The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 63 AMG and 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS 63 AMG performance SUVs that debuted Wednesday proved that with great power comes great responsibility. Responsibility to bash dunes with your family in the back is what we mean.
The family haulers that bowed at the 2019 LA auto show pump up the power and flair from the SUVs already on sale from Mercedes-Benz. Both the GLE 63 and GLS 63 use a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 and integrated starter generator, a first for any AMG, to make 603 combined horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. The integrated starter generator, which has appeared on Mercedes-Benz cars before, adds up to 21 hp and 184 lb-ft, but not to the final figures. Both mate exclusively to a 9-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. The GLS 63 rockets up to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and the GLE 63 takes just 3.7 seconds. The top speed for both exceeds 170 mph, if that's what you're into with your family. We are.
Mercedes lumped in its active suspension, with an AMG twist. Called AMG Active Ride Control, the standard air suspension draws from the SUV's 48-volt architecture to adjust dampers and active roll stabilizers in milliseconds to adapt to off-road conditions. In the GLS 63 the active anti-roll bars pull time-and-a-half: the heavy SUV stays virtually flat through cornerning, according to AMG.
The rest of the 2021 GLS 63 AMG and 2021 GLE 63 AMG are what we'd expect. Tall-riding SUVs that seat up to seven in the GLS, five in the GLE, shod with leather and tech everywhere. Both get a wall of 12.3-inch screens for digital instruments and infotainment controls, navigation, Burmester audio, and 21-inch wheels.
An AMG-tuned exhaust is included on both pummel the sides of canyons with exhaust overrun from the V-8—or scare small children in the school pickup line.
Both the AMG GLE 63 and AMG GLS 63 will arrive next year, but Mercedes didn't say how much they would cost.
For more from the L.A. auto show, head to our dedicated hub.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the power specifications for the GLS and GLE.