Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

Comfort, safety, elegance, efficiency - the all-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is the leading luxury full-size SUV. New innovations like standard COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST (CPA), Crosswind Stabilization, self-leveling air suspension and electromechanical steering all increase active safety. Also new are assistance systems like Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist, as well as PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist and the Surround View camera. With benchmark performance and ride characteristics both on-road and in rugged terrain, the GL-Class cradles its occupants with the first-class comfort of a luxurious sedan. The all-new GL is perfect for large families with ample space for up to seven passengers, while a host of efficiency measures delivers a substantial improvement in fuel economy.

Its balanced proportions (length 201.6 inches, width 84.3 inches, height 72.8 inches) and generous wheelbase (121 inches) reaffirm the on-road comfort of this vehicle. At the same time, the short overhangs front and rear, as well as substantial ground clearance are clear indications of its off-road capabilities.

The typically high SUV waistline with a distinctive chrome strip, the dynamic sweep of the character line and the chrome edging around the windows all add to the refined look of the all-new GL. The standard wheels on the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450 are 19-inch twin five-spoke alloys, while the GL550 comes with 21-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels. 20-inch 10-spoke alloys are available as options on the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450.

Split LED taillight clusters feature light guide technology, and a large roof spoiler and bumper in the modern "wing" design with a large chrome skidplate complete the impressive exterior.

For GL customers who value a more sporty, dynamic look, illuminated brushed aluminum running boards are standard on the GL550 and available as an option for the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450. Also available for the GL450 is the Appearance package with 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, illuminated running boards and dual chrome-tipped exhaust outlets.

Powerfully dynamic and elegant interior architecture, fine materials and lots of attention to detail, perfect ergonomics and generous amounts of space - the interior of the GL-Class conveys Mercedes-Benz's characteristic first-class ambience. Large trim pieces in fine wood finish, operating controls in silver chrome, and upholstery in MB-Tex with contrasting stitching reaffirm the overall premium feel of the GL's interior. The seating offers plenty of space for seven in a 2-3-2 layout. Compared with the previous model, occupants have more shoulder, elbow and headroom on all three seating rows. Electric operation of the third row is a standard feature. A new option is the Power EASY-ENTRY system for access to the third seat row. The second-row bench offers a wide range of positioning options for even more interior versatility, including rear-seat recline and a 60/40 split for optimizing the luggage area, which has a load volume ranging from 16 to 94 cubic feet.

The dashboard design emphasizes the width of the interior. The modern instrument cluster boasts a premium look-and-feel with two clearly designed and easy-to-read dials and a large 4.5-inch photo-quality color display between them. The top of the dashboard is dominated by a large central color screen for the infotainment system. The operating and display concept is extremely userfriendly, with the controller now located on the center console. It has a fine metal finish and offers intuitive and simple operation of infotainment, navigation and communication systems. Standard equipment includes a multifunction steering wheel in premium leather with gearshift controls and 12 multi-function buttons.

Beneath the center armrest with integrated hand support is a large stowage bin and, in front of it, the controls and switches for functions such as the AIRMATIC air suspension and the COMAND system. Included here are two cup holders with a premium wood retractable cover. The dashboard trim elements carry into the door trim panels, which feature distinctive stitching. The door mounted seat controls and handle are arranged in typical Mercedes fashion.

For further improved safety and driver alertness in the new GL-Class there are a wide range of assistance systems. Standard equipment includes the usual array of stability control features ESP®, ASR, ABS and the PRE-SAFE® predictive occupant safety system, and also introduces for the first time as standard COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST (CPA) and ATTENTION ASSIST driver drowsiness detection. The radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST operates at speeds between 20 and 155 mph and recognizes when the distance to the vehicle in front is decreasing. It can also recognize stationary objects. If there is an imminent risk of a collision, the system emits a visual and acoustic warning to alert the driver and prepares Brake Assist for the most immediate possible braking response, which is initiated as soon as the driver applies the brakes.

