With the debut of the all-new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, it was only a matter of time before the German automaker would begin testing the new platform for a J-Segment crossover. Last year, Mercedes-Benz debuted the GLE-Class which was a minor model change and renaming of the ML-Class. The GLE moniker continues with an all new design in 2018.
Since the crossover is expected to arrive in two years time, what we are seeing here is most likely a test mule. This particular prototype uses the current GLE's doors with a mix of new panels, namely the rear quarter panel. The front and the rear sections meanwhile are disguised with false panels but expect the upcoming GLE to get styling cues from the current Mercedes-Benz lineup.
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class will likely be based on the recently unveiled E-Class. Utilizing the W213 platform, expect the GLE to be lighter than the current model thanks to the extensive use of aluminum in its architecture.
As for the engine lineup, the current options seen in the E-Class may be carried over to the crossover. These include turbocharged gas engines, turbodiesels and, eventually, a plug-in hybrid. The new engines also promise to be more powerful, efficient and cleaner than the current crop of powertrains.