Hybrid-boosted six-cylinder performance SUV snapped in Europe.
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Photographers have spotted the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GLE53 this week during development testing, giving us a closer look at the mid-tier performance version of the next-gen SUV.

It appears the new GLE prototypes are dropping camouflage, with the black-and-white wrap now limited to the front and rear treatments, showing off more of the new model's sheetmetal.

Design wise, the next GLE won't stray too far from the current vehicle, right down to the wraparound rear glasshouse treatment harking back to the original ML-Class of the 1990s.

Up front there's a large front grille flanked by prominent headlight units – though their shape is concealed by the wrap – while the tail-lights are much slimmer than those of the current car.

Despite wearing the massive alloy wheels from current AMG 63 models, we can tell this particular vehicle is the six-cylinder AMG 53 variant of the new GLE thanks to the non-Panamericana front grille, more subtle bodykit, and circular quad tailpipe treatment – AMG 63 models get squarer finishers.

Power in the AMG 53 will likely come from the same 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six as found in the AMG CLS53 and E53 models, coupled with an EQ Boost 48V mild-hybrid system.

Outputs from the petrol engine should be in the vicinity of 320kW and 520Nm, with the mild-hybrid setup contributing an additional 250Nm over short periods of hard acceleration.

The biggest changes, however, will be made under the skin. Expect the GLE – and eventually GLS – to switch from their ageing current platforms to the lighter MHA architecture allowing for enhanced handling and improved fuel efficiency.

Other notable upgrades will likely include the latest driver assistance and active safety systems from the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, and potentially the brand's new MBUX infotainment system.

In terms of timing, the all-new GLE is believed to be slated for a debut at the Paris motor show in October. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest and head to the galleries section for more images.