IT'S the Frankfurt motor show in a couple of weeks' time and Germany's big-name prestige car makers are lining up for a battle royal with a string of new and improved models.
First into the fray in July were BMW with the announcement that the latest version of its X6 sports activity coupe would be the star of its Frankfurt show stand.
Not to be outdone, Mercedes-Benz has revealed that new versions of its direct competitor to the X6, the GLE Coupe, will be premiered at Frankfurt in both standard and sporting AMG configurations.
The revamped exterior design is more coupe-like and sporty than before and provides improved aerodynamics with a nine per cent reduction in wind resistance. The AMG version gets a special radiator treatment with 15 vertical fins.
The new models are longer, wider and have a marginally longer wheelbase than the previous GLE Coupe and, according to Mercedes, offer "tangibly more room" than their predecessors.
At launch next year, the standard model will offer a choice of two six-cylinder diesels engines with outputs of either 272hp or330hp mated to a nine-speed auto transmission and 4-Matic all wheel drive. A low-emission plug-in hybrid version is in development for both SUV and Coupe versions of the GLE, say Mercedes.
The AMG version - branded the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe - will initially only be available with a twin-turbo, six-cylinder, petrol engine with mild hybrid technology and with AMG's own speedshift version of the nine speed auto box transferring power to the four driven wheels. It will come with enhanced dynamic systems and drive programmes
As yet, Mercedes in the UK are giving no indications of prices and specifications for British buyers, but say that the new GLE Coupe models will arrive at dealerships in spring next year.