When Mercedes-Benz introduces the redesigned GLE crossover, likely in 2018, the automaker also will be showcasing its new MHA vehicle architecture.
Recent spy shots of the next-generation GLE prototype reveal a much different body design, with wider wheel arches and a lower, sleeker profile. It still resembles the current GLE in the front, but the greenhouse and rear design are much changed. The vehicle’s wheelbase also may be longer, according to KPG Photography, which took the spy shots.
The prototype carries the internal code W167 on its rear license plate and is the successor to the current-generation W166. The redesigned GLE is expected to use Mercedes-Benz’s Modular High Architecture, or MHA. It also is expected to get a new range of turbocharged, inline six-cylinder engines, according to KPG.
The redesigned GLE is the fourth generation of the brand’s midsize crossover, originally named the M class. Mercedes renamed it the GLE in 2015 when it introduced a freshened model under a new naming convention for its cars and light trucks.
The new MHA architecture will underpin the automaker’s crossovers and SUVs going forward. It is part of Mercedes’ move to four architectures across its lineup, down from nine at the end of the last decade.
The consolidation will allow vehicles to share more parts and assembly equipment and help to cut costs and get vehicles to market faster.