Mercedes' mad AMG GLE 63 S Coupé is an SUV on steroids

It's not the snappiest nameplate in the world but we dare you to say that to its angry face

Has that thing been exposed to the fallout of a gamma bomb?

Possibly, and to continue your excellent Incredible Hulk analogy, Mercedes' latest SUV transforms from a sedate family cruiser into a savage monster at the press of a button.

It's a gigantic kiddy transporter one minute and a raging 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 brute the next. You simply flick a switch on the dash and hold on tight.

Wait a minute. Did you just say 5.5-litre V8?

Yes, it's the absolute pinnacle of the new GLE Coupé range, which is the replacement nameplate for Mercedes' old ML range of off-road vehicles.

But like most mad Merc products, the GLE Coupé has been handed to AMG and fettled to ensure it not only looks the business, but drives like a rabid dog on a rampage.

Looks weird though, doesn't it?

Yeah it really does, but these luxury SUV/Coupé crossover things have proven a massive hit for rival manufacturers, such as BMW and Porsche. In fact, head to China, Russia or California and you can't move for the things.

Mercedes' ML struck a chord with buyers and the German marque hopes this sleeker, sportier and more aggressive coupé styling will pique the interest of those with deep pockets and slightly questionable taste.

What's it like to drive?

An absolute menace. We were lucky enough to go for a blast along some of Austria's finest roads and we were suitably impressed.

Ok, so it doesn't handle like a supercar - perhaps because it weighs nearly 2.4 tonnes - but the 4Matic permanent all-wheel-drive system ensures it grips like a maddened monkey.

The acceleration is also shockingly good, with that turbocharged V8 propelling the animal from 0-62mph in a Porsche 911-bothering 4.2 seconds.

Finally, we have to mention the noise. If you flick the Dynamic Select function to 'Sport Plus' mode - where the suspension steering and throttle response are at their sharpest - the exhaust emits a noise that sounds like Godzilla having enema complications. It's ludicrously loud, burble-y and brilliantly anti-social.

That doesn't sound like the sort of SUV you want to take on the school run...

Weirdly, the GLE 63 S Coupé is a very adept daily cruiser when it wants to be. Flick that Dynamic Select switch to 'Comfort' and the engine note settles down, the steering goes all soft and easy to manage, while the suspension soaks up any blemishes in the road.

It's like a palace inside, too, with almost every surface covered in leather, the seats bolstered beyond belief and niceties, such as heated and cooled cup holders, dotted all around the place.

The swooping coupé body style limits headroom in the rear but the boot can swallow 1720l when the rear seats are folded flat.

You're going to say it's massively expensive, right?

Hell yeah! Mercedes will ask you to hand over RM568197.36 for the most basic model and that's before you start beefing up the sound system, adding apps and web connectivity to the Comand infotainment system and demanding the production line skin more cows to deck out your interior.

Although you might find solace in the fact that standard equipment includes 22-inch alloy rims, heated rear seats, the aforementioned temperature controlled cup holders and a punchy Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system.

But we recommend you tick the box next to Active Parking Assist with 360-degree camera, because slotting this thing into a skinny Tesco parking bay will be a challenge.