat, and it’s also available with a third row that won’t require decapitation.