Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e 4MATIC Plug-In Hybrid On Sale This Fall

MAR 26 2015 BY MARK KANE 26

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 550 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 550 e

Mercedes-Benz recently announced plans for 10 new plug-in hybrid models by 2017 and it didn’t wait long to unveil the next new model.

It’s the Mercedes-Benz GLE 550 e (confusingly badged the 500 e in Europe), which will be available alongside conventional versions of the SUV this fall. World premier is expected just days from now at the New York International Auto Show.

Pricing is not available at this time.

GLE 550 e is equipped with V6 gas engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission, combined with an electric motor for total system power of 436 hp, 479 ft lbs of torque and of course it’s AWD.

Electric motor is only 85 kW (340 Nm), although according to Mercedes-Benz, that’s strong enough to reach 130 km/h (80 mph) in all-electric mode.

The relatively small battery pack of 8.8 kWh can be recharged in two hours, but electric range is stated at just 30 km (19 miles).

If you often use all-electric mode, fuel economy could be 3.3 l/100 km (over 70 mpg).

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e In Europe

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE Badged As 500 e In Europe

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.

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

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.”

GLE 550 e 4MATIC at a glance:

GLE Family Specs

GLE Family Specs

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Mercedes-Benz GLE 500 e

Categories: Mercedes

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26 Comments on "Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e 4MATIC Plug-In Hybrid On Sale This Fall"

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Another greenwash attempt. An 8.8 kWh battery…seriously? While I appreciate the effort as it only increases awareness of battery power…why on earth not put a respectable battery in this tub to at least obtain 30 miles EV range? I’m certain it would sell better if buyers could actually use it in EV mode for more and a trip to the market. They invest all this hardware, software and other infrastructure and then cripple it. Frustrating!

This is what the market wants, and is also environmentally good, assuming people can charge it often. No point packing giant and heavy battery packs all through the car and compromising space and comfort to an extent, that the drivers feel better off in a crowded public bus.

The market will decide if it is good. At half the price of the all-electric, puny CUV from Tesla, I think this is a steal.

It is interesting, that Mercedes is going the plug-in hybrid way after being with, and watching Tesla closely. They outsourced their second tier product all-electric ED to Tesla, but going full-steam on PHEV with their own resources.

On top of that the car has a very annoying “hump” in the trunk that compromises cargo space. I think BMW (X5) did a way better job accommodating the additional battery in their PHEV.
Looking at Mercedes-Benz’s efforts in the “EV World” so far, I am having a hard time believing that they are really serious about it and are not just building compliance cars for CARB credits.
I mean the B-class battery is “loaned” from Tesla, the new generation smart EV will come out way later than the petrol versions and so on…

These 20 mile plug-ins are getting annoying…

It is obviously part of the oilies strategy to try to avoid electric cars and then to try to reduce them to a few exception or a few super low range plug-in hybrids. Next when 200 miles ev come out they will put their own on the market to try to dilute the non insiders share of the market in order to reduce their profits. By reducing their profits they will again slow down the introduction and win oil time on all the other cars. Each day the oilies sell 10000 millions dollars worth of oil, so any delay any day won is so much more money in their pocket. They know ev are coming but they stopped them for twenty years first and they slow their arrival to the max now.

20 miles? This is a “zero miles” EV, upon leaving the driveway.

People complained that automakers gamed the system in California with things like the “BEVx” BMW i3 Rex. Well, this is a perfect example of automakers designing to European and Chinese regulations. We will be seeing a lot more PHEV that go exactly 30km or 50km in EV mode (according to the corresponding test cycle in the country in question) in the future.

And that 19 mile rating is apparently on the European test cycle, which means it’s actually rather less.

Bring on the 200-mile BEVs, and the 70-mile PHEVs!

Calling this “greenwashing” is only a slight exaggeration.

Driving electric is like a drug. All of us here know that.

By offering these 20 mile PHEV’s, they’re giving people a taste of something. Soon enough, people will be demanding more range, more power, and they’ll be very vocal about it.

Another 8kWh battery fail whale.

I don’t have a problem with the ~20 AER, but I am tired of showing up in SUV form in only $60K + vehicles.
How about a Terrain or Edge, something that I can afford, and something this year.

How about a Ford Edge Energi? That has been rumored before.

