The GLK-Class production version will make its world debut this week-end at the Beijing Auto Show. It will make its U.S. dealer showroom debut in January 2009 as a 2010 model.

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The new sport utility is destined to be one of the most fuel-efficient Mercedes-Benz vehicles ever. Smaller and lighter than its well-known SUV siblings, the GLK features a fuel-sipping 3.5-liter V6 engine, a sophisticated seven-speed automatic transmission and available 4MATIC full-time four-wheel-drive. All of these components combine to give the GLK350 an impressive 0-60 time of just 6.5 seconds (estimated) while achieving an 23 mpg (estimated) on the highway.

Both the GLK350 and GLK350 4MATIC are matched with a seven-speed automatic transmission as standard. Low overall weight (estimated 4,036 lb. curb weight) and the exceptional aerodynamics for a vehicle of this design (cd figure 0.35) further contribute to the exceptional performance and low fuel consumption.

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The 2010 GLK features all the impressive design and safety technology found in other Mercedes-Benz models, including standard front and side air bags as well as window air bags. Among its many comfort and convenience features is an available rear-seat entertainment system featuring two eight-inch screens, wireless headphones and an integrated dual-source DVD player.

Press release

Mercedes-Benz released official pictures and information today of the all-new GLK-Class sport utility vehicle. The versatile SUV will debut at Auto China in Beijing on Sunday, April 20, and make its U.S. dealer showroom debut in January 2009 as a 2010 model.

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Powered by a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine the 2010MY GLK350 will form the basis of the U.S. lineup, and will be offered in both 4MATIC and two-wheel-drive versions, riding on standard 19-inch 10-spoke wheels with 235/50 tires. The GLK features a 108.5-inch wheelbase and boasts unique design language which sets it apart from the rest of the highly successful Mercedes-Benz family of SUVs that includes the M-Class (which spurred the trend toward more car-like SUVs), the larger GL-Class, the crossover R-Class and the iconic G-Class.

Showcasing bold exterior design, generous cargo capacity and available 4MATIC all-wheel-drive, the GLK350 combines the perfect balance of styling, versatility and performance. The 2010 GLK-Class will be produced exclusively at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, Germany.

Aggressive Styling and a Unique Personality

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With its poised, confident presence, the GLK-Class leaves no doubt about its intent to conquer the compact premium SUV segment. In sharp contrast to the relatively soft forms of other similar-sized vehicles, the striking, angular profile of the GLK sets it apart from the competition. From its steeply-raked windshield to the integrated rear spoiler on its tightly styled roof section, the bullish shape of the new GLK suggests power and agility, and echoes the G-Class — the iconic pioneer of the Mercedes-Benz SUV family.

Mercedes-Benz Design Chief Prof. Peter Pfeiffer adds: "With the G-Class we created a style icon that has been a benchmark in SUV design for the past 30 years. Combining this bold concept with the latest Mercedes-Benz design idiom makes the GLK a vehicle of genuine character."

Beautiful proportions (length 178.3 inches, width 72.4 inches, height 66.9 inches) and styling combine classic angular shapes together with the distinctive design features found in contemporary Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. Taut lines and large, expansive surfaces mix with the traditional characteristics of a proper off-road vehicle, such as short overhangs, an upright front end, slim roof pillars, and a steeply raked windshield. Generous angles of approach and departure combined with impressive ground clearance allow the GLK to handle light off-roading with ease. On-road, the clear layout of the exterior and good all-around visibility, combined with a commanding seating position, enhance everyday practicality and relaxed driving, even in dense city traffic.

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A Luxurious, Feature-Rich Interior

The GLK boasts a long list of standard equipment, including details not typically found in this vehicle class. Inside, a two-zone automatic climate control system, adjustable steering column, front seats with electrically adjustable height and backrest angle (including seat inclination adjustment) and manual lumbar support with two-way adjustment for the driver’s seat are all standard on the GLK. Standard integrated Bluetooth interface for mobile phones, a microphone for the hands-free system and a central 5-inch color display round out the list of interior appointments.

The 2010 GLK features all the impressive design and safety technology found in other Mercedes-Benz models, including standard front and side air bags as well as window air bags. Among its many comfort and convenience features is an available rear-seat entertainment system featuring two eight-inch screens, wireless headphones and an integrated dual-source DVD player.

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The distinctive looks of the GLK exterior are seamlessly continued inside, with luxurious materials and precise detailing. The taught, sculpted lines of the dashboard dominate the interior, visually extending into the door panels to lend additional width to the generously dimensioned cockpit. Luxurious Sienna Pine wood with chrome trim highlights the dashboard and door panels at the front and rear, while the upper section of the encompasses the instrument cluster and the standard 5-inch color display. The driver’s armrest features integrated cupholders and the standard controller for the audio functions and the optional COMAND multimedia system are located in ergonomically ideal positions between the front seats. Control of the individual menus is intuitive, following the familiar and well-proven layout used in the current C-Class and S-Class models. Additional shortcut buttons provide direct access to the most important main functions. Front and rear headroom figures are 39.8 inches and 39.7 inches respectively, while the cargo area boasts 23.3 cubic feet of storage. Cargo capacity balloons to 54.7 cubic feet when the 1/3:2/3-split rear seats are folded forwards.

A Wealth of Optional Equipment for the GLK buyer

Contributing to the versatility of the new SUV, five option packages as well as nine stand-alone options are planned for the 2010 GLK350. The popular Premium 1 package offers GLK buyers a spacious Panorama Sunroof, SIRIUS satellite radio and a power liftgate. Customers seeking even more luxury can opt for the Premium 2 package, which adds Bi-Xenon headlamps with adaptive lighting and headlamp washing system, rain sensing windshield wipers, memory settings for the driver’s seat, and much more. The Multimedia Package (which debuted on the new C-Class) adds COMAND with hard-drive Navigation as well as a rear-view back-up camera. Exterior options include an Appearance Package offering larger 20-inch 7-spoke wheels and Aluminum roof rails and, for the interior, an Upholstery Package adds interior lighting, a full leather interior and burl walnut trim.

Available 4MATIC All-Wheel-Drive System

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The optional all-wheel-drive powertrain at the heart of the GLK350 4MATIC is one of the most capable systems on the market. The dynamic ESP®, ASR and 4ETS driving systems work in concert to ensure top-notch longitudinal and lateral control and superb handling stability both on and off-road. Thanks to a compact, longitudinally designed engine, transmission and transfer case arrangement, the system offers various advantages over its counterparts equipped with a transversely installed drive unit. Estimated 23 mpg highway fuel consumption is on a par with comparable rear-wheel vehicles, while vibration and noise levels rival those of luxury models.

The 45:55 torque distribution between the front and rear axle – along with the ESP®, ASR and 4ETS dynamic handling control systems – guarantees effortless and exceptional performance. Loss of traction on snow or ice is compensated for by the newly developed multi-disc clutch in the center differential, which provides a basic partial locking torque between the front and rear axle. This arrangement produces a significant increase in traction while maintaining directional stability.

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Agility Control Suspension

The sophisticated Agility Control suspension on the new GLK-Class helps resolve a common paradox facing the SUV segment – how to create a vehicle that combines agile on-road comfort with off-road capability. For sporty, responsive handling, the suspension and, above all, the shock absorbers need to provide a certain firmness however, this may compromise comfort and limits off-road performance. If the vehicle is setup with softer dampers, dynamic handling naturally suffers. Thanks to "amplitude-dependent damping" the suspension can adjust to perform in either driving conditions. During normal driving on moderately contoured roads or slow off-road manoeuvres, the system responds softly, enhancing both the occupants’ comfort and the vehicle’s off-road capability. During more spirited driving or when performing abrupt evasive maneuvers, the dampers adjust to a harder setting ensuring optimum handling stability. Additionally, speed-sensitive power steering supports the driver with a precise balance of high-speed road feel and low speed maneuverability. Maximum power assistance is available during parking and off-road driving, while at higher speeds, the assistance is reduced in favor of greater handling stability.

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In addition to a tire pressure warning system, the tried-and-tested Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) for the GLK incorporates a vehicle/trailer stabilization function, which helps maintain control while towing a trailer by applying the individual wheel brakes as required. The GLK offers a maximum tow rating of 3,500 lbs.

