LA Auto Show 2019

New 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S continues a 20-year tradition

The SUV blends power and performance.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes has given the new GLE an expected AMG upgrade. It delivers the exterior looks, interior refinement, and power that Mercedes GLE buyers are looking for. Again, a formula done right by the German automaker.

This is the 20th anniversary fo the M-Class based ML 55 AMG, the model that would evolve to become the modern GLE.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S The SUV features AMG-specific exterior features.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The exterior of the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S gets an AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical louvers and a silver chrome front splitter. Its mirror housings and flared wheel arches match the color of the vehicle. Two rectangular tailpipes sit at the back of the SUV along with a spoiler. The GLE 63 S has standard 21-inch wheels. Additional 21- and 22-inch wheels are standard.

An available AMG Night package includes the front splitter, front and rear bumper trim, inserts in the side skirts, mirror caps and window frames in distinctive black. The twin tailpipe trim is finished in black chrome.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S The model is powered by a biturbo 4.0-liter V8 engine.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Under the SUV's hood is a biturbo 4.0-liter V8 engine that is paired with an EQ Boost starter-generator and generates 602 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. The electric output adds 21 horsepower off the line to maximize the vehicle's efficiency without sacrificing fuel economy or power. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard. Trail and Sand drive modes have been added in this vehicle.

The SUV comes loaded with a standard air suspension and adaptive damping system. The drive height can be adjusted depending on the drive mode selected. The car's Active Ride Control system keeps he cabin stable despite what the road throws at it.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S The car has an air suspension that helps keep it stable on the road.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

There are separate steering control options designed to offer varying degrees of feedback. The model also comes with an AMG high-performance braking system featuring six-piston fixed, red-colored brake calipers and disc brakes. A ceramic braking system with bronze-colored six-piston fixed calipers is available.

On the inside, the SUV has Nappa leather upholstery, a crystal grey seat band, and crystal grey contrast topstitching. The model has crystal gray seat belts. Individually adjustable 64-color ambient lighting comes standard. Its steering wheel features a lined with Nappa Leather and a midnight marking. An AMG-specific control panel features additional switches.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S The SUV's interior is familiar but customized for the AMG model.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Further, there are AMG brushed stainless steel sport pedals, door sill panels, and black floor mats with the AMG logo.

The MBUX infotainment system features four AMG-specific display styles including the Supersport mode, which has information specific to AMG with a focus on motorsport.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S The SUV is built for performance (see the grab handles) but also luxury and comfort (see the plush seats).Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

A long list of safety and driver assistance technology is available.

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S goes on sale in the U.S. in mid-2020. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle's on-sale date.

A new Mercedes model is fashioned in the same vein as a newly customized Cigarette boat.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The Miami International Boat Show is upon us and among the Honda-powered pontoons and sleek cigarette boats is a one-of-a-kind Mercedes-AMG G 63 Cigarette Edition that is paired with a 59-foot Tirranna AMG Edition boat. AMG Performance Studio in Affalterbach gave the G63 the same design principles as the boat.

"Mercedes-AMG stands for Performance Luxury. The Tirranna AMG Edition is the perfect transfer of this principle to a boat: Its dynamic and at the same time deeply sensual proportions embody athletic beauty. In its powerful, clean look, the boldness of the Mercedes-AMG G 63 can be experienced," said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 Cigarette Edition & Tirranna AMG Edition

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz


The latest in a highly exclusive line of special edition boats, the 59' Tirranna AMG Edition sets new standards in terms of performance and design, striking the perfect balance between a luxury yacht and a performance- oriented super console. Despite its 59' length and 14' beam, the Tirranna AMG Edition is extremely agile and optimized for high performance.

When designing their new performance flagship, the Cigarette Racing Team engineers focused their attention on every detail, for example by utilizing lightweight construction in key locations: Its raked hardtop is made completely of carbon fiber, reducing the vertical center of gravity for better handling, while carbon fiber also features throughout its superstructure, with carbon-capped stringers and a carbon-fiber transom. The hull and deck are vacuum infused using a highly optimized composite laminate schedule with PVC coring. The instrument panel is a nano-coated solid surface that is anti-reflective and heat-resistant, which also features titanium fasteners.

The striking design of the 59' Tirranna AMG Edition as well as the Mercedes-AMG G 63 Cigarette Edition is the result of close collaboration between the Cigarette Racing Team, the Mercedes-AMG design team and Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG.

While the boat shines on the water, the G 63 shines on land. It has exclusive design finishes and special detailing, which can only be found on this specific model. The all-wheel drive SUV is powered by a 577 horsepower 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine and has been hand crafted specially to celebrate the debut of the new boat.

"Since 2007, we've shared our passion for performance with the Cigarette Racing Team. For the first time ever we followed a holistic design approach for both – the car and the boat," said Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "The Mercedes-AMG G 63 Cigarette Edition is even more individualized than any other car before within our successful cooperation. The exterior and interior of this one of a kind G-Class Edition was tailor-made in our Performance Studio in Affalterbach underlining the high-performance appearance of the Mercedes-AMG G 63."

