Mercedes-Benz GLE 550 e plug-in hybrid coming this fall

The Mercedes-Benz ML class is getting redesigned and released under a new model name – the GLE-class. Except for the new badging, the new GLE-Class has a restyled front fascia and headlights and the reshaped rear bumper has new LED tail lights.

In addition to those minor changes, the GLE line-up will include a n all-new 550 hybrid and 550e plug-in hybrid model.

The GLE 500e (or 550e? we aren’t sure, both have been referenced) uses the same V6 engine from the GLE 400 (the ML 400 last year) and pairs it with an 85 horsepower electric motor. Total system output is 436 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque.

In all-electric mode, the GLE 550e can travel up to 80 mph. With the relatively small 8.8kWh battery pack, charging time is quick at 2 hours, but electric range is only 19 miles.

Fuel economy could be better than 70 MPGe combined if all-electric mode is used regularily.

GLE550e 4MATIC: plug-in hybrid technology meets a luxury SUV

The new GLE550e 4MATIC with plug-in hybrid drive combines the power and refinement of a V8 engine with the fuel consumption of a three-liter car and the versatility of a premium SUV. The drive system components comprise a V6 direct-injection gasoline engine with 329 hp and a hybrid module with 114 hp of electric power. The system peak torque is a massive 479 lbs-ft. In addition to impressive acceleration thanks to the boost function, the innovative system drive also offers all-electric driving at speeds up to 81 mph, optimized energy recovery thanks to the intelligent operating strategy and comfort functions such as pre-entry climate control in summer and winter.

A selector switch on the center console and the instrument cluster offer the driver a choice between four specific operating modes:

  • HYBRID: the system controls automatically select the most sensible operating mode with combustion engine and/or electric motor for optimising the overall energy balance
  • E-MODE: all-electric driving
  • E-SAVE: this mode preserves the current state of charge of the battery to be able to drive on all-electric power at a later time, for example in urban traffic
  • CHARGE: battery is charged while driving and when the vehicle is stationary

The compact hybrid module is fully integrated into the seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. The electrical energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery with an energy content of 8.8 kWh, which can be recharged using public charging stations, the wallbox charger at home or on a conventional 220 volt power outlet. The charging time using the wallbox charger or the charging station is around two hours.

Intelligent drive system management

The best strategy for efficient driving has always been anticipatory driving without unnecessary braking and accelerating. This is even more important in a hybrid model: because braking manoeuvres serve not only to deliver deceleration, but are also used to recover kinetic energy. The route or the traffic also has influence on the most efficient charging and discharging of the high-voltage battery. For this reason the intelligent drive system management aids the driver with specific control strategies in adopting the most efficient driving style.”

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Alan Moeller

By Alan Moeller

EV car evangelist! I read, watch, write, research and chat all things electric cars. Got a lead on a story? Shoot me a message on Facebook.

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