By Mike Torpey on 2015-03-26 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Style and efficiency
for Merc SUV
THE latest version of Mercedes' most popular SUV will hit UK streets this summer.
The GLE, which used to be called the M-Class, has been fully revised with a more stylish profile and now boasts lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions - some 17 per cent better than the previous model.
And for the first time in an SUV, the premium brand is offering a plug-in hybrid model, the GLE 500 e 4MATIC, capable of bettering efficiency champion the GLE 250d while delivering the performance of a V8.
There will also be a new high-performance variant, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC.
Mercedes says that outstanding safety and a high level of driving dynamics both on and off-road are among the other strengths of the GLE, along with ground-breaking assistance systems, a nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission and the company's Dynamic Select handling control system.
Among the engine line-up is the 204bhp GLE 250d four-cylinder diesel boasting an all-time low fuel consumption for the class of vehicles.
In fact it is the world's first production full-size SUV with conventional drive that emits 140g/km of CO2/km, the equivalent of 52.3mpg.
And a system output of 442bhp in the GLE 500 e 4MATIC plug-in hybrid ensures emissions of just 78g/km and 85.6mpg, while capable of up to 18.5 miles in all-electric driving.
The M-Class lays claim to establishing the premium SUV scene when it was originally launched back in 1997 and since then has been one of the most successful models in the world.
With the newcomer, Mercedes expects to pass the 1.6 million worldwide sales mark.
Mercedes-AMG GmbH chief Tobias Moers said: "With the new GLE 63 and seven additional performance SUV models from the GLA 45 AMG to the G 65 AMG, Mercedes-AMG is in an extremely strong and very confident position."
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