Mercedes-Benz Launches Its First Plug-In SUV As GLE550e

As promised last week, Mercedes-Benz is introducing a plug-in version of its SUV GLE.

Billed as the GLE550e 4MATIC, this marks the first hybrid SUV from the German car company. It will be on display at the New York International Auto Show next month alongside its siblings, the diesel GLE300d and the high-performance AMG GLE63 4MATIC and AMG GLE63 S 4MATIC.

2016 GLE – Euro Spec

The GLE550e is part of Mercedes initiative to hybridize 10 models in the next two years, using a setup that the company said can easily transfer from its sedan classes to its SUVs.

The electric portion of the GLE550e includes a 114-horsepower electric module that is built into the seven-speed automatic transmission. Energy is stored in an 8.8-kilowatt hours lithium-ion battery, giving the SUV an all-electric range of 18.6 miles.

SEE ALSO: Mercedes-Benz To Release 10 New Plug-Ins By 2017

“In addition to impressive acceleration thanks to the boost function, the innovative system drive also offers all-electric driving at speeds up to 81 mph, optimized energy recovery thanks to the intelligent operating strategy and comfort functions such as pre-entry climate control in summer and winter,” Mercedes said.

Paired with a twin-turbo, direct injection V6, the GLE550e has a total output of 436 horsepower and 354 pounds-feet of torque. Fuel economy has not yet been rated for this powertrain.

2016 GLE – Euro Spec

The release of this new plug-in accompanies a redesign of the GLE, which Mercedes once badged as the ML series. The SUV series boasts new styling on the front and tail ends, in addition to the drivetrain and emissions upgrades.

“The advantages of the new GLE furthermore include best on-road and off-road handling, outstanding spaciousness and high levels of active and passive safety,” said Mercedes.

2016 GLE – Euro Spec

Standard driver’s assistance sytems installed on the GLE include Crosswind Assist, Collission Prevention Assist and Dynamic Select.

After pulling up Dynamic Select on the GLE’s console, drivers can choose from six different settings to customize handling: individual, comfort, slippery and sport are for street driving. The offroad and offroad+ settings, available with an optional package, improve traction through gear reduction and an interaxle differential lock.