Starting with a black metallic exterior, designers added a unique golden designed AMG diamond pattern. It rides on new 22-inch Mercedes-AMG cross- spoke forged wheels are highlighted with gold accents at the wheel center caps and at the rim flange. It also has AMG Night Package elements, a dark chrome AMG specific radiator grille and bulbar, side entry boards in matte black, and glossy black vehicle logos.

The model's interior is upholstered in macchiato beige and dark blue two-tone exclusive nappa leather. Its AMG performance steering wheel is carbon fiber with dark blue nappa leather. These two sets of design choices echo those found in the boat. The SUV has unique floor mats and the iconic G-Class grab handle with distinctive Cigarette lettering.

As part of their owner and community outreach program, Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land recently held a teen driving school.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land

The entire car shuddered as the Mercedes-Benz skidded over the large puddle. My head hit the roof of the car, nearly breaking my sunglasses (and yes, I was wearing my seatbelt). My phone went flying. The high-end camera of the journalist sitting next to me flew out of his hands and landed at my feet. Thankfully this didn't happen on the open road, but in a controlled environment created for teen drivers to learn, among other skills, how to regain control of a car when it hydroplanes.

After pulling the car to a stop, driver Winnie Chang, a 17-year-old senior at Clements High School, turned to Kory Enders, an Indy Pro 2000 driver, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, for his advice on how to improve the next time she drove around the skid pad. Meanwhile, the other passengers and I gathered our belongings off the floor of the backseat.

2020 Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land Teen Driving Winnie Chang, 17, learns how to pilot a car through a skid.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land

Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land (MBSL) has been offering a quarterly Teen Driving Safety School at the Motor Speedway Resort (MSR) Houston for the teen children of its customers for about four years now. Prior to December 2019, MBSL had trained about 275 teen drivers. That month, for the first time, MBSL held an additional event for twenty Clements High School students.

Like the others, this event was co-sponsored by MBSL and Enders. Enders' father, Kenneth, owns MBSL, for which Enders is a brand ambassador. Influenced by his father, who wanted to be a professional racecar driver himself, Enders has been part of the racing world since childhood. Enders began club go karting at age six. While a student at Clements High School in Sugar Land, Enders began driving cars at MSR Houston.

Although he now travels the world racing, Enders has not forgotten his roots. Enders graduated from Clements in 2016 and has been working for several years to coordinate this event with the high school, which has about 2,500 students from 9th-12th grade. Clements High School students were invited to apply for the opportunity to participate in the Teen Driving Safety School. Fifty students applied and about 20 were randomly selected to attend at no cost.

Seeing some teens' incorrect and even illegal driving habits compelled Enders to give back to the community by helping teens learn to drive correctly. Enders wants "to give kids a toolbox." His two pieces of advice to teen drivers? "Don't text and drive," and "Understanding the core fundamentals of how a car functions and drives could save your life one day."

After a morning of classroom instruction, the students headed outside to test their skills. The high schoolers beelined to the group of waiting cars hopping into either the driver or passenger seat. To get the full experience, I knew I needed to be a passenger, yet was a bit hesitant to ride in a car with a teen driver who may have only recently gotten their license.

At the signal of a Teen Driving Safety School instructors, the teen driver of the car I was riding in gunned the engine and drove as fast as she could towards an orange cone directly in front of her. The objective was for her to drive as close to the cone as possible, but brake before hitting it. This seemed counterintuitive to me – why practice a dangerous driving maneuver like this? According to the instructor, it's good for the teens to practice in a safe environment how to react when faced with a risky road situation.

For about an hour, the teens continued doing drills, then slowly trickled back inside to the classroom to use a Comcast Distracted Driving Simulator. Comcast originally created this simulator to train its technicians and kindly gifted one to the MBSL Teen Driving Safety School to enhance its programming.

I got to try the simulator too. I sat down in the plastic seat and took the wheel. The simulator looks very much like one of those car video games you see at arcades. My goal was to drive through the course in a safe and timely manner. The game deducted points for traffic violations. I struggled to navigate the course – I accidentally rammed my pretend car into walls and ran red lights. I began doing even worse when Derek Brown, MBSL Vice President of Marketing & Business Development, began calling out prompts. "Take a selfie of the group." "Now text it to your boss."

2020 Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land Teen Driving Teenns used a driving simulator to learn how distracted driving can impact their time behind the wheel.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land

By the time I finally finished the course, the group of us was in stitches over how poorly I had done, but we knew that safe driving, or lack thereof, was no laughing matter. Even now when I'm tempted to look down at my phone when I hear a text come in while I'm driving, I think back to this exercise and refrain.

I asked Clements student Haris Jhaveri why he applied to be part of the MBSL Teen Driving Safety School. "I follow Kory on Instagram. I've seen [the school] on his social media all over the place. People have talked about how it's a really nice experience and you learn from it. You get to drive a Mercedes… I also did this because my friend told me to. I like Mercedes, ok?". After participating in the training, Jhaveri noted "my driving is better".

That was the goal of all the adults in involved – improving teen driving. As Phil Morgante, Assistant Principal of Clements High School, noted "safety's number one with us – getting the kids to and from school".