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2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG 4Matic Coupe Revealed

Forget the complex name and think of it as Mercedes’ own BMW X6.

Mercedes-Benz's latest debut is hardly a surprise, as we've been seeing the bizarre new GLE Coupe in concept and prototype forms for months now. Ahead of the production model's official debut at the Detroit auto show in January, we now have full info and photos on this new crossover with a mouthful of a name: the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG 4Matic Coupe.

To make sense of this all-new model, we'll need to break down that name piece-by-piece. First of all, the "GLE" designation is part of Mercedes-Benz's new naming classifications. "GL" means that it's an SUV, "E" means that this model fits into the midsize E-Class range, and the Coupe suffix means that this car is a swoopier, more stylish version of the standard GLE, currently known as the M-Class. It's probably easier to simply think of this new model as a competitor to the BMW X6.

The first version of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe to launch is this GLE450 AMG 4Matic which, contrary to what you might think, is not a full AMG model. Going forward, true AMG cars will be branded as Mercedes-AMG, while this model is part of the new, in-between AMG Sport range and thus is branded as a Mercedes-Benz. Power comes from the same twin-turbocharged V-6 engine as the Mercedes-Benz C400, tuned to make 362 hp and 384 lb-ft in this application. The GLE450 comes standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive, and this crossover is also the first application of Mercedes-Benz's new nine-speed automatic transmission.

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 Coupe's styling closely follows the look of the Concept Coupe SUV shown in Beijing earlier this year, though the production car's more upright profile makes for some awkward angles. The strangely tall, chunky fastback-like rear end even makes a BMW X6 look good, and that's not a compliment to the BMW. On the inside, the GLE Coupe gives off a much more conservative vibe that is practically indistinguishable from other models like the C-Class sedan and M-Class SUV. Mercedes-Benz's newest Comand infotainment system is standard, and a whole suite of active safety systems is available.

This AMG Sport model has plenty of sporty elements to set it apart from the more plebian 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe models that should debut within the next few months. Carbon fiber trim adorns the interior, and the exterior upgrades include 21-inch AMG wheels, different front and rear fascias, and a rear spoiler. A full-bore, Mercedes-AMG GLE63 4Matic Coupe version should also follow, likely with a turbocharged V-8 powertrain and even more comprehensive chassis tweaks.

Look for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG 4Matic Coupe to make its official debut at the 2015 Detroit auto show in January, and stay tuned for more information about the GLE Coupe range over the coming months.