Complete Safety Package for Maximum Occupant Protection

In combination with the front and rear deformation zones, the GLK’s high-strength passenger cell provides a highly efficient foundation for the occupant protection systems, which include:

  • Adaptive, two-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger
  • Front side-impact airbags
  • Windowbags across both seat rows from the A-pillar to the C-pillar
  • Active head restraints for the driver and front passenger
  • Crash-optimized pedal system
  • 3-point seat belts for all five seats
  • Belt tensioner and adaptive belt-force limiter for the driver and front passenger, belt tensioner and single-stage belt-force limiter for the outer rear seats
  • ISOFIX child seat attachments
  • Belt height adjuster for the driver and front passenger
  • Belt status indicator for the rear passengers in the instrument cluster
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Mercedes remains true to the philosophy that the best accidents are the ones that are avoided entirely. With this in mind, standard equipment for all GLK models includes Brake Assist (BAS), which shortens the braking distance significantly — especially during panic braking — to help prevent accidents or at the very least mitigate their consequences. The front section incorporates precisely defined crumple space between the body and the major assemblies beneath, allowing the hood to yield considerably if hit by a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist. Together with the specially designed front bumpers and the softer foam of the integrated bumper impact absorbers, these measures afford pedestrians a high degree of protection.

Proven V6 Powerplant

The new sport utility is destined to be one of the most fuel-efficient Mercedes-Benz vehicles ever. Smaller and lighter than its well-known SUV siblings, the GLK features a fuel-sipping 3.5-liter V6 engine, a sophisticated seven-speed automatic transmission and available 4MATIC full-time four-wheel-drive. All of these components combine to give the GLK350 an impressive 0-60 time of just 6.5 seconds (estimated) while achieving an 23 mpg (estimated) on the highway.

Both the GLK350 and GLK350 4MATIC are matched with a seven-speed automatic transmission as standard. Low overall weight (estimated 4,036 lb. curb weight) and the exceptional aerodynamics for a vehicle of this design (cd figure 0.35) further contribute to the exceptional performance and low fuel consumption.

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Much as the latest C-Class sedan has brought a new level of sporty driving and ride comfort to the sedan world, the new GLK brings a new combination of agility and comfort to the SUV market. The GLK also broadens and extends the Mercedes-Benz sport utility line with cutting-edge engine and four-wheel-drive technology packaged in a stylish vehicle that’s the perfect size for today’s busy family.

The Widest Range of SUVs

Mercedes-Benz offers the widest range of SUVs in the premium segment, the GLK being the brand’s fifth model in the series. In response to customers’ wishes, the company’s Family of SUV’s has grown to include the R-Class, M-Class, GL-Class and G‑Class. The new GLK is the latest addition to this successful line-up.

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With its poised, confident presence, the mere look of the GLK-Class leaves one in no doubt about its intent to conquer the premium compact-SUV segment. All while displaying unmistakable echoes of the G-Class, the forefather of the Mercedes-Benz SUV family. As Head of Design, Gordon Wagener, remarks: "Combining the puristic design of our style icon, the G-Class, with the latest Mercedes-Benz design idiom makes the GLK a model with genuine character."

Distinctive personality radiating power and dynamism

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No other model in the world of compact SUVs, past or present, comes close to matching the GLK’s distinctively expressive appearance. The body is beautifully proportioned (length 4528 mm, width 1840 mm, height 1689 mm), while there is a special allure in the interplay between the classic angular shape and the typical design features found in all contemporary Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. Here the unmistakable design idiom, consisting of taut lines and large, expansive surfaces, is combined with the typical body features of a practical off-road vehicle, such as short overhangs, an upright front end, slender roof pillars, a steeply angle windscreen and flat roof lines. Rather than being a stylistic end in itself, however, the body design allows the typical advantages of an off-road vehicle to be introduced to the more road-oriented compact-SUV category. Large angles of approach and departure coupled with generous ground clearance make excursions off the beaten track a highly pleasurable experience. The fact that the driver enjoys both an excellent overview of the body and a good all-round view courtesy of the raised seating position boosts everyday practicality and guarantees relaxed motoring, even when driving in dense city traffic.

Powerful and expressive: the front end of the GLK

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The most eye-catching feature at the front of the GLK is the powerful radiator grille with its succinctly styled frame, which leaves no doubt that this model series belongs to the family of Mercedes-Benz off-roaders and SUVs. Featuring two fins on the "exterior sports package" model variant and three on the "off‑road styling package" variant, both radiator designs are painted in a "matt brilliant silver" finish. Additional chrome trim provides a contrast to the radiator grille mesh, which – just like the air intake grille and front fog lamp covers below it – is coloured in matt black, lending further emphasis to the car’s sportiness. The standard clear-lens projection-beam headlamps create a visual link between the upright front end of the vehicle and its beefy flanks. The "off-road styling package" equipment variant hints at the off-road prowess of the GLK-Class by including matt black rub strips in the bumper on each side along with a simulated underguard.

Beefy profile with classic off-roader proportions

The side view of GLK is reminiscent both of the iconic G‑Class and its contemporary interpretation in the form of the GL-Class. The model’s family ties are plain to see from the short overhangs, upright front end, steeply angled windscreen and the taut roof lines terminating in a distinctive rear spoiler. The body designers also turned the roof rails into a styling element. In conjunction with the "off-road styling package", this standard equipment detail has a matt black finish, and combines with the matt black off-road pads und side skirts to underline the off-roading character. On models with the "exterior sports package", the roof rails have a matt-lustre aluminium look. The visual interplay between the roof rails, the body-coloured side skirts and the chrome trim strips along their upper edge is a sign that this equipment variant is more destined for the road. Stainless-steel running boards with raised black studs are available as an option for both variants.

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The side window panels in high-gloss black make the glass surface appear to be self-contained. This detail lends tranquillity to the profile view and elongates the greenhouse, as it is known, to dynamic effect. Running along the beltline below the side windows is a chrome-plated trim strip which merges into the contours of the front wing and rear sidewall. This produces a coherent link between the vehicle’s front, side and rear sections.

Underneath the beltline, the side view is dominated by a powerful shoulderline which emerges from the front wheel arch and converges to a point at the rear. This striking feature line, which is repeated across all model series, clearly identifies the GLK as a member of the current generation of Mercedes vehicles. The expressive surface styling is continued into the muscular wheel arches where, regardless of the wheel size fitted, the standard-specification light-alloy wheels are almost flush with the outer edge of the wheel arch lip. The "off-road styling package" variant of the GLK rides on flat-styled 5-spoke wheels in a 17-inch format, with the option of more angular-looking 20-inch 7-spoke wheels. In "exterior sports package" guise, the GLK is shod with 19-inch wheels in a 10-spoke design. Here again, customers may also opt for 20-inch wheels, this time with a 5-twin-spoke design.

A fitting finale: the tail end of the GLK

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The tail rounds off the coherent body design, with the individual styling elements coming together to form a perfectly shaped whole: the rear spoiler prolongs the taut lines of the roof, before bringing the vehicle to a neat conclusion with a continuous spoiler lip. The tail light units form a further connecting element between the flanks and the rear. Not only are they a key identifying feature of the current Mercedes design idiom common to all model series, their horizontal structure adds further emphasis to the rear’s broad, imposing appearance. In conjunction with the optional lighting package, LED indicators are fitted whose brilliant, crystalline finish further enhances the high-class looks. The stainless-steel load sill guard, which effectively protects the painted bumper from damage when loading the vehicle, is flush-fitted and adds a further touch of visual appeal to the rear.

As at the front of the vehicle, there is a noticeable difference in focus between the "exterior sports package" and "off-road styling package" variants at the rear end too. Whereas the former pursues the sporty theme with chrome strip inserts, the tail of the latter is dominated by robust off-road elements, including matt black rub strips and a simulated underguard. The two-pipe exhaust system with rectangular tailpipes that is standard with all engine variants lends further impact to the striking looks of the GLK-Class.

