An eagle-eyed TFLcar reader spotted what appears to be the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE out testing in California
Sometimes, traversing the freeways in California can be a frustrating experience. Sometimes it’s worth the headache, however, because you get to see some prototypes out testing! Indeed, that was the case today, as TFLcar reader Jez spotted the next-generation Mercedes-Benz GLE. This particular prototype was spotted on Interstate 5 near Buttonwillow, California, just west of Bakersfield. Its appearance may be timely, as several outlets point to the next generation GLE emerging as a 2019 model. The “original” GLE came about as an effort by Mercedes-Benz to restructure its branding scheme. Rather than its designation as the M-Class (later badged “ML”), they called their mid-size SUV the “GLE” instead. These models sit between the smaller GLA and GLC models, as well as the larger GLS and G-Wagen, in the brand’s lineup.
So what do we know about the model so far? The GLE is a central player in Mercedes’ SUV lineup, but it hasn’t seen a major redesign since 2011, when it was still referred to as the ML. Now, eight years on, the company is poised to replace the current model and bring it up to snuff against its contemporary competitors, like the Audi Q7, BMW X5, and Lexus RX. The new model will ride atop the company’s MHA (Modular High Architecture) platform which should also underpin the new GLS, which is also due for an update in the near future.
As far as powertrains are concerned, we’d expect the new GLE to use similar powertrains to the ones that are in the current generation. That means anything from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine all the way up to a 5.5-liter, twin-turbo V8. The current range topping model – the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S – chucks out 577 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque. It’s also possible the new range could cap out at the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly powertrain, there will likely be a hybrid version, as there is in the current GLE.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE should arrive in dealer showrooms sometime later this year. No official pricing information is available, but we don’t expect the needle to move too much from the current generation. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates!
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