New Mercedes GLE 2018: price, specs and release date

Next-gen Mercedes GLE – seen in exclusive images - set to feature E-Class-inspired interior and sleeker looks

The 2018 Mercedes GLE – Merc’s answer to the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 – is nearing the later stages of development, and our exclusive images show how it should look.

The current GLE – known as the M-Class when it was launched in 2011 – remains a comfortable and capable SUV, but its interior is beginning to show its age, not least when compared to the latest Mercedes E-Class saloon. Based on recent interior spy shots, it appears Mercedes will address that shortcoming with the 2018 GLE as, despite fairly heavy cloaking, the new car appears to feature the same twin widescreen infotainment screens offered with the E-Class.

Review: Mercedes GLE SUV

The GLE should pay homage to both the E-Class and the GLC SUV when it arrives next year. As our exclusive images show, the 2018 GLE is expected to take on a more streamlined shape, with a curvaceous roofline, softer E-Class-style headlights and the company’s latest ‘diamond’ radiator grille.

We understand the new GLE will be built on a fresh mechanical platform, which has been engineered to accommodate a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Conventional petrol and diesel engines are likely to make up the mainstay of the range though, with the E-Class’ 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbocharged engines likely for the lineup. A new GLE Coupe is also understood to be in the pipeline, while powerful Mercedes-AMG performance versions are something of a given.

Mercedes’ SUV range continues to be key to the German giant’s business – almost three quarters of a million GLAs, GLCs, GLEs and GLSs found homes last year, alongside the coupe-SUV variants of the GLC and GLE.

It’s understandable, therefore, that as well as the 2018 GLE, a new model – called the GLB – will slot in between the smaller GLA and GLC in the next couple of years, bringing with it styling cues from the iconic (and expensive) G-Class G-Wagen.

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