Interior complements the exterior styling perfectly

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The distinctive looks of the exterior are seamlessly continued inside the GLK-Class. On the one hand, the sophisticated finish of the surfaces brings the latest in Mercedes design to the interior. And on the other, the GLK offers an upmarket, luxurious interior, boasting materials of exquisite appeal plus precise detailing. There is a profound sense of wellbeing – a hallmark of all Mercedes vehicles – while the interior’s overall quality feel is on a par with that in the GL-Class.
The orchestrating element here, due to its dominant styling, is the dashboard, visually extending into the door panels to lend additional width to the generously dimensioned interior. A large trim strip divides the basic structure into three vertically arranged sections. With its large, taut surfaces, precision-finished edges and perfectly positioned seam of chrome, this element sets the styling tone for the rest of the interior. In its basic version, this component has a coarser, yet nevertheless sophisticated textile covering, which matches the seat upholstery fabric. There are two different fine wood trims and an aluminium trim to choose from.

The upper section of the dashboard spans the instrument cluster and the fixed central display in a single sweep, and has a matt black finish regardless of the colour chosen for the interior appointments to prevent irritating reflections in the windscreen. Like the centre tunnel, the lower section of the dashboard is coloured black, grey or beige, depending on the colour chosen for the appointments. At the front end of the centre tunnel can be found two trim elements in piano lacquer look, in the form of the ashtray fascia and the shift console cover. Depending on the additional equipment features that are specified, these covers together with the trim strip in the dashboard may be finished in pine brown or burr walnut wood. There is also the alternative of aluminium trim in conjunction with the "interior sports package".

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The door panels take their cue from the dashboard’s styling. The beltline is always matt black, generating a "wrap-around" effect and making the vehicle’s occupants feel safe and secure. And this has the added benefit of also eliminating reflections, of course. The characteristic Mercedes adjustment controls for the driver’s seat and front passenger seat are located in trim panels whose appearance and material selection harmonise with the dashboard’s trim strip. The same is true of the chrome door openers in the front and rear. The armrests below them rest on long, galvanised metal door pulls and match the selected appointments colour on all models. Many different materials are available to choose from: fabric, ARTICO man-made leather/fabric, ARTICO man-made leather and leather. GLK customers can specify either an all-black interior or an interior in black with contrasting alpaca grey or almond beige. In the latter case, the seats, armrests, door pockets with built-in speakers and the lower section of the dashboard are finished in the lighter colour, as is the carpet if almond beige is specified. An even more striking contrast is provided by the sahara beige colour that is available for the optional leather appointments: here, just the seats and armrests stand out with their light-coloured finish in the otherwise black interior.

But it does not stop there, as the Mercedes designo range presents customers with a yet wider choice of appointments options. The designo seats fitted as standard in the "EDITION 1" special model, which are upholstered in contrasting black and a very pale porcelain beige, are just one example of the possibilities on offer.

Interior and climate control

An aesthetically appealing interior architecture which harmonises beautifully with the exterior’s styling, a generous level of spaciousness offering ideal ergonomics, a pioneering operating concept, the refined specification, automatic climate control – the GLK-Class is designed to make driving it an experience that is as every bit as comfortable and relaxing as it is safe. The high-strength, robust body also does its bit to further heighten this feeling of wellbeing. The vehicle’s unshakable foundation supplements the balanced level of comfort with minimum background noise and pleasant vibration characteristics.

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The dimensional concept for the body allows excellent use to be made of the interior space whilst maintaining a compact vehicle footprint (4528 mm long x 1840 mm wide). The primary factors that help to boost the interior’s roominess are the vehicle’s generous height (1689 mm), its larger wheelbase (2755 mm), the steeply angled windscreen (50 degrees), the relatively wide track (1567 mm at the front, 1588 mm at the rear), as well as a propshaft tunnel that is narrow for a 4x4 model. This basic design enables a typical off-roader seating position, whose key comfort dimension is on a par with that of the considerably larger M-Class: the distance between the seat reference point and the heel reference point is 318 millimetres in the front and 347 millimetres in the rear. This combines with the perfect ergonomics of the seat designs to promise relaxed motoring for all, whether it’s on a short trip into the city centre, a long journey of several hundred kilometres or when negotiating off-road terrain. The excellent accessibility of the GLK is likewise impressive. Large door opening angles (front: 65 degrees, rear: 73 degrees), the high roof edge and slender door sills make getting into the GLK a straightforward affair.

Ideal seating position, partially power-adjustable front seats as standard

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Although the GLK is designed to offer a high standard of seating comfort all round, the ergonomics experts paid particular attention to the driver’s workstation. Consequently, the driver’s seat, steering wheel and the pedals – which have been adapted to make allowance for the steeper seating position – are all aligned along the same axis. This basic positioning alone is sufficient to create optimum ergonomic conditions. Ample adjustment ranges together with the generous amount of headroom (1010 mm) allow drivers of virtually any stature – even those over two metres tall – to find a comfortable seating position where they can easily reach the controls. The driver’s seat’s fore-and-aft position can be adjusted by 265 mm and its height by 54 mm, whilst the standard adjustment for the steering wheel allows it to be repositioned through 60 mm in an axial direction and 50 mm vertically. These are some of the best figures in this vehicle segment.

All models will initially go on sale with partially power-adjustable seats in the front, allowing the seat cushion height and backrest angle to be set at the push of a button. The driver’s seat also includes a manual adjustable 2-way lumbar support as standard. In the case of the optional "fully electrical, 10-way seat adjustment" – which includes electrical 4-way lumber support adjustment for both the driver and the front passenger – the seats as well as the front head restraints can be brought into the correct position by means of the familiar 3-part adjustment switches in the door control panels. The built-in memory function enables previously programmed settings for the seat, steering column and exterior mirrors to be automatically restored at the push of a button. There is also an entry and exit aid which can be activated. The crash-responsive head restraints in the front are a novel new development, whose tilt angle can be adjusted in addition to their height.

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The passengers in the rear can also enjoy a level of spaciousness which is generous by compact SUV standards. Apart from the ample headroom of 1012 mm, the shoulder room is also impressive at 1408 mm, as is the elbowroom (1440 mm) and the effective legroom (891 mm). The outer head restraints in the rear can be adjusted for height and tilt angle too.

Variable load compartment, copious amounts of load space

When loaded normally, i.e. up to the top edge of the rear seat backrests, the load compartment of the GLK is able to hold 450 litres with a loading width of at least 950 millimetres. Should extra transport capacity be required, the rear-seat backrests can be folded down, either individually in the ratio 1:2 or completely, producing an almost perfectly flat load area. This concept makes for considerably simpler usability compared to systems where the seat cushion folds too. Folding the entire backrest flat produces 1550 litres of load capacity, with the load compartment then measuring 1674 millimetres in length. As an extra safety feature, a red indicator on the release button clearly shows when one of the rear backrests is not properly locked into place.

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The load compartment’s contents can be hidden from sight thanks to the load compartment cover, while the load-securing rings featured as standard make it easier to fasten down items of luggage. The vehicle’s specification also includes bag hooks, coat hooks in the tailgate trim, a 12-volt power outlet and a lamp at the side of the load compartment. Also to be found on the standard equipment list is an additional stowage compartment under the fold-up load compartment floor with a capacity of 86 litres. The compartment is split into smaller partitions by a removable stowage tub. Optional equipment features include the safety partition net as well as the EASY‑PACK tailgate, which can be opened and closed at the push of a button, either from the driver’s seat or by using the locking system’s remote control.

Full complement of comfort features, luxurious extras

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The GLK-Class model range from the 125-kW/170-hp GLK 220 CDI 4MATIC upwards, boasts a high-class comfort specification even in standard guise (see list of equipment features). GLK customers furthermore have the option of upgrading their vehicle with the sort of comfort-enhancing features that are normally the preserve of more exclusive model segments. The list of options offered by Mercedes-Benz for the GLK-Class includes:

  • Interior sports package: 3-spoke leather steering wheel with shift paddles, aluminium trim elements in the dashboard and in the front and rear door panels, stainless-steel door sills in the doors, interior lighting package, instrument cluster in matt silver with tube-style design, combined fabric/ARTICO man-made leather upholstery, sports pedals with stainless-steel look, selector lever in leather with chrome inlay
  • "Leather appointments": leather upholstery, including rear armrests, in the colours black, alpaca grey, Como beige, macadamia beige, interior lighting package with air vent thumbwheel illumination, footwell lighting in the front, handle recess illumination, exit and warning lights in the front and rear doors, special floor mats front and rear, reversible mat in luggage compartment
  • "Wood trim": "matt pine brown" or "burr walnut" for dashboard trim strip, four door control panels, shift console cover, ashtray

Further comfort features which are available to order separately for the interior:

  • Automatically dimming interior mirror and exterior mirrors
  • COMAND APS with 7.5-inch monitor positioned in centre of dashboard, integral radio, CD/DVD player, DVD/hard-disc navigation with tracking system for recording routes outside areas covered by digitised maps, telephone operation and off-road menu, can be combined with TV tuner and reversing camera
  • Rear seat entertainment system with two 8-inch screens, radio remote control, 2 sets of IR headphones, aux-in socket for multimedia devices such as games consoles, DVD player
  • Media interface
  • Multifunction leather steering wheel
  • Panoramic glass sliding sunroof, electrically operated
  • Privacy glazing
  • Heated front seats
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A new LINGUATRONIC system with extended functionality, that is available as an option in conjunction with COMAND APS and Audio 50 APS, offers supremely convenient operation of the audio, communication and navigation systems. The voice-operated control now recognises whole-word commands, which can be spoken by anyone without the need to train the system first. The system is simply activated by means of a control on the right of the multifunction steering wheel, and can be used for: making a call by saying the telephone number, controlling the audio system, calling up the global address book and operating the navigation system.

