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Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 2015 Review

EXPERT RATING
7
Joshua Dowling road tests and reviews the 2015 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Monster coupe weighs more than two tonnes but beats Porsches to the speed limit.

It turns out you can get too much of a good thing.

On the one hand, the Mercedes-Benz GLE 63 AMG Coupe is an engineering marvel.

How the boffins in Germany can get a 2.2-tonne vehicle from rest to 100km/h faster than a Porsche boggles the mind.

But the GLE 63 AMG is fascinating for another reason: it gives me an insight into how ridiculous those high-riding utes must be to drive when equipped with oversized, monster truck tyres.

The GLE rides on massive 22-inch rims, with tyres wide enough — if they weren't made of rubber — to be used on a road roller.

They may look good in photos by filling the pumped-out wheelarches and creating what appears to be a full-size Hot Wheels toy. Just don't dare hit a bump or drive on a road that is not billiard-table smooth.

The GLE 63 AMG almost defies physics, such is its power and level of grip

On Australia's worn-out roads, where heat and heavy trucks push the tarmac out of shape, the Mercedes GLE 63 AMG can make you feel you're swinging from side to side, as on a giant twisty water slide.

This clearly falls into the #firstworldproblem category but I reckon the boffins back in Germany would be horrified if they knew how much their latest creation "walks around" on our back roads.

It's a tragedy because when the surface is brand new, the GLE 63 AMG almost defies physics, such is its power and level of grip.

This is a car built by revheads for revheads. It even sounds better than other AMG models because the exhaust rumble, bark and crackle comes up through the boot floor.

But the most addictive aspect of this odd-looking machine — which costs more than the wagon variant even though it has less space and is less practical — is its raw acceleration.

I thought gym junkies and beefcakes in their little brothers' singlets were somehow automatically attracted to big AMGs like this.

But it turns out the muscles are necessary to cope with the G-forces under acceleration.

The claimed time for the 0-100km/h spring is a blink-and-miss-it 4.2 seconds. This is in the same league as the Audi RS3 hot hatch — powered by half a Lamborghini V10 — which weighs about half as much as the big Benz.

Having driven the car, I still don't know how the AMG hot-shop does it.

But I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 which pumps out 430kW of power and 760Nm of torque.

There was a pleasant surprise, though: this car had no options other than metallic paint

The nine-speed auto and all-wheel-drive grip also help with the slingshot starts.

Downsides? It drinks only 98 premium unleaded fuel and the spare wheel is a hideous metal circle with a rubber band around it.

If ever there was a way to limit top speed to 80km/h while you limp to a tyre repairer, this is it. Not just because of how embarrassing it looks but because it must surely feel weird to drive on.

There was a pleasant surprise, though: this car had no options other than metallic paint ($1100). The RRP is $198,900 before on-roads are added — that's $16,000 dearer than the much roomier GLE 63 AMG wagon with the same grunt and same equipment.

People buy the coupe because a wagon apparently says "family" whereas, according to marketing experts, the GLE coupe says to the outside world "I don't have kids, and I work out near the front window of the gym a lot".

Verdict

It might look like a Porsche 911 on stilts but it's faster and more affordable than the iconic sports car. That earns it the last laugh.

Which do you like better: the GLE coupe or wagon? Let us know in the comments below.

EXPERT RATING
7