More proof you can call anything a coupe

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(January 1, 2015) Now that BMW has the X4 and X6 in its SUV coupe lineup, Mercedes comes along with a crossover coupe of its own, the GLE Coupe. Set to debut at the 2015 Detroit show, the GLE line will be headed by the GLE Coupe AMG 4Matic, which features a twin-turbo V6 producing 362 horsepower and 384 lb.-ft. of torque, and sends power to the wheels through a nine-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. To improve vehicle dynamics, the torque split is almost the exact opposite of the weight distribution at 40:60.

As you might expect, there are five dynamic modes (Individual, Comfort, Slippery, Sport and Sport+) that can be selected by a a rotary control on the center console. Programming alters settings for the chassis, suspension, steering and powertrain, but also affects the engine note and sound level, instrumentation, and dynamic control of the driving lights.

Mercedes has paired its Airmatic air suspension with continuously variable damping (ADS) for the first time. Current conditions are determined by reading the steering angle sensor, the four turning angle sensors, the brake pedal switch and the stability system controller.

These inputs are used to determine the damper force adjustment for each wheel based on the drive mode chosen. The active anti-roll bars compensate for bumps and potholes, and when Sport or Sport+ is chosen, the roll stabilization program is altered.

Standard equipment on the GLE includes Mercedes’ dynamic handling control system (Dynamic Select), a power tailgate, a reversing camera with dynamic guide lines, electronic stability control, Curve Dynamic Assist, Crosswind Assist, Collision Prevention Assist Plus, and the radar-based brake assist system BAS Plus. Cross-Traffic Assist is in option.

To this the AMG version adds the Airmatic and ADS, specific front and rear fascias, a body color rear spoiler, 275/45 R-21 (front) and 315/40/R-21 (rear) tires on AMG wheels. Larger 285/40R-22 front and 325/35R-22 tires are available as an option. LED headlamps are standard on all models.

Ordering the Driver Assistance package adds the radar-based Distronic Plus cruise control with Steering Assist, Pre-Safe Brake with pedestrian detection, the radar-based BAS Plus braking system with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Pre-Safe Plus. Order the Parking package, and you get 360-degree camera coverage, and Active Parking Assist with Parktronic. You can even order the subtly named Magic Vision Control; a heated, adaptive windshield wiper system.

Currently unavailable is Paytronic to help you make the monthly payment.

The Virtual Driver