The system takes into account specific driving conditions such as bumper-tobumper traffic and adapts accordingly, calculating optimum brake pressure and adjusting it up or down as the situation changes - i.e. if the vehicle ahead accelerates, or if the distance to moving and stopping vehicles decreases. It calculates the precise braking force required to avoid an accident and makes best possible use of any distance remaining to minimize the risk of impact from the vehicle behind.

Another innovation and highlight in the new GL is the standard Crosswind Stabilization system, which assists the driver with targeted brake impulses in the event of strong crosswinds to deliver enhanced safety and vehicle control.

The optional Driver Assistance package includes DISTRONIC PLUS and PRESAFE® brake with autonomous braking function to optimize safety in certain dangerous situations. The package also comes with Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist. The Parking Assist package for the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450 features PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist for automatic maneuvering in and out of parallel parking spots, plus the new surround view camera. It uses image data from four cameras at the front and rear of the vehicle and in the exterior mirror casings to calculate a bird's eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings, and shows this and other perspectives on the large COMAND display. Also available for the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450 is the Lighting package, which includes Bi-xenon headlamps with Active Curve Illumination & Corner Illuminating Lamps, a headlamp cleaning system and Adaptive Highbeam Assist. The equipment in the Parking Assist and Lighting packages is standard for the GL550.

The extensively re-engineered V6 under the hood of the new GL350 BlueTEC generates 240 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque, marking an increase of 30 hp and 55 lb-ft over the outgoing model. SCR technology and AdBlue® injection place it well within emissions requirements across all 50 states. Supremely fuel efficient, it offers astonishing range on a single tank, paired with excellent pulling power from very low revs.

The twin-turbo direct-injection V8 motor in the best-selling GL450 is an outstanding combination of performance and efficiency. With 362 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, it offers 27 hp and 67 lb-ft more than its predecessor. This added power and higher peak torque delivered over a wider rev range deliver all the prerequisites for relaxed long-distance cruising, as well as the versatility and responsiveness to deal with a wide variety of day-to-day activities.

At the top of the list, the GL550 now comes with a direct-injection twin-turbo 429 hp engine with a mighty 516 lb-ft of peak torque. While the extra 47 hp brings even more performance to this supremely refined full-size SUV, it is the added 125 lb-ft of peak torque that truly make themselves felt, in terms of off the line performance and the ability of the GL550 to handle heavy loads with ease. Alongside state-of-the-art engine technology, all three engines are equipped with extensive efficiency measures like direct-injection and paired with the new seven-speed automatic transmission. Intelligent alternator management keeps fuel consumption down, as does the electromechanical steering, the optimized belt drive with decoupler, the intelligent demand-based control of all auxiliary equipment and pumps. A key feature of the GL350 BlueTEC is also the SCR exhaust system optimized for airflow and back pressure.

The front and rear suspension links, as well as the hood and fenders are made from lightweight and tough aluminum alloy. Further weight reduction was achieved with the new acoustic front windshield, the magnesium transverse mount supporting the dashboard, the BlueTEC system with SCR technology and components such as the new electromechanical steering, electric parking brake, polymer engine mounts and the aluminum brake servo unit. These weight reduction measures increase the agility of the full-size SUV while at the same time reducing fuel consumption.

Extensive standard equipment, individual equipment packages and an attractive range of paint finishes and premium interior appointments define the look of the new GL-Class. It comes to the U.S. market in three model variants, the GL350 BlueTEC with a V6 diesel, the GL450 and GL550 V8 biturbo gasoline versions.

The comprehensive list of standard equipment has been significantly expanded in comparison with the previous model. It incorporates safety features such as ATTENTION ASSIST, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST and Crosswind Stabilization. Comfort details like the power liftgate, an electric power/tilt sliding glass sunroof, MB-Tex upholstery with perforated surface finish and heated 8-way power front seats with driver 4-way lumbar support are also standard, as is the COMAND system with central controller.

Source: Mercedes-Benz press

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz GL-Class