Mercedes-Benz's first-ever plug-in hybrid SUV, known as the GLE550e 4MATIC, arrives at dealerships in fall 2015. The model offers all-electric driving at speeds of up to 81 miles per hour.
Making its debut at the New York International Auto Show, the GLE550e 4MATIC features a V6, direct-injection, gasoline engine with 329 horsepower and a hybrid module with 114 horsepower of electric power. The system peak torque is 479 foot-pounds. With a power consumption of 16.7 kilowatts per hour, the GLE550e 4MATIC has a system output of 436 horsepower.
The hybrid SUV uses Mercedes' specialized 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission. The 8.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack can be recharged using public charging stations, a wall charger at home or on a conventional 220-volt power outlet. The charge time is two hours.
Drivers may choose between four operating modes: hybrid, which is the default option; e-mode, which provides all-electric driving; e-save, which is best for urban traffic; and charge, which uses the engine to charge the battery. The electric range is 18.6 miles. Fuel efficiency numbers have not yet been released.
The GLE550e also comes with Mercedes-Benz's standard cabin electronics, including navigation and app integration and 8-inch information screens, as well as Crosswind Assist and Collision Prevent Assist Plus. The models are equipped with power leather seats and satin-finish wood lining the dashboard.