Wow, finally a German car with an inviting interior! They have stuck to their severe looking black on black interiors for so many years, it’s almost shocking to see brown! The cross-stitching is a nice touch as well. It feels like a Buick, which makes some of the most inviting interiors.

Agreeing with everyone else though, that the battery range is disappointing. Hopefully though, a few people buy these instead of the non-plugin variety and get hooked on EVs.

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, this car is as beautiful as a Buick, shockingly brown and is disappointing.

Yet again I find myself bouncing between excitement relating to the fact that we are starting to replace some of the most polluting vehicles on the road with plugin’s to disappointment that despite the size and cost of the vehicle MB have put a sub 10 kWh battery in it.

That interior really sucks in comparison to my eleven year old Prius. It is depressing to see those eighties looking needles while you live in 2015. In more all that death cows skins all over the place makes it even more dramatic.

Pathetically small battery . . . . but I’m happy to see the Germans jumping into plug-ins big time. I think a lot of Germans who have installed solar PV or wind turbines will be happy to use their self-generated electricity to drive their cars. Plug-ins could become quite popular there.

The small battery can easily be remedied in the coming years.

I had a thought about how messed up the world is this morning.

The plugin’s with small batteries are being specifically rolled out because a number of EU capitals are planning to ban ICE vehicles in the city centers, so why is it that the market is disproportionally providing massive saloons and SUV’s? Is the message by 2018 if you’re poor you’ll be excluded from the city center?


It is even worse than that, there is the London congestion charge everybody knows, but there are plans for something far more anti poor, it is called per mile road taxation, yes that’s right, you would pay for each mile you want to drive. So, the poor people would be literally thrown off the road so that the billionaires can be king of the road. That is a long road away from Henri Ford philosophy of a car affordable for everybody.

London has very good public transport. No need for the poor to be driving cars there. They should be taking the tube or buses.

I am not against the rich or people being incentivized to use public transport. Neither do I think that rich should drive the same car as the everyday man but with pretty much all the new plugin’s hitting the road this year being of the very expensive variety I wonder if we are sending the wrong message with our (in global terms, I live in Australia now) legislation.

I lived in London when the congestion charge was introduced and it was amazing. It dramatically reduced congestion in central London and the extra revenue was used to improve public transport, in particular the bus network. I would hate to see a decade of progress end with Central London packed with high cost SUV’s whilst the residents of London struggle to pay for it’s public transit system. At least it would reduce pollution that is killing literally thousands of people a year but it still doesn’t sit quite right.

What’s next: “they should be slaves and go by foot…” I thing driving is a fundament human right, rich or poor. Of course you choose the car to suit your budget and diesels could be banned in the city, but everybody should keep the right to circulate freely with his own car where, when and as much as wanted. Any compromise on that is at par with dictatorship from a ruler or group upon the people at large. As a general rule it is always wrong to limit people’s freedom on the basis of fortune. If a restriction or a ban is imposed it should be valid for everyone based on a rolling allowance per registry number for instance. Finland on that aspect is far in advance since fines there are always given as a percentage of income not as a finite amount. It cost far more to have a speeding ticket if you own millions a year than if you own an average salary. The former Nokia boss became famous for having paid the biggest ever fine for speeding because as a percentage of revenue the amount of the fine became very large. When you think about it it… Read more »

Just another thought, if you make the Smart EV why go to the trouble of making an entirely new battery pack when you could just transplant the much bigger pack into the M-class? and all the other cars that MB are pumping out at the moment. What a waste, I hope Tesla tears you a new poop hole.

If it has to be German, I would wait for the 18kwh Audi Q7. More powerful, and more than double the range.

I really don’t like that charge port location. The X5 PHEV is much better – on the fender in front of the driver’s door. It’s almost like they want you to forget to plug it in. What about expensive charge port damage when somebody hits you in a parking lot. The rear corner of the bumper cover has got to be the most frequently hit spot on the car. Well, except maybe door dings.

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“It’s the Mercedes-Benz GLE 550 e (confusingly badged the 500 e in Europe)”
Hmm… what is not confusing about the number policy for Mercedes-Benz – and actually BMW as well.
A 500 usually meant a 5L V8.
For some strange reason MB changed to 550 for cars with 5L engines and now we have a V6 with the 550 number.
Why don’t we just embrace the fact that engines are getting smaller, more powerful and use less fuel.
I wouldn’t mind having a E63 AMG as an E55 AMG again. No shame in that 😉