2023 Mercedes GLE getting new plug-in hybrid powertrains: Report [Update]

Update: ‘Hybrid Powertrains’ and ‘2023 Mercedes GLE Coupe’ sections updated.

With the Mercedes GLE having completed three years in the market, preparations for its mid-cycle refresh have begun. Spy photographer Wilco Blok spotted a 2023 Mercedes GLE prototype in Europe recently, giving us a close look at the refreshed SUV.

Hybrid Powertrains

The Mercedes GLE PHEV is available in GLE 350 e 4MATIC and GLE 350 de 4MATIC variants. The GLE 350 e 4MATIC uses the M 274 2.0-liter gasoline engine, while the GLE 350 de 4MATIC has the OM 654 2.0-liter diesel mill under its hood. According to a report German Mercedes blog JESMB published on August 4, 2021, these variants will switch to the M 254 2.0-liter gasoline engine and the OM 654 M 2.0-liter diesel engine, respectively, with the facelift.

The report suggests that the electric motor’s output may be over 200 PS in the gasoline PHEV and 150 PS in the diesel PHEV. Moreover, the GLE 350 e 4MATIC could change to GLE 400 e 4MATIC. Take a look at the current specifications of the GLE PHEV below:

AspectMercedes GLE 350 e 4MATIC SpecificationMercedes GLE 350 de 4MATIC Specification
EngineM 274 2.0-liter gasolineOM 654 2.0-liter diesel
Engine Power155 kW (211 PS/208 hp)143 kW (194 PS/192 hp)
Engine Torque350 Nm (258 Lb.-Ft.)400 Nm (295 Lb.-Ft.)
Electric Motor Power100 kW (136 PS/134 hp)100 kW (136 PS/134 hp)
Electric Motor Torque440 Nm (325 Lb.-Ft.)440 Nm (325 Lb.-Ft.)
System Power245 kW (333 PS/328 hp)235 kW (320 PS/315 hp)
System Torque700 Nm (516 Lb.-Ft.)700 Nm (516 Lb.-Ft.)
Transmission9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic
Battery Pack31.2 kWh lithium-ion31.2 kWh lithium-ion
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)6.9 seconds6.8 seconds
Top Speed210 km/h (130 mph)210 km/h (130 mph)
EV Mode Top Speed140 km/h (87 mph)140 km/h (87 mph)
EV Mode Range (WLTP)106 km (66 miles)110 km (68 miles)
Current Mercedes GLE PHEV specifications (Source: Mercedes-Benz Group)

Mercedes-Benz Group doesn’t offer GLE plug-in hybrid variants in the U.S., but hopefully, that will change in the future. Of course, when that happens, don’t expect the diesel PHEV to make it to American showrooms. The German publication lastly speculates that the OM 656 M 2.9-liter diesel engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid tech (ISG) could replace the non-electrified OM 656 2.9-liter diesel engine (GLE 400 d).

The final update for the current GLE and GLE Coupe rolled out in October 2021. The GLE 300 d 4MATIC and GLE 300 d 4MATIC Coupe feature the OM 654 M 2.0-liter diesel engine with a second-gen ISG. The ISG includes a 48-volt electrical system and reduces fuel consumption to a significant extent. Plus, there’s also the added advantage of minimizing turbo lag with a boost function. The engine produces 200 kW (268 hp) of power and 550 Nm (406 lb.-ft.) of torque, and the ISG can briefly supply 15 kW (20 hp) and 200 Nm (147 lb.-ft.). As stated above, the GLE 400d could be the next variant to adopt mild-hybrid tech with an updated engine.

The mild-hybrid diesel engine updates are irrelevant to the U.S., where the GLE range includes only gasoline variants.

Design & Features

The 2023 Mercedes GLE will feature new designs for the radiator grille and bumpers varying as per the configuration. We see a new shape coming for the front bumper and narrower side air intakes in the spy shots. The vertical slats in the radiator grille are also new. Other spy pictures have suggested that the lower grille could have two identically split horizontal sections.

In addition to new grilles and bumpers, expect reshaped headlamps with the new Digital Light system that allows new functions like projecting navigation guidelines and warning symbols onto the road ahead and aiming a spotlight at pedestrians detected at the roadside as a warning. The tail lamps may also feature new clusters for a refreshed look.

Inside, the new GLE could feature active ambient lighting or animated ambient lighting with flowing light effects. The light band’s animations could reinforce alerts of the driving assistance systems visually. It could also serve as feedback for the comfort system and voice assistant inputs. There’s no word on the arrival of the latest Mercedes-Benz models’ portrait touchscreen in the GLE yet.

2023 Mercedes GLE Coupe

Alongside the GLE, the refreshed 2023 Mercedes GLE Coupe is under development and similarly undergoing road-testing. The updated coupe version will feature new headlamps with Digital Light technology, revised bumpers, and new grille designs. The interior changes could similarly mimic the tweaks in the SUV version.

Video Source: YouTube/walkoARTvideos

On October 11, 2021, JESMB said in another report that the 2023 Mercedes GLE Coupe will be available with the new OM 656 M 3.0-liter diesel engine featuring 48-volt mild-hybrid technology and the OM 654 M 2.0-liter diesel and M 254 2.0-liter gasoline mills with plug-in hybrid technology. Variants may include a GLE 400 e 4MATIC PHEV with 258 PS (254 hp) coming from the engine and up to 150 PS (148 hp) coming from the electric motor.

Engines borrowed from the new C-Class family

The M 254 four-cylinder gasoline engine with the second-gen starter-generator (15 kW/200 Nm) debuted in the fifth-gen C-Class in 2021. Energy recovery and coasting functions give the engine high efficiency. This is for the first time Mercedes-Benz combined all the innovations of the modular engine four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines in a single engine: Nanoslide cylinder coating, Conicshape cylinder honing, exhaust aftertreatment system’s direct positioning at the engine, and segment charger with flow connection, a further development of the twin-scroll technology.

Release Date

The restyled Mercedes GLE will arrive at the end of this year, JESMB said in a newer report on February 4, 2022. Expect prices of the refreshed SUV to start at around USD 58,000 MSRP in the U.S. market. The report adds that the Mercedes GLE Coupe also debuts at the end of 2022. The current SUV-coupe is available in the U.S. in only AMG variants, with prices starting at USD 78,450 MSRP.

With the premiere and launch several months away, engineers at the Mercedes-Benz Group continue to test the 2023 GLE family on the public roads. A spy video published by YouTube channel walkoARTvideos on March 11, 2022, shows a camouflaged silver GLE plug-in hybrid in Germany.

Video Source: YouTube/walkoARTvideos

Sales in the U.S.

The GLE, including the GLE Coupe, was the best-selling Mercedes-Benz model in the U.S. in 2021. YoY sales grew 35.1% last year, from 48,154 units to 65,074 units. In Q1 2022, the GLE was the brand’s second most popular model, with 15,990 units recorded in sales. With the facelift expected to arrive in the fall, U.S. Mercedes-Benz dealers would continue selling the existing model for the most part of the year.

2023 Mercedes GLE (facelift) FAQs

What is the 2023 Mercedes GLE release date?

The Mercedes GLE facelift could reach U.S. dealers in late 2022.

What will be the new Mercedes GLE facelift price?

The new Mercedes GLE’s prices could start at around USD 58,000 MSRP.

Which SUVs will be the new GLE’s rivals?

Alternatives to the new Mercedes GLE facelift will include the BMW X5, Volvo XC90, Audi Q7, Lexus RX, and Cadillac XT5.

Featured Image Source: Wilco Blok (Instagram/wilcoblok)