We test the “charged” Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 on the ice race track
If you are a fan of the brand Mercedes-Benz, then, most likely, are familiar with how its marketers are conjuring with a model ruler. Take here the new Mercedes-AMG GLE 43, which used to be called the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG, which is just a “warmed-up” version of the GLE 400, formerly called the ML 400 … Will such a metamorphosis stain the reputation of the Mercedes-AMG sports division?
By itself, metamorphosis is of two types – with complete reincarnation and incomplete. The changes that resulted in the 367-strong GLE 43 are just the last: from the “four-hundredth” crossover with the index “43” differs only by the increased engine power (plus 34 hp), the nine-speed automatic (plus two gears) and a sports exhaust system (plus a few tens of decibels).
And in science, transformation is usually accompanied by a sharp change in the conditions for the existence of the so-called object. Well, in science, so in science! I jump behind the wheel and go to the “forty-third” in the suburbs, on the ice race track “Troitskoe.” A very unusual situation for a crossover, but more useful than trampling in a city where it is difficult and simply unsafe to fully appreciate the capabilities of a large car. Especially in winter.
On the way to the car test site, there was a great opportunity to try out the “inflated” three-liter V6 with a double supercharging, which the Mercedes puts on its cars from 2013. And it’s fine if it continues to do it: a three-liter block and a pair of turbines cheerfully pull out a massive crossover (2,180 kg) on almost any course, and, of course, the acceleration is accompanied by the sound of a sport “exhaust”, which in the usual mode nobly chops, and in “sport” it causes the body to fill with dopamine and scares everyone around pleasantly by ear tkashlivaniyami during switching. AMG-essence of certain feelings!
However, not so impressed with the acceleration and sound, like the well-coordinated work of the motor and the nine-speed automatic, which here first works with a full drive. In particular, when driving in sports modes (Sport or Sport +), the box always keeps the engine ready, switching up and down quickly, but at the same time very smoothly and almost seamlessly, like a thumbs thumbs through pages of an electronic book. With such an automatic click on the transfer podrulevymi petals – a banal disrespect for the work of engineers, “Mercedes”. It is better to trust friendly technology.
At first, I thought that all this sporting reincarnation would endow “forty-third” with the typical nervousness on the road for this kind of models. But in fact: on the line GLE 43 is linear due to the adaptive steering rack, and the air suspension is even in a clamped state (in sport modes, the clearance is reduced by 15 mm – to 187 mm, and the air tanks become stiffer) does not kick into the coccyx after every bump in the Moscow area. As a result, you feel a note of comfort where it should not be a priori.
By the way, about comfort. The salon GLE 43, so to speak, does not have much. Yes, there is a lot of high-quality leather, Alcantara and even carbon finishing. But, to speak objectively, the design of the front panel is clearly made “before our era.” From more or less modern – a large display of the multimedia system and comfortable leather AMG-shny sloping steering wheel, which in places of correct grip is sheathed pleasant to the touch (especially in the frosty season) alcantara. Sports front seats are also good: comfortable, with a lot of adjustments and do not slip. But fans of active driving will certainly not be missing additional side and shoulder support, which, for example, is available in the seats of flagship modifications GLE 63 and 63 S.
With ice, please!
- You’re on the track gathered? – Surgeon asked me with surprise.
- Yes, it’s AMG! – I answered, and went to the training oval, rustling the tireless tire on the icy crust of the lake.
Despite the lack of normal adhesion of tires to the surface of the track, the GLE 43 was not felt on the ice such a “cow”. This was promoted mainly by the all-wheel drive, which in the “forty-third”, unlike the GLE 400, with an asymmetrical traction distribution: 60% of the torque goes to the rear wheels. On a slippery surface this allows one accelerator throttle to easily slip the crossover stern, slide sideways, and then smoothly predictably stabilize the machine. In this case, the bends, in which lies the more tenacious rolled snow, “forty-third” passes neutral, and inside the sharp turns makes it possible to go in, turning the “tail” with gas. The main thing is to try to always feel the moment of adhesion of the front wheels and do not overdo with speed. Otherwise – 100% risk that two tons of uncontrollably float directly into the snow parapet …
If we talk about the metamorphosis with the Mercedes-AMG GLE 43, then it became, rather, fruitful than useless. After all, in fact, it turned out to be a compromise for those to whom the GLE 400 will seem chewing gum, which quickly loses its flavor, and GLE 63 or 63 S – an expensive and meaningless toy. In any case, “forty-third” knowingly received a new name and is quite worthy to be in the main part of the sports division of “three-beam”.