• www.fleetplus.com.au
  • www.1800accident.com.au
  • www.fleetplus.com.au

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE ‘W167’ spotted, hides fresh design (video)

Mercedes-Benz has been spotted test driving what is believed to be a prototype version of the next-gen GLE, which is set to be the first version to step away from the old ML-Class platform.

The current GLE has been around in essentially the same form since 2011, aside from a name change from ML to GLE in 2015, with only minor updates. It’s now time for a new generation.

For the next-gen, ‘W167’, Mercedes is set to utilise its newer MHA platform which itself is a variation of the MRA platform that’s used to underpin the latest C-Class and E-Class. This should be a big step forward from the current framework, which is actually shared with the Jeep Grand Cherokee from back when Daimler had ties with Chrysler.

With a more modern platform we can expect better performance in all areas of driving, including handling, acceleration, and fuel economy. If the current E-Class is anything to go by, the 2018 GLE could become one of the most advanced models in its class as well, with plenty of autonomous-like driving tech.

Under the bonnet Mercedes is likely to start rolling outs its new range of engines, including the scintillating M256 3.0-litre straight six turbo with up to 300kW, and the brute new M176 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that produces up to 350kW. Some new diesels and a hybrid will continue to be offered as well.

As for the design, well, it’s a bit hard to tell from this prototype. However, if we turn to the latest E-Class and its curvaceous and bubbly themes, and blend that with a bit of the GLA, we’re probably getting pretty close. All is set to be revealed late this year, with market entry tipped for next year.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.