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evo India|October 2020
Mercedes-Benz debuts the 53 line of cars in India with the GLE 53 Coupe, and it packs plenty of go-faster tech we have never seen on an AMG
AATISH MISHRA

FIFTY-THREE. IT DOESN’T ROLL OFF THE tongue as easily as Sixty-Three does. But that’s irrelevant since the 53 range of AMGs isn’t trying to step on the 63’s toes. Instead, it comes in as a replacement for the 43s! “Lovely,” I hear you say, “A bigger number must mean a bigger engine.” Wrong. Trust the Germans to be so obtuse with their nomenclature — what the 53 really means is that Mercedes-Benz has switched these mid-range AMGs from 3-litre V6 engines to 3-litre inline sixes and have added a mild hybrid system for good measure. It’s more a sideways step than upwards. And the first 53 car is finally here — the GLE 53 Coupe.

This SUV really grabs eyeballs! We had the bright blue BMW X6 in tow, but people seemed to be gawking and craning their necks only for the GLE. That Panamerica grille looks large enough (and mean enough) to swallow a small child, and the power bulge combined with the gaping vents makes it all suitably aggressive. The GLE 53 Coupe is longer and wider than the 43 Coupe it replaces, but it is still a good 60mm shorter than the regular GLE SUV (which sits on a longer wheelbase, as Mercedes is at pains to tell you). You can tell when you look at it in profile, though I suspect that the compactness is exaggerated by how the sloping roofline tightens up the whole design. I find the ducktail-like bootlip particularly tasty, a nice touch to end that single line that has been drawn back from the A-pillar. SUV Coupes aren’t beautiful in the traditional sense, but on the GLE, you do stand back and appreciate how these two different body styles have been forcefully married together. The insides have been brought up-to-date as well. The new MBUX system with the twin screens uplifts the cabin, doing away with the button-infested centre console from the last-gen GLE. The new steering-mounted drive mode selectors make an appearance too. I first saw them in the 4-door GT 63 S and thought that this feature would be restricted to just the 63s, but it seems to be trickling down through the rest of the AMG range as well!

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