The barking exhaust drew the attention of the Austrian cows, their cud chewing interrupted by the angry, theatrical snort from the tail pipes. Each one lazily looked up from their task and then sank back just a little bit, shying away from the monstrous SUV making the god-awful racket up on the road that wrapped around their field.

Even when stopped for a moment, poised against a mountain backdrop, thick mist and fog putting it in soft focus, the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe struck a dramatic pose. The beastly engine well-matched to the massive rig whose sweeping ‘Coupe’ roofline somehow only added to the sense of size.

At its wheel, a fat Aussie smiled then downshifted yet again. Superfluous gear changes extract the best of the GLE’s character. “Crackle”. “Bark”. “Moooooo”.

Those cows got off light. The next lot happened to be grazing next to a long, long straight.

The 63 S, we’re told, can scamper to 100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds – the 2,275 kg chassis shunted along by a 585 hp/ 560 lb-ft engine.

“Seems unlikely,” I told my co-driver as I pressed all the necessary buttons. Sport+ on, traction control off, revs up, brake pedal on aaannndd… launch. We hit the century in less time than it takes to say “Mercedes-Benz, ooops, I mean Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe”.

Those poor, poor cows. If the fuel I funneled through the biturbo 5.4L V8 engine wasn’t bad enough for the ozone layer the sudden, violent emissions from the scared cows would have sealed the deal.

The fat Aussie was no longer smiling but cackling gleefully. Greasy roads gave the 4Matic system something to think about briefly as the 60:40 rear-bias torque split scattered to the four corners of the car. I felt the tires scratch at the asphalt for a fraction of a second before the whole deal gathered itself up and shot forward. I’ve often wondered what a rugby ball feels like when passed to a marauding prop – I no longer do.

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