A pleasant interior temperature whatever the weather

The standard comfort features include an elaborate system that maintains an ideal interior climate no matter whether driving in the depths of winter, the height of summer, through clouds of dust on dried-out tracks, or when pollen levels are critical. All GLK models comes with the THERMATIC 2-zone automatic climate control system, that allows separate temperatures to be set for the left and right of the vehicle. In the automatic mode, the blower speed is smoothly adjusted as a function of the difference between the actual and set temperatures. The system’s electronic control gleans its information from an extensive network of sensors: in addition to two interior temperature pickups, the system also consults the exterior temperature pickup to help it calculate the optimum individual climate settings. A solar sensor, which measures both the intensity of the sun’s rays and the direction they are coming from, improves regulation of the interior temperature by automatically adjusting the flow rate and temperature of the air.

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For the passengers in the rear, there are two central air vents on the rear end of the centre tunnel trim; both the airflow rate and its direction can be adjusted separately. THERMATIC offers further convenience-enhancing features besides: if the air-recirculation button is pressed for longer than two seconds, any open windows as well as the tilting/sliding sunroof will close automatically (tunnel function) and all fresh air entering the interior will be directed via the combination filter. Pressing the button for around two seconds again will return the windows and sunroof to their previous positions and reopen the fresh air flap.

At low ambient temperatures, the heating circuit’s heat exchanger keeps the interior snug and warm with its heating output of around 11.0 kW. In order to keep the warm-up phase short after starting the diesel engines in the GLK 220 CDI and GLK 320 CDI models from cold, an electronically controlled PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) heating element is used. In contrast to conventional systems, where additional diesel fuel is burned in a heater booster to shorten the warm-up phase, the PTC system has a far more neutral effect on the environment and is substantially more effective too.

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An even greater scope of functions is available by opting for the THERMOTRONIC 3-zone luxury automatic climate control system. This system version features a climate control panel in the rear centre console which can be used to program or automatically regulate the temperature and airflow settings for the rear passenger compartment. There is also a REST button which can be pressed after the engine has been switched off to heat or ventilate the passenger compartment for about 30 minutes, depending on the temperature set at the control panel and the outside temperature.

Exemplary control and display concept

The control and display concept aboard the GLK is an innovative one, especially for the compact SUV class. Neatly arranged instrumentation, a fixed display for the infotainment system positioned centrally at the top of the dashboard and a range of multifunction steering wheels are all designed to take some of the hard work out of driving. New colours and vivid graphics further simplify usability without losing any of the familiar clarity. Vehicle functions such as the climate control settings continue to be controlled by means of classic switch elements, which are clustered together in clearly arranged groups.

The Entry instrument cluster is partnered by a 4-button multifunction steering wheel. The fuel level and coolant temperature are indicated in analogue gauges in the left-hand segment, where there is also a single-line display showing the outside temperature. The speedometer in the middle encompasses a two-line display signalling the odometer and trip meter readings. In the right-hand segment of the instrument cluster, further driver information is provided by the analogue rev counter and a display showing either the time or the selected 7G‑TRONIC gear.

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On models fitted with the Midline instrument cluster, a white backlit 4.5-inch display inside the circular speedometer increases the scope of information that can be shown. The multifunction display is able to visualise, for instance, a configuration menu for personalised vehicle settings, information from the maintenance computer, navigation, audio and trip computer data, along with telephone functions, messages from the tyre pressure monitoring system or tyre pressure loss warning system, and the engine oil level.

Where the optional COMAND APS infotainment system is specified, including a 7.5-inch colour screen, built-in radio, CD/DVD player, DVD/hard-disc navigation, telephone controls and off-road menu, the system’s controller is positioned in front of the driver’s armrest in the centre for optimum ergonomics. Control of the individual menus is intuitive, following the familiar and well-proven control logic used in the S-Class. Additional direct access buttons make it easier to call up the principal main functions.

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The sturdy, robust body of the GLK-Class is more than just the prerequisite for exceptional standards of active and passive safety. It also forms the foundation for the well-balanced vibrational and acoustic comfort, while its lightweight construction helps to reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption At the same time, the body with its unitised structure must be able to twist its way through off-road terrain and handle sand, mud or scree tracks, yet still guarantee lasting durability. Just like all other Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, the GLK has all the right credentials to become a vintage car. The MobiloLife guarantee initially covers all new vehicles for a period of two years. After that time, and provided that it is regularly serviced in an authorised Mercedes-Benz workshop, the car is eligible for a long-term protection plan that gives its owners up to 30 years’ peace of mind.

Intelligent bodyshell reinforcements for when the going gets tough

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The body of the GLK has been carefully adapted to make allowance for the compact SUV’s broad spectrum of capabilities. It is composed primarily of high-strength, state-of-the-art high-strength and ultra-high-strength sheet steel, and accounts for 47 percent of the overall weight. The force application points in particular – as the connection points between the body and chassis are known – are strengthened with solid reinforcements to preserve the excellent driving dynamics and active safety under all handling conditions. These structural measures have the added benefit of enhancing the vehicle’s acoustic and vibrational comfort, which both set new benchmark standards in the compact-SUV segment. Additional reinforcements are to be found in the floor assembly, the propshaft tunnel and the links to the body pillars. The firewall is made up of four sheet sections whose material thickness varies in accordance with the individual peaks in load, thereby maximising stability whilst minimising weight. The lower sections of the firewall are 1.25 mm thick, whilst those at the top have a thickness of 0.8 mm. The dashboard is supported by a square aluminium section, which is in turn bolted to the two A‑pillars at both ends, substantially strengthening this part of the body. A supplementary strut braces the steering’s jacket tube against the firewall, preventing any steering tremble when the engine is idling.

Easy-to-repair design

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The entire front end of the body is bolted to the structural components behind, enabling cost-effective repairs to be carried out following collisions without the need for welding work. The front-end assembly comprises an extruded aluminium section, a single-piece crash box made from aluminium which connects to the front longitudinal members, as well as a multipiece sheet steel framework which holds the headlamp assemblies, the bumper, the washer fluid reservoir and the bonnet catches. A frame-type integral support made of high-strength steel acts as the axle and engine carrier. It is here that parts of the wheel location componentry, the steering gear and the engine mounting are secured. The rear-end assembly consists of an ultra-high-strength flexible steel bumper bracket with welded crash boxes made from reinforced sheet metal.

Effective corrosion protection for a long vehicle life

Effective corrosion protection is particularly crucial in the case of SUV models and off-roaders. This is exactly why all GLK models feature a series of precisely harmonised protective mechanisms, which are underpinned by full galvanisation of the body. Instead of refining the entire bodyshell with an even coating of zinc applied by electrolysis, the selective use of components with different coatings brings about a substantial improvement in the overall level of protection.

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In addition to fully galvanising the body, its resistance to corrosive attack is further enhanced by applying a protective coating to the cavities, sealing the body flanges and employing a specially designed paintwork system. Following the phosphating and cathodic dip priming stages, the Paint Shop at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen applies a series of coats, including the primer coat, the coloured base coat and finally the top coat featuring nano technology for a more scratch-resistant finish. In view of its environmental impact, the development engineers dispensed with a PVC underbody seal, opting instead for full underbody panelling. The panelling system furthermore offers superior aerodynamics, can be easily replaced if it becomes damaged, and effectively protects the underbody against stone chipping.

