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Mercedes-Benz updates the GL-Class, even more BlueTEC models in the future

Muamer Hodzic May 4, 2009

GL 350 BlueTEC
All-new body elements and an upgraded interior will make the Mercedes-Benz GL even more appealing. In its new model year, the world’s top-class luxury SUV will consume up to 8 percent less fuel (preliminary value) and be even more environmentally compatible. Other outstanding features of the GL-Class will include excellent handling both on road and off road, exceptional roominess and the comfort of a luxury saloon.

Beginning in Fall 2009, Mercedes-Benz will also offer the world’s most extensive range of SUV models equipped with especially efficient SCR exhaust gas treatment technology. Besides the GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, customers will also have the ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC and R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC models to choose from. The fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly trio of models already created a stir during their first sales year in the USA and they are sure to also boost the appeal of this vehicle class in Europe.

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The GL-Class is becoming even more appealing

The GL-Class from Mercedes-Benz continues to hold the top position in the market segment of luxurious sports utility vehicles, but that’s not all: the latest model updates have made the premium off-roader even more attractive. In addition to introducing various technical modifications and innovations that particularly boost the fuel efficiency and environmental compatibility of the GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC and the GL 350 CDI 4MATIC featuring the BlueEFFICIENCY technology, the designers have made the vehicle’s striking body even more appealing. The GL-Class’ expressive presence is further accentuated by modernised bumpers, redesigned chrome underbody protection at the front and the rear, a new radiator grille and fog lights/daytime driving lamps connected by a chrome bar. Other new features include light-alloy wheels measuring between 18 and 21 inches and reworked chrome tailpipes. The range of colours is supplemented by two new metallic paintjobs: “Tenorite Grey” and “Palladium Silver”. The tow bar is now hidden behind the rear apron and is swung out when needed.

The premium off-roader also offers the very best in safety. The safety features encompass a variety of assistance systems, including the innovative safety concept PRE-SAFE®, which automatically prepares the vehicle and its occupants for an impending collision by optimally activating the protective functions. The SUV’s Intelligent Light System (ILS) optimally distributes the light across the road in line with the respective driving situation and weather conditions. Standard features also include LED daytime driving lamps and taillights.

Luxurious interior with outstanding feel-good factor

The up to seven occupants of the GL-Class will enjoy an incredibly spacious interior that provides passengers with the pleasant ambience that is typical of Mercedes-Benz and comparable to that of the S-Class. The redesigned leather/ARTICO seats with contrasting trimming will be a real eye-catcher in the new model year, while the top-of-the-line GL 500 model will be available with exclusive nappa leather appointments. All vehicles will have a new range of instruments, a multifunction nappa leather steering wheel and crash-responsive NECK PRO comfort headrests for the driver and the front-seat passenger. The interior’s attractiveness is further enhanced by optional equipment such as two-tone leather appointments in black/cashmere beige or black/alpaca grey and the indirect ambient lighting employed in the S-Class. The range of interior trim options is augmented by the variant “anthracite-coloured poplar”.

GL 350 CDI 4MATIC with BlueEFFICIENCY technology provides lots of driving pleasure while reducing fuel consumption

In addition to the GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC featuring SCR technology, the GL-Class is now available with BlueEFFICIENCY technology in the GL 350 CDI 4MATIC. This model consumes around 5 per cent less fuel than its predecessor without any change in performance. The vehicle’s V6 engine continues to generate 165 kW/224 hp and already provides its maximum torque of 510 Nm at 1,600 rpm. On average, the diesel engine consumes only 9.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres.

Like all other BlueEFFICIENCY models from Mercedes-Benz, the GL also features an extensive package of measures that help reduce fuel consumption. Besides the direct-injection diesel engine, these include the efficient 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission that switches to neutral when the vehicle is waiting at a traffic light or in a traffic jam in order to reduce engine load and fuel consumption. Fuel consumption is further reduced through the use of lower rolling resistance tyres. Aerodynamics have been improved by redesigning the radiator grille and adding more spoilers to the areas surrounding the front wheels. The GL’s fuel consumption is further reduced by the energy-saving electro-hydraulic power steering system. And thanks to a fuel consumption computer and a display showing current fuel consumption, GL drivers can always regulate their fuel consumption and, if necessary, adjust their driving behaviour.

