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KIA: Now it's the edgy, wedgy Koup

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The new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

2006-12-01 13:51
Mercedes-Benz presents a new highlight in the luxury Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) market segment: the GL-Class.

The seven-seater premium off-roader offers excellent handling both on and off-road and pampers occupants with its spacious interior and the comfort of a luxury saloon. The GL, furthermore, sets another milestone with the PRE-SAFE? safety system, a first in this market segment.

With its poised, assured presence, the GL?s aspirations to conquer this market segment are clearly visible. The distinctive design idiom exudes power and exclusivity. Calm body surfaces, powerful, wedge-shaped features and striking details give the impression of forward motion even when stationary. The spacious body (length 5 088 mm, width 1 920 mm, height 1 840 mm) is beautifully proportioned.

Superlative comfort whatever the conditions

The welcoming interior with top-quality materials provides passengers with that feel-good atmosphere that only a Mercedes-Benz can, with more than ample space for seven people. The GL offers superb comfort - whether you?re popping into town, cruising hundreds of kilometers or negotiating rough terrain. Occupants enjoy freedom of movement even on the two full-sized individual seats in the third row.

The distance to the middle row of seats is 815 mm, with 979 mm headroom for passengers. If fewer seats are required, the rear individual seats can be stowed electrically at the push of a button, either individually or in tandem to provide a completely flat load surface. The luggage compartment capacity amounts to 1 240l in the five-seater configuration.

The GL can provide up to 2 300l of load capacity, with the load compartment measuring 2 128 mm in length. In line with the wide range of applications handled by the versatile all-rounder, the multi-zone THERMOTRONIC climatic comfort system fitted as standard in the GL models provides consistent temperature for all seven seats both in winter and on summer days.

Other standard convenience and comfort appointments include electrically adjustable front seats and a fixed rear glass roof above the third row of seats.

Intelligent solutions promote excellent safety

The GL makes full use of the advantages of its unitised body, combining optimum strength with intelligent lightweight steel design. The result is excellent passive safety. Combined with the front and rear deformation zones, the high-strength occupant cell forms an efficient base for the occupant protection systems that include:

  • Adaptive, two-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger
  • Sidebags in the front, and in the middle row of seats
  • Windowbags across all three rows of seats from the A to the D-pillar
  • NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger
  • Three-point seat belts on all seven seats
  • Seat-belt tensioners and adaptive belt-force limiters for the driver and front passenger, seat-belt tensioners and belt-force limiters on the outer seats in the middle row

    With the PRE-SAFE? preventive occupant protection system, a world first in this market segment, Mercedes-Benz has raised safety to an even higher level. The system's most striking feature: passive and active safety systems are networked with each other. PRE-SAFE utilises the sensors in the dynamic handling control systems such as ABS, BAS and ESP and optimises the protective function of the passive safety components in potential accident situations.

    The GL also takes pedestrian protection to a new level. The front section includes precisely defined ample crumple space between the body and the major assemblies underneath. In conjunction with impact zones that are designed to yield, this design provides a high degree of protection both for pedestrians and cyclists.

    The GL meets all the requirements of a state-of-the-art, luxury SUV and even redefines them on a higher level. Yet the hallmark Mercedes-Benz off-roader genes such as superlative robustness, ruggedness and long-term durability have not been compromised. It is not without reason that the model designation echoes the legendary precursor of all Mercedes-Benz off-road vehicles ? the G-Class. The evergreen off-roader is now in its 27th year of production.

    Outstanding handling on and off-road

    4MATIC ? the permanent four-wheel drive system from Mercedes-Benz ? provides the GL with superior handling whatever the conditions. Together with the standard AIRMATIC air suspension, the precise speed-sensitive power steering and the Adaptive Damper System (ADS), the imposing GL, with a wheelbase of 3 075 mm, handles impressively. Stability when towing a trailer is no less impressive thanks to ESP Trailer Stabilisation. It defuses critical driving situations involving a trailer before they become dangerous by precisely applying the brakes, while AIRMATIC provides fully automatic level adjustment.

    Special off-road features such as Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR), hill-start assist and off-road ABS assist the GL driver off road. The Off-Road Pro engineering package, fitted as standard, means the GL can also handle the most extreme off-road terrain. This includes a two-speed transfer case with a low range ratio and 100 % differential locks for the transfer case and the rear axle. The modified AIRMATIC air suspension, designed specifically for the more demanding conditions, increases the ground clearance to a maximum of 307 mm where required with a fording depth to 600 mm.

    Majestic drive systems: new V6 and V8 engines

    The ultra-modern engine line-up in the GL models provides superlative drive comfort and compelling performance coupled with superior fuel consumption figures compared with other vehicles in the class. Alongside the 165 kW V6 engine in the GL 320 CDI, the newly developed 5,5l, 285 kW engine in the GL 500, launched earlier in the new S-Class, celebrates its premiere in the GL.

    The 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT is fitted as standard to all GL models. Excellent performance and low fuel consumption result from the perfect combination of ultra-modern engines with 7G-TRONIC and the friction-optimised powertrain. Another important factor is the comparatively low gross vehicle weight thanks to the unitised body and the excellent aerodynamics (Cd 0,37) for such a large vehicle.

    Success story from state-of-the-art production facilities The GL is built at the state-of-the-art Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama, the third model series to be built here, alongside the M and R-Class.


    Driver's lucky escape

    2013-09-03 07:42

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