Systematic torture – introducing the dynamic MEKO programme

During its development, the GLK had to withstand the rigours of the Mercedes-Benz dynamic corrosion endurance test programme known as MEKO. This takes as its yardstick the most extreme climatic conditions in the world, such as constant exposure to cold and salt spray in Canada, the tropical humidity of Thailand, or the extreme temperature fluctuations in Dubai with the resulting formation of condensation. Then there’s the heat of the searing South African sun coupled with longer journeys along dust roads and gravel tracks. The automotive torture specialists also incorporated a whole series of dynamic load tests, including driving on rough roads, along mud, dirt and stone chipping tracks, through torsion sections, at high speed and through water.

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For it is only by subjecting the body and its detachable parts to constant levels of mechanical stress that the effectiveness of the extensive corrosion protection can be truly put to the test. Over a period of 16 weeks, the test subjects have to endure a daily torture programme, with alternating phases of salt spray, humid heat and dry heat in climate chambers followed by the dynamic load cycles. The test drivers are given the weekend off, but the punishment continues relentless for the cars, as they face up to Arctic cold, tropical heat or continuous rainfall in the climate chambers. Once the Mercedes-Benz corrosion endurance test programme has concluded, the body is dismantled right down to the smallest detail in order to inspect the results. It is only by disassembling it in such meticulous fashion that the effectiveness of the corrosion protection in the body flanges and cavities can be subsequently examined and optimised where necessary.

MobiloLife: guaranteed mobility and value retention

As is the case with all new Mercedes‑Benz passenger cars in many countries throughout Europe, the GLK-Class leaves the factory with a special mobility and value retention guarantee. Up until the end of the second year of registration, the MobiloLife mobility guarantee applies unconditionally. After that time, and provided that it is regularly serviced in an authorised Mercedes workshop, the GLK is eligible for a long-term protection plan that gives its owners up to 30 years’ peace of mind. The range of MobiloLife services include being able to have any rust perforation (from the inside to the outside) on the bodywork or underbody repaired free of charge by an authorised Mercedes-Benz workshop for a period of up to 30 years. What’s more, the terms of the guarantee also ensure the owner’s continued mobility during the time that the vehicle is in the workshop having any form of perforation damage repaired.

Airflow characteristics a tremendous achievement by SUV standards

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Achieving good aerodynamics and soothing aeroacoustics posed two of the major challenges during development of the GLK. Normally, a basic body structure with an angular design and steeply inclined front windscreen would preclude a smooth airflow pattern around the vehicle. Yet, by systematically eliminating the sound conduction paths into the passenger compartment, the aerodynamics engineers succeeded in keeping wind noise levels low, especially at higher speeds. The principal measures:

  • Strengthening of the bodyshell structure and implementation of effective sealing measures
  • Door sealing concept featuring two continuous sealing levels and three in key areas
  • Strengthening of critical areas of the outer skin in order to reduce low-frequency wind noise
  • High-quality anti-drumming coatings on sound-emitting sheet-metal surfaces
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The panoramic glass sliding sunroof that can be specified as an option now comes with a novel new air-deflecting mesh to suppress the booming sound when driving with the sunroof fully open and keep the interior virtually draught-free, despite the generous size of the opening. And although it features large exterior mirrors and enlarged air intakes, the GLK boasts a low drag coefficient of cd = 0.34, placing it in the lead group of competitors in this segment. This outstanding reading can be attributed to the painstakingly detailed work carried out by the aerodynamics experts. The enhancements made to the bodywork focused on the streamlined styling of the front and rear aprons and tail light assemblies, and on optimisation of both the sealing in the area around the radiator and of the way in which the airstream is channelled through the engine compartment in order to make efficient use of the available cooling air. The detailed work carried out on the A-pillar, the water deflector and the large exterior mirrors likewise had an important role to play. Drag in the vicinity of the vehicle’s underbody and wheel arches is reduced by the continuous underbody panelling, including an aerodynamic-enhancing diffuser at the rear and specially shaped wheel spoilers.

The formidable handling stability – especially when travelling at higher speeds and in crosswinds – is assisted by the way in which uplift is distributed favourably between the front and rear axles. Safety is boosted by effectively minimising the build-up of dirt on the exterior mirrors, as well as on the side windows and rear windscreen. The water-catching channel on the A-pillar has been specially designed to prevent water from overflowing onto the side window, even in heavy, steady rain. The exterior mirror housing collects any water that strikes it in a groove running around its circumference before directing it outwards to a defined drip point. The rear windscreen is kept clean thanks to a windscreen wiper which is automatically activated whenever the front windscreen wipers are switched on and reverse gear is engaged.

High-intensity headlamp system as standard, Intelligent Light System (ILS) as an option

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The GLK-Class comes equipped with a powerful H7 headlamp system, including an H7 main beam that features the proven free-form reflector technology. The standard front fog lamps are integrated into the front bumper trim, while indicator repeaters in the exterior mirror housings, each comprising four LEDs, ensure that the driver’s turn signals are even more clearly visible from the front and the side.

As an alternative, customers are able to opt for the Intelligent Light System (ILS) with bi-xenon headlamps. Here, unlike conventional light systems, the light from the headlamps is adapted dynamically to suit the driving situation and weather conditions. The range of functions includes the active light function, country mode, motorway mode, along with enhanced fog lamps and dynamic headlamp range control. The cornering light function is integrated into the headlamp with the ILS system. Below is a summary of the individual functions:

Country mode:

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With the Intelligent Light System, the conventional dipped-beam headlamps with their proven asymmetric light distribution are replaced by the new country mode, which illuminates the road verge on the driver’s side more broadly and brightly than before. This enables drivers to orientate themselves more easily in the dark, and respond more rapidly when other road users cross the road.
Motorway mode:
The new motorway mode, which comes on automatically at speeds above 90 km/h, increases the driver’s range of vision by up to 60 per cent. This lighting function is activated in two stages. The Intelligent Light System first increases the output of the bi-xenon bulbs from 35 to 38 watts, thereby increasing the light’s intensity and providing noticeably better illumination of the carriageway and the side verges. The second stage of the motorway mode is triggered at 110 km/h, when the bi-xenon modules are elevated slightly. The new motorway mode has a range of around 120 metres, and the driver is able to see about 50 metres further at the centre of the cone of light than with conventional dipped-beam headlamps.
Enhanced fog lamps:

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The enhanced fog lamps are designed to improve driver orientation when visibility is poor. This new lighting function is activated at speeds below 70 km/h, as soon as the rear fog lamp is switched on. The variable headlamp technology makes it possible to pivot the bi-xenon headlamp on the driver’s side outwards by eight degrees, while lowering its beam of light at the same time. This illuminates the inner half of the road more brightly and reduces the degree of backglare caused by light reflected back by the fog. The enhanced fog lamps remain switched on up to a speed of 100 km/h.

Active and cornering light functions:
Depending on the steering angle, yaw rate and vehicle speed, the active light function pivots the headlamps sideways by up to 15 degrees in fractions of a second to greatly improve illumination of the road ahead. On a long sweeping bend with a radius of 190 metres, the driver is able to see 25 metres further than with conventional dipped-beam headlamps as a result of the active light function, which, incidentally, operates with both dipped and main beam.
LED tail lights are also included as part of the Intelligent Light System (ILS) package.

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Active and passive safety

During development of the active and passive safety elements in the new GLK, Mercedes-Benz took its cue from the findings of the company’s own accident research programme, which was initiated over 60 years ago and has made a decisive contribution to the ongoing evolution of automotive safety. Apart from this wealth of experience, development also draws on the latest findings from investigations into actual accidents, as well as detailed simulations and exhaustive testing, then translates it all into concrete protective measures.

