A Numbers Game: 2020 Mersedes-Benz GLE Gets A 580 Trim

Merc’s latest V8 will power several of its new SUVs

At one time, the numbers on the back of Mercedes’ made sense. The SEL 560 had a 5.6-liter V8; the SL 600 had a 6.0-liter V12 and the R 350 had a 3.5-liter. BMW was the same, for a while. Those days are long gone. For instance, the GLE350 SUV has a 2.0-liter four; the GLE 450 has a 3.0-liter six and new for 2020 we have the GLE 580, featuring a biturbo 4.0-liter V8. You’ll be seeing that “580” number more soon, as it will also land on the back end of the full-size GLS SUV featuring the same engine.

In the GLE 580 and GLS 580, that V8 pairs with the company’s 48-volt on-board electrical system and integrated starter/generator (ISG) and can add 21 hp and 184 lb-ft to the engine’s base output of 483 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. It also powers the E-ABC suspension, which we loved in our first drive a few months ago.

The ISG eliminates the need for a belt drive for ancillary components (water pump, air conditioning compressor, etc.), which shortens the engine. That creates space, says Mercedes-Benz, for a close-coupled exhaust after treatment. And all of that is made for saving fuel and reducing emissions. We’ll assume it does, as we don’t have concrete EPA fuel numbers.

The GLE 580 will be most expensive of the GLE bunch featuring the new MBUX dual 12.3-inch infotainment screens, active stop-and-go cruise control, an air suspension, AMG design cues and standard 4Matic all-wheel drive for $77,795. It goes on sale in late 2019.

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