It’s a five-door derivative of the GLE-Class SUV – itself, a mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle.
Launched this summer, the Mercedes-Benz GLE coupé is being hailed by the company as a trailblazer with the younger demographic squarely in its sights.
Gorden Wagener, head of design at Daimler AG, said: ‘The GLE coupé faithfully follows our iconic Mercedes-Benz coupé design idiom – enhanced by styling features from the SUV sector. With its extreme proportions it embodies sensual clarity and represents modern luxury plus superior sportiness.’
And Professor Dr Thomas Weber, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, said: ‘Our GLE coupé combines typical coupé attributes such as sportiness, dynamism and agility with the self-assured presence, versatility and ruggedness of an SUV.’
The sporty nature of a coupé predominates, rather than the distinctive lines of a pure off-roader. With its flowing side contour plus striking radiator grille with central chrome louvre and rear end design, the GLE coupé cites styling features typical of particularly sporty Mercedes-Benz models.
And the coupé feels very sporty right from the word go. Despite the similarity to an SUV with its raised seating position and an all-round view that is expansive for a coupé, occupants are led to believe they are in sports rather than off-road mode. The sound is reminiscent of a sports car, and combined with the spontaneous and direct response to all commands provides an emotional driving experience.
But has Mercedes-Benz turned an SUV into a coupé or vice versa? In a Q&A, Axel Heix, product manager for Mercedes SUVs, said: ‘The starting point was really from both sides and to try to combine these worlds together. It’s not just one or the other; it is both combined.’