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The all-encompassing approach taken to achieving a high standard of safety evinces itself particularly clearly in the Integral Safety concept, that Mercedes-Benz has once again implemented in the new GLK. This groundbreaking safety philosophy goes far beyond just compliance with crash test specifications. Instead, it concerns itself with all aspects of motoring – everything that is of relevance for the safety of both the vehicle’s occupants and other road users. The Mercedes safety concept divides these different aspects into four phases:

1. Safe driving:
avoiding danger, warning and rapid assistance
2. When danger threatens:
acting in an anticipatory manner with PRE-SAFE®
3. During an accident:
protecting as required
4. Following an accident:
damage limitation, rapid assistance
Comprehensive restraint system for the best possible occupant protection

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In combination with the front and rear deformation zones, the high-strength passenger cell of the GLK-Class provides a highly efficient foundation for the occupant protection systems. The intricate restraint system is capable of offering the greatest possible protection potential. As many as nine airbags are fitted, which are deployed selectively depending on the type of collision and its severity to reduce the forces exerted on the occupants. The individual components include:

  • Adaptive, two-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger
  • Kneebag for the driver (Europe)
  • Front sidebags and, as an option, sidebags for the rear seats
  • Windowbags across both seat rows from the A-pillar to the C-pillar
  • NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger
  • 3-point seat belts for all five seats
  • Belt tensioner and adaptive belt-force limiter for the driver and front passenger, belt tensioner and single-stage belt-force limiter for the outer rear seats
  • ISOFIX child seat attachments
  • Belt height adjuster for driver and front passenger
  • Belt status indicator for the rear passengers in the instrument cluster
  • Automatic child seat recognition (optional) which deactivates the front passenger airbag when a specially designed Mercedes-Benz child seat is used


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ARAMIS: central control unit for the restraint systems

In the GLK, the task of deploying the driver and front-passenger airbags, kneebag, sidebags, windowbags, belt tensioners and NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints in line with the type of collision and its severity is handled by the central control unit, dubbed ARAMIS. This electronic safety "command centre" is able to detect the impact type and severity in a matter of milliseconds, then trigger the restraint systems as required on the basis of the calculated prognosis of the impact’s severity. The ARAMIS control unit gleans the necessary information from an elaborate network of sensors, including two up-front sensors on the flexible bumper bracket at the front, two lateral satellite sensors near the base of the B‑pillars, as well as supplementary pressure sensors in the doors. In addition to this, ARAMIS can activate individual functions which are able to defuse an accident situation following the actual impact: certain portions of the vehicle’s electrical network can be isolated from the battery, the engine shut off, the hazard warning lights and crash-responsive emergency lighting switched on, the doors unlocked, and the side windows lowered by 50 mm.

High-strength passenger cell, energy-absorbing front and rear-end structures

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The excellent protective abilities of all GLK models are underpinned by a unitised sheet-steel body featuring a high-strength passenger cell together with front and rear-end structures that fulfil a deforming function in the event of a crash, enabling as much of the impact energy as possible to be absorbed
The following measures have been implemented at the front end of the body to ensure outstanding energy absorption. In all, the individual assemblies and components involved form three separate paths for absorbing and channelling the energy released by the impact:

  • A frame-type integral support made of high-strength steel, which incorporates parts of the wheel location componentry, the rack-and-pinion steering gear and the engine mounting, directs forces straight into the floor structure. In particularly severe frontal collisions, the frame-type integral support itself crumples to absorb additional energy.
  • Mid-level collision plane comprising longitudinal members that have been optimised both in terms of the material they are made from and their design.
  • Purpose-designed wheel arch reinforcements form a third supporting structure above the front longitudinal members which further boosts resistance to deformation in the event of collisions from the front.
  • A strut made from ultra-strength steel running between the shock absorber tower and the windscreen cross member on the driver’s side serves to disperse the forces originating from the top longitudinal member plane, as well as limit the amount by which the steering and pedals are pushed backwards.
  • Additional impact-absorbing elements in the extension of the longitudinal members together with purpose-designed pedal-floor cross members are able to protect the footwells on the driver and front passenger sides.
  •  Reinforced firewall members which are able to reduce penetration of the front wheels into the footwells in a heavy frontal collision, especially when there is an offset to one side.
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The passenger cell forms the hard core of passive safety, enveloping the vehicle’s occupants in a high-strength safety cage. This exceptional degree of stability is attained as follows:

  • increased use of high and ultra-high-strength sheet steel, as well as tailored blanks with partially graduated wall thicknesses
  • transversely rigid floor assembly, featuring additional reinforcement sections between the longitudinal members at the front and sides and the propshaft tunnel
  • a continuous cross member for the rear seats
  •  cross member in the form of an extruded aluminium section extending between the A-pillars underneath the dashboard
  • transversely rigid bracing of the load compartment using a cross member beneath it
  • transversely rigid seats resulting from the use of tubes and impact-absorbing elements in the side seat trim sections.

There are amply proportioned deformation paths for absorbing impact energy at the rear end of the body. The rear longitudinal members are made from high-strength steel in the critical crumple zones. The fuel tank is in a well-protected location, underneath the rear bench seat and in front of the rear axle.

Standard of pedestrian protection sets an example for the SUV segment

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During the development phase of the GLK, particularly close attention was paid to pedestrian protection. This is why standard equipment for all GLK models includes Brake Assist (BAS), which shortens the braking distance significantly when an emergency braking situation is detected, so as to help prevent accidents or at the very least mitigate their consequences. Secondly, the front section incorporates precisely defined clearances between the body and the major assemblies beneath, allowing the bonnet to yield considerably if hit by a pedestrian. This combines with the specially shaped design of the front bumpers and the softer foam used for their integral impact dampers to unlock further potential for protecting pedestrians.

World premiere: PRE-SAFE® makes its debut in a compact SUV

The optionally available PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system, being made available in the compact-SUV market segment for the very first time, sees Mercedes-Benz taking safety in this segment to an unprecedentedly high level. The highlight of this safety concept, that has been the subject of ongoing development since it was first launched in 2002, is the networking between the active and passive safety systems. By using the information received from the sensors of the dynamic handling control systems – for example, BAS and ESP® – PRE-SAFE® is able to detect critical driving situations where there is a heightened risk of an accident occurring and take precautionary measures to protect the occupants.
PRE-SAFE® basically springs into action when one of the following criteria is met:

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  • Emergency braking: sudden operation of the brake pedal that either triggers the Brake Assist (BAS) or summons up over 70 per cent of the maximum possible braking pressure.
  • Heavy understeer or oversteer
  • Critical steering movements at high speeds, which indicate a startled response on the part of the driver and can destabilise the vehicle.
  • The driver increases the force applied at the brake pedal while already braking (post panic braking), signalling a wish for a higher rate of deceleration than that which is physically possible. This can be the case when aquaplaning, for instance, or when driving over ice or snow.

When a potential accident situation is detected, the system primes both the occupants and the vehicle for a possible impact. To this end, the seat belts for the driver and front passenger can be pulled taut if necessary. The optionally available power adjustable front passenger seat with memory function can be brought into a more favourable position that maximises the protective capabilities of the airbags and seat belt system. The system also takes the precaution of closing the panoramic glass sliding sunroof and side windows if a critical driving state affecting the vehicle’s lateral dynamics arises. This optimises the protective effect of the windowbags on the one hand, whilst also better preventing foreign objects from penetrating the interior or parts of the body from dangling dangerously outside.

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If a collision is averted and a stable driving state restored, the seat belts will slacken again. All other systems that have been triggered – such as the repositioned front passenger sear, side windows and sliding sunroof – can be returned to their original position.

Outstanding active safety courtesy of the AGILITY CONTROL suspension, 4MATIC all-wheel drive and pioneering dynamic handling control features

Whereas the passive safety systems enable a high degree of occupant protection during and following an accident, the active safety features are designed to take action beforehand. The high standard of active safety in the GLK-Class is rooted in the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system, which blends stable handling with comfort. The electrohydraulic AGILITY CONTROL steering that comes as standard keeps the driver perfectly informed of the current state of the road, whilst responding with utmost precision to steering inputs. The V6 models – the GLK 320 CDI 4MATIC, GLK 350 4MATIC and GLK 280 4MATIC – benefit from speed-sensitive power steering as standard for even greater operating convenience.

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The sophisticated 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, with its stable, safety-enhancing basic set-up, as well as the standard dynamic handling control systems – ESP®, 4ETS and ASR – come to the driver’s aid in critical driving situations. The same is true of the ADAPTIVE BRAKE system, featuring built-in functions such as hill-start assist, priming of the brake system for more spontaneous response in the event of panic braking and braking the brake discs dry in the wet. The tyre pressure loss warning system forms part of the basic specification too, as does the ESP® trailer stabilisation function. There is also the option of the tyre pressure monitoring system, which monitors the individual tyre pressures and notifies the driver of exactly which tyre is not inflated to the correct pressure.

