The current-generation Mercedes GLE Class has been around for a few years. It’s not old, but it’s about time for a mid-cycle refresh and in this instance, the refresh is pretty darned small. Captured here are two test GLE test vehicles in AMG guise. Specifically, these are the AMG GLE 53 in standard SUV trim, and a GLE 53 Coupe.
Both wear the same shade of red, and both also have the same camouflage wrap on the front fascia. That’s where the bulk of the updates will take place, but the changes will indeed be very minor. In fact, the overall design looks identical to the current model, with the same structure for the lower fascia and grille. The corner vents will change slightly, possibly gaining some extra trim to separate them from the rest of the fascia. New headlights are also coming, shrinking in size slightly. There’s more camouflage wrap at the rear, but changes are relegated to new taillights.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen GLE test vehicles out and about, but prototypes towing trailers are something new. It points to possible powertrain updates, though we’ve heard nothing in the rumor mill about tweaks under the hood. The current AMG GLE 53 runs a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine with a mild hybrid assist, generating 429 horsepower. The new Mercedes-AMG C63 S just debuted its hybrid powertrain with a massive 671 combined hp, but its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder alone is good for 476 hp. That could be a potential engine upgrade for the GLE 53, especially as emissions regulations get tighter.
Similarly, we’ve heard nothing about interior changes for this mid-cycle refresh. Some of the new photos are clear enough to catch glimpses of the dash, and we see the same climate vents on the ends with the big glass display for the driver. We also see some fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview mirror of the GLE 53 Coupe. If something significant was happening inside, we suspect things wouldn’t be quite so casual.
All evidence points to the new GLE Class debuting for the 2023 model year. That means a reveal could happen before the end of the year, but if you’re craving more Mercedes-AMG content, you can check out the Rambling About Cars podcast right now.