2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 And 63 S Are Here To Give BMW’s X5 M Headaches

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 and 63 S are the direct descendants of the original ML 55. However, while the latter featured a 342 HP V8 engine, these newest iterations produce 563 HP (571 PS) and 603 HP (612 PS) respectively.

Their 4.0-liter V8 biturbo unit also works alongside with the EQ Boost starter-alternator, delivering an additional 22 HP (16 kW) to go with a 48-volt on-board electrical system. Other goodies include the TCT 9G transmission, all-wheel drive, adaptive damping and active roll stabilization.

Quit stalling, is it quicker than an X5 M?

The GLE 63 packs 563 HP (571 PS) and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) of torque, while the S variant puts down 603 HP (612 PS) and 850 Nm (627 lb-ft), with the aid of the 9-speed automatic and 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. In a straight line, the base 63 will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.0 seconds flat, whereas the S needs just 3.8 seconds.

These acceleration figures are near identical to those of the BMW X5 M and X5 M Competition, which pack more oomph at 592 HP (600 PS) and 617 HP (625 PS) respectively, with 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) of torque apiece, completing the sprint in 3.9 and 3.8 sec respectively.

As for top speed, the quickest GLE you can buy will max out at 280 km/h (174 mph), slightly slower than the X5 M when fitted with the M Driver’s package (180 mph).

Related: Driven – 2020 Mercedes GLE 450 4MATIC Is A Cure For Your Bentayga Blues

In terms of looks, the GLE 63 family gains an AMG-specific grille, imposing power domes in the hood, front splitter, side skirts, vehicle-color flared wheel arches and large AMG wheels (20-inches for the GLE 63 and 21-inches for the 63 S). At the back, there’s a new rear apron with AMG-specific details such as the silver shadow trim strip, but also the AMG exhaust and a roof edge spoiler.

Inside, you get AMG seats in nappa leather, AMG badges, ambient lighting as standard, a performance steering wheel with aluminum shift paddles, AMG-specific control panel for the center console, stainless steel sports pedals, door sill panels and black floor mats with AMG lettering. It’s worth noting that the steering wheel features a black nappa leather rim in the GLE 63 model and a nappa leather / Dinamica microfibre design in the S variant.

Other tech features include the latest MBUX infotainment system with dual screens (and specific AMG displays), AMG-specific Dynamic Select drive programs, the optional Energizing package Plus, Warmth Comfort package, Air-Balance package and the Driving Assistance package.

There’s little chance you won’t feel perfectly safe with the following available driver aids: Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Speed Limit Assist, extended automatic restart on motorways, speed adjustment based on the route with End of Tailback Function, Active Steering Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Emergency Lane Function; Active Brake Assist, Cornering and Cross-Traffic Function, End of Tailback Emergency Brake Function, Evasive Steering Assist; Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Exit Warning Function; PRE-SAFE PLUS and Traffic Sign Assist.

Meanwhile, the Driving Assistance package Plus adds Active Stop-and-Go Assist, while the PRE-SAFE Impulse Side system can offer additional protection in the event of a side collision.

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