Excellent driver-fitness safety for tremendous peace of mind

A high level of driver-fitness safety is an intrinsic component of any passenger car model from Mercedes-Benz. Relaxed, fatigue-free driving, even over long distances, is helped by the sense of wellbeing aboard the vehicle that Mercedes is renowned for. This is down to aspects such as the outstanding seat and ride comfort, a pleasant level of background noise and ergonomic controls, along with a climate control system that can be sensitively adjusted to suit requirements. The tinted glass all round and the optional LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system make travelling in the GLK a true pleasure. Driver-fitness safety also benefits from the wonderfully assured handling, as well as the cruise control with its integral SPEEDTRONIC variable speed limiter.

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Features which contribute to the outstanding perceptive safety include the superb all-round view, the extensive swept area of the front windscreen, as well as the generously sized, heated and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors. Perceptive safety is given a further boost by the powerful H7 headlamp system with integrated cornering light function and Headlamp Assist. For even greater visibility at night, there is the option of the Intelligent Light System (ILS) with bi-xenon headlamps. Also helping to prevent accidents are the standard-specification adaptive brake lights, which flash when the brakes are applied in an emergency as a warning to road users behind and thereby serve to heighten safety in general in critical driving situations. The driver’s perception of the vehicle’s surroundings can be further enhanced by the addition of equipment features such as the rain sensor with two different sensitivities that can be set using the control stalk, the PARKTRONIC manoeuvring aid or the reversing camera.

Drive and suspension

The GLK-Class boasts a high level of flexibility thanks to its AGILITY CONTROL suspension, and reconciles the conflicting suspension design aims that particularly affect the SUV class: chassis engineers seek to create a vehicle that is both sportily agile and comfortably smooth, yet one which can also cope with off-road terrain. If the focus is on sporty, active handling, the suspension and, above all, the shock absorbers need to display a certain firmness, which precludes the desired levels of suspension comfort associated with the brand and limits off-road prowess.

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If, on the other hand, the vehicle is purpose-built for ride comfort and off-road expertise by fitting softer dampers, its driving dynamics will of course suffer. "Amplitude-responsive damping" provides the solution: here, the shock absorber’s smoothing forces are of a flexible nature, rather than having a rigid setting. During normal driving along moderately contoured roads or off-road excursions at low speeds, the system is tuned for soft response to the benefit of the occupants’ sense of wellbeing and the vehicle’s off-road abilities. In order to keep the occupants feeling at their ease when driving at a brisker pace or performing abrupt evasive manoeuvres, the dampers switch to a firmer setting in such situations, permitting a high level of handling stability.

The steering systems in the GLK

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At the same time, the driver is assisted by the speed-sensitive power steering that comes as standard in the V6 models and provides the optimum level of steering assistance for the situation in hand. The system therefore makes light work of parking or off-road manoeuvres by maximising power assistance. As the speed increases, however, assistance is reduced in favour of greater directional stability. The precise electrohydraulic steering is used in the GLK 220 CDI 4MATIC. Steering comfort has been further enhanced in both steering variants, thanks to meticulous attention to detail. For instance, the engineers have decoupled the vibrations associated with the airbag module in the steering wheel. Reducing the unsprung masses in the steering system in this way has given steering comfort an additional boost.

17-inch wheels and tyre pressure loss warning system as standard

All GLK models come as standard with mixed-sized tyres which, together with the AGILITY CONTROL suspension and asymmetric power distribution between the front and rear axle, form the basis for a consummate transfer of power between the wheels and the road. And the more effective this power transfer, the less frequently the electronic control systems need to intervene.
Two chassis set-up options are available. If the "off-road styling package" is specified, the GLK comes with longer spring travel and a comparatively softer basic set-up to optimise off-road handling characteristics. Should the customer opt for the "exterior sports package", on the other hand, the specification includes a sports suspension lowered by 20 millimetres with shorter springs, firmer dampers and stronger transverse stabiliser bars. This sharpens the vehicle’s driving dynamics for sporty driving without significantly impairing the balanced ride comfort.

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The road-oriented "exterior sports package" features size 7.5 J x 19 light-alloy wheels with 235/50 R 19 tyres at the front and size 8.5 J x 19 wheels with 255/45 R 19 tyres at the rear. If the vehicle is specified with the "off-road styling package", 7.5 J x 17 light-alloy wheels shod with 235/60 R 17 tyres are fitted at the front, while 8.0 J x 17 wheels with 255/55 R 17 tyres can be found at the rear. As an option, All Terrain tyres specially tailored to the GLK are available as accessories. All models are equipped with a TIREFIT system for repairing tyre damage. Alternatively, a compact spare wheel which can be used on both the front and the rear axle can be specified as an option.

All GLK models are fitted with a tyre pressure loss warning system to ensure potential tyre damage does not have serious consequences. The system detects any sudden drop in tyre pressure and alerts the driver to the situation by flashing up a warning message in the instrument cluster. The optional tyre pressure monitoring system improves safety yet further. Incorrect tyre pressure or a gradual drop in pressure is indicated by the "Check tyres" warning message; the "Caution Tyre defect" warning appears in the event of a rapid loss of pressure. The tyre pressure monitoring system automatically detects when new tyres or wheels are fitted.

ADAPTIVE BRAKE: sophisticated brake control system with additional new functions

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The all-new ADAPTIVE BRAKE control system incorporates the basic anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR) and yaw control functions. ABS and ASR monitor and control the driving dynamics along the vehicle’s longitudinal axis, while yaw control looks after the lateral dynamics. If ADAPTIVE BRAKE diagnoses critical driving situations, precision application of the brakes and control of drive torque is used to maintain or restore traction and directional stability as far as is physically possible.

New additional braking functions make ADAPTIVE BRAKE safer and more convenient. Hill-start assist prevents the vehicle from rolling contrary to the intended direction of travel. The enhanced functionality also includes brake ’priming’. Should the driver suddenly release the accelerator, the system prepares for possible panic braking by pressing the brake pads lightly against the brake discs. If the brakes are indeed applied with full force, the stopping distance is therefore shortened noticeably by building up pressure the instant the brake pedal is pressed. The ability of ADAPTIVE BRAKE to precisely generate even minimal brake pressure means the film of water that accumulates on the brake discs when driving in the wet can be removed by briefly applying the brakes lightly, further reducing the brakes’ response time in the wet and, in turn, the stopping distance. This function is triggered automatically once a certain number of windscreen wiper cycles has been reached and the driver has not applied the brakes in the meantime.

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The GLK also comes with standard-fit adaptive brake lights. This system warns the traffic behind when the driver applies the brakes in a critical situation by causing the brake lights to flash if the vehicle suddenly decelerates, and, in the case of emergency braking from speeds in excess of 70 km/h, automatically switching on the hazard warning lights once the vehicle comes to a standstill.

4MATIC: high-performance all-wheel drive with sophisticated control systems

The 4MATIC powertrain at the heart of the GLK-Class is one of the most capable all-wheel drive systems on the market, incorporating control systems that set new standards. The basic concept, with the engine installed longitudinally and the transmission and transfer case designed as a single block, produces a compact and lightweight arrangement that minimises frictional losses, as well as heralding a number of advantages over its counterparts where the drive unit is installed transversely. The upshot of this is that fuel consumption is on a par with that of a comparable model with conventional two-wheel drive, while the minimal vibration and noise levels rival those of today’s luxury-class models.

The basic 45:55 split of drive torque between the front and rear wheels combines with the ESP®, ASR and 4ETS dynamic handling control systems to produce supremely assured and perfectly predictable performance. When tuning the control systems, the engineers at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center (MTC) made a defined level of understeer a priority. All GLK models display these characteristics under all manner of road conditions, come rain or shine, snow, ice or unsurfaced tracks.

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The newly developed multiple-disc clutch in the centre differential comes to the system’s aid when friction between the tyres and ground is particularly low, for example when driving over snow or ice. A basic interaxle lock of 50 Newton metres gives a major boost to traction – setting the benchmark for vehicles with no additional differential locks without any loss of handling stability.

