After more than a year of appearing in spy photos, Mercedes-Benz has given us our first official taste of what’s to come from the redesigned 2019 GLE-Class. Sporting a new — but still reassuringly familiar — front end and some fancy-looking LED headlights, Mercedes-Benz has provided us with a three-second clip of the GLE flashing those headlights, which you can see above.
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Other outlets have been lucky enough to drive some near-production prototypes and get hints of what’s to come. What’s most interesting about the upcoming GLE is that, despite the rarity with which owners of any luxury SUV take their vehicle on tough terrain, Mercedes-Benz wanted to increase the GLE’s off-road capabilities in the hopes of poaching sales from Land Rover.
To that end, there are reports that the new GLE will feature updated Active Body Control and an “Off-Road Plus” setting that increases the ride height almost 2 inches. A two-speed transfer case will be optional. If this sounds like Stuttgart is building a baby G-Wagen to you, well, the new GLE wouldn’t quite be there yet — but it sure seems to be heading in that direction.
Electrification also is expected to play a significant role in the new GLE lineup, with a 53-series mild-hybrid AMG model as well as more-pedestrian versions. For those who want fast SUVs for whatever reason, really, a bananas AMG 63 version should follow sometime after sales begin. The “coupe” versions of the GLE will most likely receive near-identical redesigns following the new GLE’s debut, instead of being relegated to history as ugly mistakes as they deserve … but I digress.
Reports suggest that the new GLE will make its full debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, so expect more details closer to the show’s press days Oct. 2-3.
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