Mercedes-Benz GLE550e

Mercedes-Benz GLE550e Plug-In Hybrid SUV

Many consumers are expecting something new in the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE, but it’s actually the same sport utility vehicle we used to know as the Mercedes-Benz M-Class with a new name tag. The company has officially released details on the full range of 2016 GLE models, including Mercedes’ first-ever plug-in hybrid SUV, which will be known as the GLE 550e.

Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e

This new plug-in hybrid is the third of its kind in the range, after the C 350e and the S 550 Plug-In Hybrid (on sale in California). The auto maker has yet to release U.S. ratings for the plug-in GLE’s fuel efficiency or electric range. However, on the more lenient New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) it gets up to 18.6 miles of all-electric range.

The powertrain of the 550e combines a 329 horsepower V-6 gasoline engine with a 114 horsepower electric motor for a combined 436 horsepower. The electric motor draws its energy from a rechargeable 8.8-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery. Maximum torque is a considerable 479 pounds/feet.

The GLE 500e is also equipped with an adaptive version of Mercedes’ seven-speed automatic transmission. Drivers can alternate between four different driving modes to either maximize the electric range or preserve it for later. This powertrain combination is similar to the one used in the plug-in hybrid S-Class sedan, but the smaller C 350e pairs the electric motor with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine instead.

Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e

The four driving modes include Hybrid mode (which is the default), E-Save (conserves battery charge for later use), E-Mode (provides all-electric driving up to 81 miles per hour), and Charge (uses the engine to charge the battery). Charge mode is not an efficient way to charge the battery, but it is convenient and will allow you to travel on all-electric power later in your trip.

Safety is always a top priority for Mercedes-Benz, and they’ve shown that once again in the GLE 550e. The company’s Collision Prevention Assist Plus, a forward collision warning system with automatic braking, is standard. Likewise, typical of other new Mercedes vehicles, the GLE-Class offers many semiautonomous driving systems including pedestrian detection and automatic braking, all-speed adaptive cruise control, and active steering with blind spot intervention and lane keeping. Active parking assist and around-view cameras are also optional.

Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e

The Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e is expected to go on sale in September, about a month after the launch of the rest of the new GLE-Class models. Mercedes-Benz has not released pricing figures as of today, so check back on the official website here.

 

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