The new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is making its global debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, open to the public January 14 - 22, 2006. The highly successful auto company is poised to enter yet another market with the all-new GL-Class, a seven-seat luxury sport-utility that will be produced in the company’s Alabama plant along with the M-Class and R-Class.

The graceful body of the new GL-Class provides outstanding passive safety with a steel unit body that incorporates a high-strength occupant cell protected by front and rear crumple zones featuring new provisions to help reduce potential injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. The GL comes with two-stage front air bags for the driver and front passenger, side air bags in the front and 2nd-row seats, and curtain air bags that span all three rows of seats.

The new GL-Class arrives in the U.S. market with a 4.6-liter, four-valve-per-cylinder V8 engine producing 335-horsepower, a seven-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC full-time four-wheel drive.

The GL comes with four-wheel independent suspension, speed-sensitive power steering and 18-inch 265 / 60 all-season tires. The vehicle has a 7,500-pound Class V towing capacity and is available with optional height-adjustable Airmatic springing with ADS adaptive damping.

In addition to the widely acclaimed Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC system, standard features such as DSR downhill speed regulation, hill-start assist, and a special off-road ABS algorithm can help drivers during off-road excursions. An optional Off-Road Pro package includes a two-speed transfer case and locks for the center and rear differentials as well as modified air suspension that can increase ground clearance to 12 inches, which also raises its low-speed fording depth to more than 23 inches.

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