Mercedes-Benz GLE PHEV due within the next year

Company’s SUV boss confirms plug-in version will debut soon to join petrol and diesel range.

Mercedes-Benz used the 2018 Paris motor show to take the debut its all-new GLE, also confirming that a plug-in hybrid  version is less than a year away.

Speaking with media at the Paris motor show, Mercedes-Benz vice president of compact cars and SUVs, Wolf-Dieter Kurz confirmed that a PHEV is in the works.

“We are working on electrifying all of our car lines to increase fuel efficiency of course and meet all the demands in terms of regulations. We are also working on the GLE and it will come within the next 12 months [a plug-in hybrid],” he said.

Launching initially with a six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine mated to a 48V mild hybrid drivetrain, the range will expand to offer four- and six-cylinder diesel engines down the track.

The addition of a plug-in hybrid will give the brand an opportunity to offer the GLE with a variant that runs on full electric mode within limited circumstances, with an ability to plug it in to charge at home to retain its electric-only driving range.

Australian pricing and specifications are yet to be confirmed, but if the current strategy is anything to go by, we’re likely to see the GLE plug-in hybrid be positioned as a high-grade variant sitting between the core range and the high-performance AMG models.

Currently, the previous-generation GLE500e (above) – which teams a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor for outputs of 325kW and 650Nm – is priced from $131,000 before on-roads.

The all-new GLE goes on sale in Australia during the second quarter of 2019, stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.

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