SANTA FE, NM – Mercedes-Benz plans to debut the second-generation of its GL-Class SUV for the 2013 model-year. The new GL will feature Mercedes’ new Collision Prevention Assist safety system, and a range of different models, including the GL350 BlueTEC, GL63 AMG, GL450, and GL550. Along with the M-Class, Mercedes builds the GL-Class at its U.S. plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The GL350 BlueTEC features a 240 hp, 455 lb.-ft. a V-6 turbodiesel engine. The GL63 AMG comes equipped with the AMG 5.5L biturbo, direct-injection V-8, which is capable of producing 550 hp and 560 lb.-ft. of torque. The GL450 and GL550 are both powered by new 4.6L direct-injection biturbo V-8 engines. The engine in the GL450 can produce 362 hp and 406 lb.-ft. of torque, and the GL550 can produce up to 429 hp and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. All GL-Class models feature four-wheel independent suspension and height-adjustable “Airmatic” suspension. The 2013 GL-Class lineup is equipped with an enhanced seven-speed automatic transmission that’s designed to provide better fuel economy than the previous version of transmission used in the GL-Class. The automaker hasn’t yet announced fuel-economy figures for these models.
Standard features on the GL-Class include electromechanical power steering; mbrace2; a color instrument display; a power liftgate; a rear-view camera; and a 115-volt outlet, in addition to other features mentioned.
Safety systems on the new GL-Class models include Attention Assist, Adaptive Brake technology, mbrace2 telematics, and Crosswind Stabilization, according to Mercedes. Electronic Stability Control and ABS anti-lock brakes are also standard. The Active Curve System, which provides greater stability in curves, Active Lane Keeping Assist, a Surround Sound View camera, and Active Parking Assist are all options.
The new Collision Prevention Assist system, standard on the new GL-Class, monitors the distance to other vehicles and objects in front of the GL. If the system senses a potential collision, it alerts the driver with a warning sound and a flashing light on the dash. The vehicle’s Pre-Safe system, also standard, automatically tightens the front seat belts and, on some models, moves the front passenger seat to a position that provides better protection in a crash. The system also closes side windows to provide better support for the curtain air bags. If the system detects an impending rollover, it closes the sunroof.
Outside, the new GL-Class features sleek bumper and front grille designs, chrome window trim, and front and rear skid plates. Mercedes used LED technology for the vehicle’s taillights and daytime running lights.
Inside, the GL-Class offers third-row seats that a vehicle owner can stow electrically via a button (either separately or together). This feature can provide a flat cargo floor, if needed. A manual “Easy Entry” feature is standard, and this same feature for the second-row seats is optional. Up front, the seats are heated and powered, and the interior comes with genuine wood trim and a retractable glass sunroof. Other options include a double-sized power Panorama sunroof with a fixed glass panel over the third-row seats and multi-color ambient lighting.
When it comes to connectivity, the GL-Class features Mercedes’ “Comand” system as standard. It comes with a high-resolution seven-inch color display screen with a Comand controller, AM/FM/HD radio, an in-dash, six-disc DVD/CD changer, and a Bluetooth interface for pairing a phone. Infotainment options include a harmon/kardon sound system and a rear-seat entertainment system.