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.
Better equipped interior
No performance figures just yet