Set to the replace the outgoing GLE400 4Matic sometime early next year, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE43 4Matic will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. While there’s little visual difference between this renamed version of the brand's premium midsize SUV, the latest member of the AMG 43 performance range offers more enthusiast appeal thanks to its stronger engine and new 9-speed automatic transmission.

More power, more gears

While motivation for the GLE43 4Matic still comes from a 3.0-liter Biturbo V6, the AMG update sees its horsepower rise from 329 to 362 and peak torque move from 354 to 384 lb-ft. The 7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic transmission also gives way to the latest AMG-enhanced, paddle-shift 9G-Tronic 9-speed, which in turn drives all four wheels through an AMG Performance 4Matic AWD setup. Like its GLE43 Coupe cousin, the new GLE43 4Matic also benefits from AMG upgrades to the suspension, steering, brakes and throttle mapping. It also sports bespoke AMG alloy wheels. Rounding out the mix is the AMG Dynamic Select System that lets the driver choose Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Slippery and Individual modes that tweak the suspension stiffness, transmission/throttle programming and idle speed.

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Inside, the AMG GLE43’s well-appointed 5-passenger cabin features a power sunroof, Comand telematics with an 8.0-inch high-res touchscreen and touchpad controller Harman/Kardon Logic7 premium sound system, leather upholstery and wood trim as well as a power rear liftgate that provides easy access to its 38.2 cu.ft. cargo bay. That area expands to 80.3 cu.ft. by lowering the backs on the 60/40 folding rear bench. Beyond its long list of standard safety items that include Attention Assist and the Pre-Safe system, the GLE43 also offers radar-based Distonic Plus adaptive cruise control with Steering Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Protection, Pre-Safe autonomous low-speed braking and Cross Traffic Assist.

Final pricing on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE43 4Matic will be released closer to its sale date, but it’s expected to start slightly higher than the current  GLE400 4Matic which opens at $66,575.

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