The Mercedes GL-Class entered production in 2006 and six years later, is still rolling around in its first generation. However, for 2013, Mercedes is launching a new generation of the SUV, with an improved exterior look and new, more fuel efficient engines. The new GL-Class made its world debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show and will go on sale in the U.S. in September 2012.
The new GL-Class has a more powerful and sporty appearance, thanks to its new upright radiator grille with a central star and new headlamps with LED technology. The daytime running lamps also feature LED technology and are integrated in a chrome insert in the bumper, while chrome insertions have been placed under the radiator grille.
The new GL-Class will be offered in three models: GL350 BlueTEC, GL450, and GL550. The base version is powered by a 240 HP V6, while the other two models are powered by V8 engines, with 362 HP and 429 HP.
UPDATE 10/16/2012: Mercedes USA has unveiled a new video featuring a pretty cool overview for their latest GL-Class SUV. Enjoy!
Hit the jump to read more about the Mercedes GL-Class.
The new Mercedes GL measures 5120 mm in length, 2141 mm in width, and 1850 mm in height. The SUV has received a new upright radiator grille with central star and new headlamps with LED lights. The daytime running lamps also feature LED technology and are integrated in a chrome insert in the bumper, and beneath the radiator grille the generously sized chrome-look underguard completes the self-confident appearance of the front end.
At the rear, the GL received two-piece LED tail lights that feature fiber optics, a large roof spoiler, and a bumper in a contemporary "wing design" with a generously chromed underguard. The GL-Class also features an extensive AMG Exterior Sports package which is being offered for the first time. This package adds AMG front and rear aprons, special wheel-arch flarings, and 53.3 cm (21-inch) AMG 5‑twin-spoke light-alloy wheels.
For the interior, Mercedes has added fine materials and lovingly crafted details, optimum ergonomics, and a generous amount of space. The model has received new trims in various wood and aluminum variants, silver chrome controls, and upholstery crafted in breathable ARTICO man-made leather.
The new GL-Class now offers more room for the occupants on all three rows of seats. It also features an EASY-ENTRY system on both sides – also available with electric operation on request – for access to the third row of seats.
For 2013, the GL-Class will be offered in three trim levels: GL350 BlueTEC, GL450, and GL550. The base GL350 is powered by an extensively re-engineered V6 engine that delivers a total of 240 HP and 455 lb-ft of torque - or an increase of 30 HP and 55 lb-ft over the outgoing model.
The GL450 features a twin-turbo direct-injection V8 motor that delivers a total of 362 HP and 406 lb-ft of torque, or 27 HP and 67 lb-ft more than its predecessor. For the GL550, the V8 engine delivers a total of 429 HP and 516 lb-ft of peak torque - an increase of 47 HP and 125 lb-ft of peak torque over the previous model.
The engines feature direct-injection and are paired with the new seven-speed automatic transmission.
The 2013 GL-Class goes on sale in the U.S. in September 2012. Prices will be announced at a later date.
The list of competitors for the GL-Class includes models like the Audi Q7 and the Land Rover LR4 . The Q7 is preparing to enter its second generation for the 2013 model year. It will be lighter compared to the current model and will be offered with a new range of engines. The LR4 is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 375 bhp and 375 lbs/ft torque, which gives the LR4 a 0 to 60 mph time of 7.5 seconds.
- Improved appearance
- Better engines
- Better equipped interior
- No performance figures just yet