Mercedes is promising ‘S-class levels’ of ride comfort from its second-generation GL-class
Matt Burt
4 April 2012

Mercedes is promising ‘S-class levels’ of ride comfort from the second-generation Mercedes GL luxury off-roader, which has been unveiled at the New York motor show.

The seven-seater has been re-engineered in a bid to raise its competitiveness against the likes of Range Rover and Bentley’s forthcoming SUV.

The new GL is 5120mm long, 2141mm wide and 1850mm high, making it slightly larger than its predecessor in each dimension. The 3075mm wheelbase remains the same as the previous version.

A new, more rigid body, better insulation, an improved chassis and enhancements to the powertrain have contributed to improvements in the GL’s NVH characteristics.

Almost 100kg has been slashed from the kerb weight, partly by using aluminium alloy for the bonnet, wings and axle links, a new acoustic windscreen, a magnesium cross member and electric steering and parking brake systems.

Power for the GL350 BlueTec 4Matic comes from a three-litre V6 diesel or a 4.6-litre V8 petrol, mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Both engines are more powerful, but also offer fuel consumption that’s almost 20 per cent lower than the outgoing model.

The GL-class is expected to reach the UK towards the end of this year.

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