Superlative drive comfort: GL 450 4MATIC, GL 500 4MATIC and GL 450 CDI 4MATIC equipped with V8 engines

Superlative power delivery and maximum drive comfort are among the special attributes of the two V8 petrol models, which also fulfil the EU5 standard. The
GL 500’s 5.5-litre V8 engine delivers 285 kW/388 hp and a torque of 530 Nm. Within 6.5 seconds the vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h almost as quickly as a sports car, and the top speed of 240 km/h is also comparable. In the GL 450, the V8 petrol engine has a displacement of 4.6 litres, an output of 250 kW/340 hp and a maximum torque of 460 Nm. The vehicle accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 235 km/h. The V8 diesel engine in the GL 450 CDI 4MATIC delivers 225 kW/306 hp, and its 700 Nm of torque create ideal conditions for achieving superior drive comfort.

Safe and agile both on and off the road

Besides featuring the innovative 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, the standard-fitted AIRMATIC air suspension, the high-precision direct steering system and the standard-fitted Adaptive Damping System (ADS), the imposing GL surprises customers with its impressive handling properties and ensures outstanding drive comfort and active safety. As a fully fledged off-roader, the GL performs well not only on the road but also when driving cross-country. The modified AIRMATIC system allows the vehicle to achieve a ground clearance of up to 307 millimetres. The Offroad-Pro technology package that is available as standard greatly improves manoeuvring in difficult terrain, thanks to the use of gear ratio reduction and multiple disc locks at the rear axle and the centre differential. The driver’s task is further simplified by additional electronic handling systems, such as Offroad ABS, Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) and anti-stall assist

Technical data of the GL model range at a glance:
Model
Cyl.
cc
kW/hp at rpm
Nm at rpm
Trans-mis-sion*
0-100 km/h (s)
Top km/h
EU stan-dard
l/100 km NEDC comb.**
GL 350 CDI 4MATIC Blue- EFFICIENCY
V6
2,987
165/224 3,800
510 1,600-2,800
AG 7
9.5
210
EU 4
9.3-9.6
GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC
V6
2,987
155/211 3,400
540 1,600-2,400
AG 7
9.6
210
EU 6
9.0***
GL 450 CDI 4MATIC
V8
3,996
225/306 3,600
700 2,000-2,600
AG 7
7.6
230
EU 4
11.6-11.8
GL 450 4MATIC
V8
4,663
250/340 6,000
460 2,700-5,000
AG 7
7.2
235
EU 5
13.4-13.6
GL 500 4MATIC
V8
5,461
285/388 6,000
530 2,800-4,800
AG 7
6.5
240
EU 5
13.6-13.8
*7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission; **depending on equipment package; ***preliminary values

BlueTEC campaign: R, ML and GL-Class now available in Europe with the world’s cleanest diesel technology

The GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC and R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC boast impressive performance, high torque, great fuel efficiency and low emissions, which make them some of the world’s cleanest premium SUVs. The latter two models can now also be ordered in Europe, where they will become available this autumn. The vehicles’ environmental friendliness was confirmed by the readers of Bild am Sonntag and a panel of experts who together awarded BlueTEC the “Green Steering Wheel”. The commission already certified last year that this technology has the greatest ecological potential of all of the currently available environmentally friendly automotive innovations.

BlueTEC — the synonym for environmentally friendly vehicles in the USA and now also in Europe

The history of BlueTEC in Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicle models began in the USAin October 2006, when Mercedes-Benz launched a BlueTEC version of the
E-Class saloon on the market to coincide with the introduction of low-sulphur diesel fuel. The vehicle immediately received great praise from customers and trade journalists alike and was voted the 2007 World Green Car. In the autumn of 2008, Mercedes-Benz added three new models to its range of BlueTEC vehicles: the R, ML and GL BlueTEC 4MATIC. These were the first diesel SUVs to meet the stringent emissions standards of all 50 US states. Besides the low emissions of the BlueTEC technology, US customers were impressed by the vehicles’ high fuel efficiency. The GL 320 BlueTEC 4MATIC, for example, consumes about 20 to 40 per cent less fuel than comparable petrol models, making it by far the most economical full-size luxury SUV in the USA.

Mercedes-Benz developed BlueTEC in order to effectively reduce the emissions

of diesel vehicles. The technology focuses particularly on nitrogen oxides, as they are the only emission constituent in diesels that inherently exceeds the equivalent figure for a petrol engine. It involves injecting a non-toxic aqueous carbamide solution known as AdBlueà“ into the exhaust gas flow. This releases ammonia. In the downstream SCRcatalyst system the ammonia then converts up to 80 per cent of the nitrogen oxides into the harmless products nitrogen and water. In addition, the GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC and R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC already fulfil the emissions limits of the EU 6 standard, which won’t go into effect until 2014.
The powerful V6 diesel engine of the new BlueTEC SUVs demonstrates that full-size SUVs can also achieve high fuel efficiency along with low emissions. This engine delivers 155 kW/211 hp and provides a torque of 540 Nm. As a result, it not only guarantees low emissions and high fuel efficiency but also superlative driving performance.

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