"Off-road engineering package" provides superlative off-roading

The "off-road" button on the centre console makes GLK models equipped with the off-road engineering package even more assertive in rough terrain. Pressing the button activates a special driving program which varies the shift points of the 7G‑TRONIC transmission, "softens" the accelerator pedal characteristics and activates the ESP® off-road functions including off-road ABS and a custom off-road 4ETS. In this mode, there are fewer interventions involving the engine manage-ment system; the system is also designed to tolerate a higher degree of wheel slip. This control strategy improves traction off-road, particularly on low-friction surfaces such as sand, gravel or stone chippings. The off-road ABS on the GLK was premiered in the current M‑Class and detects a wide range of different terrains by permanently referencing the wheel-slip models. This produces the best possible deceleration strategies for off-road adventuring over rocks, sand, stone chippings, gravel or slush.

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On models with the off-road engineering package, the automatic transmission features a Manual drive mode (M) in addition to the Comfort (C) and Sport (S) modes, which enables the individual gears to be selected with shift paddles on the multifunction steering wheel. This operating mode promises maximum fun at the wheel when venturing off-road.

A further switch activates the Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) system, which automatically maintains a pre-programmed speed between 4 and 18 km/h on steep downhill inclines. The GLK driver can vary the speed at any time during the descent using the cruise control lever. Mercedes-Benz is the only car maker to offer this important equipment detail for off-road motoring. Conventional systems offered by competitors can only maintain the speed programmed at the outset, meaning the speed cannot be altered while the system is in action. A heavy-duty, weight-optimised underguard and underbody protection round off the all-terrain specification of the GLK with off-road engineering package.

If the COMAND APS system is specified, the navigation system has a useful extra feature designed specifically for off-road vehicles. If the vehicle enters an area not covered by digitised maps, the driver can activate a tracking system to automatically save the vehicle’s route. This means that GLK drivers can always find a way back to their starting point, based on the principle of Ariadne’s thread.

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The off-road-related body dimensions are equally impressive. The ground clearance of 201 millimetres and the short body overhangs (front 816 mm, rear 957 mm) make for favourable angles of approach and departure – 23 degrees and 25 degrees, respectively; the breakover angle is 19 degrees. The GLK can negotiate inclines up to 70 per cent, while the maximum tilt angle is 35 degrees. Meanwhile the relatively compact wheelbase length of 2755 millimetres and the vehicle weight of 1830 kilograms, which is comparatively low for an SUV, allow the GLK to make good headway in even the most topographically challenging terrain.

As well as a tyre pressure loss warning system, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) incorporates a vehicle/trailer stabilisation function as standard, which can defuse precarious handling situations resulting from towing a trailer at an early stage by applying the individual wheel brakes as and when required. The permitted towing capacity is 2,000 kilograms.

Vehicle development under extreme conditions

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Fine-tuning the dynamic handling control systems is one of the major challenges when developing an SUV. Compared with conventional passenger cars, this vehicle category has to reconcile an even wider range of requirements: active safety, ride comfort and driving pleasure not only need to be guaranteed on-road but also off-road, on rudimentary tracks, unsurfaced roads or in demanding terrain. The systems also need to work reliably under all possible (and impossible!) meteorological conditions experienced in the world’s many different climate zones. In view of this, the test engineers select the world’s most gruelling onditions to test SUVs like the GLK up to their physical limits, thus ensuring that the subsequent series-production vehicles will operate reliably for many years, regardless of operating and environmental conditions.

Development testing therefore takes place under punishing desert conditions in the baking Namib Desert, while the sub-zero conditions of the Arctic Circle provide the opposite extreme to measure and test the GLK prototypes. An ongoing comparison between "Fire & Ice" is designed to ensure that the various findings do not have a reciprocal negative influence.

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The same principle of harmonisation is applied when resolving other conflicting aims during the GLK fine-tuning process, as illustrated by the "Climb & Speed" development programme: if the chassis tuning sessions on the racetrack show the GLK to be directionally stable and safe at high speed, while the vehicle delivers the hallmark Mercedes ride comfort on torturous bone-rattling stretches, the question is then whether the set-up can produce the desired results when clambering through off-road terrain. Overall the developers clocked up some 4.5 million test kilometres worldwide. The field tests using prototypes are supplemented by extensive measurement programmes on a wide range of test rigs and the detailed simulation programmes conducted as part of the Digital Prototype. In the course of the development phase, the experts tested around 1000 different vehicle variants in virtual simulations and conducted over 220,000 driving manoeuvres in the process.

While the fine-tuning of control systems such as ESP®, 4ETS, ASR, ABS is based on objective measurement criteria using state-of-the-art technology, the finesse and experience of the test engineers continue to play a decisive role. For instance, the developers in the MTC managed to optimise the control quality and interaction of the individual systems in such a way as to substantially improve powertrain performance. At the start of the development test drives, the individual control systems still had a reciprocal effect on one another in specific driving situations that resulted in part of the drive torque going to waste, for instance on demanding off-road terrain. After completing the tuning sessions, the systems were harmoniously networked to such an advanced degree that the wheels had another 40 Newton metres or so of traction-enhancing torque at their disposal.

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During the "Fire & Ice" development testing – as the fine-tuning drives staged in desert conditions in southern Africa and in the wintry wastes of the Arctic Circle have come to be known – two interviews were conducted which give a special insight into the development work performed by the engineers.

First is Thomas Merker, Head of Development for the Mercedes-Benz M-, GL- and GLK-Class, speaking during the heat trials in the Namib Desert:

Why do you come to Namibia to carry out testing? What particular challenges does Namibia pose for the GLK?
Within the context of our global development process, Namibia covers a portion of the challenges we wish to overcome with our GLK. And the prevailing conditions found in the Namib Desert especially are precisely what we want for our torture programme under extreme desert conditions. On the one hand, there are the extreme temperatures, with the air heating up to 50 degrees Celsius and surface temperatures that can even reach 80 degrees. On top of that you have extremely fine sand and the notorious corrugated tracks through hostile rocky terrain. A vehicle that can withstand the conditions here is ready for any desert in the world. Naturally, the findings made in the Namib are always considered in the context of our test results under other operating conditions. Any enhancements must also satisfy completely contradictory requirements, of course, meaning they must also work in the bitter cold of the Arctic, the humid heat of the tropics, as well as in routine day-to-day operation in Central Europe.

What tests do you carry out here?

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For one thing, we inspect the thermal stability of the vehicle as a whole, and check for instance whether the AGILITY CONTROL suspension or the electronic control systems continue to operate flawlessly when exposed to the extreme environmental and track conditions. We also conduct "sand testing", an endurance test specially designed for the GLK.
Is there actually any need to expose the GLK to such extreme conditions? After all, the vehicle will mostly be driven under normal road conditions in Western countries.

Compared to the G-, GL- and M-Class, the GLK is certainly the most road-oriented model series within the Mercedes-Benz SUV and off-roader line-up. Yet we still attach great importance to the vehicle’s performance abilities off the beaten track, and even under the most extreme conditions. That’s part of the SUV philosophy at Mercedes-Benz: regardless of the fact that only a few customers venture off-road, we must still prepare the vehicle for this eventuality and guarantee a certain level of off-road performance.

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Plus, of course, we also need to think of the car markets in countries where conditions are no less out of the ordinary, such as Russia, for example, or the Middle East states. There are also the requirements of the world’s developing automotive markets, such as India or China, to bear in mind. At the end of the day, our customers in Europe also stand to benefit from these developments, as there is no difference between the models delivered to a whole array of markets.
Are there are conflicting requirements? What sort of conflicting aims need to be reconciled to ensure that the GLK is able to perform to Mercedes’ high standard both in Artic climes at minus 30 degrees and in a desert environment with temperatures of 45 degrees?

We must of course ensure that optimisation of a particular parameter to safeguard resilience to high ambient temperatures does not take place at the expense of the vehicle’s performance capabilities when faced with Arctic conditions. To take an example: if we were to optimise the engine’s cooling air supply solely with a view to operation in extreme heat, problems would occur during the warm-up phase at low outside temperatures, and vice versa. Painstakingly detailed work needs to be carried out in order to cover all bases. And this applies to virtually all areas of development. Does the heating respond fast at minus 30 degrees, does the THERMOTRONIC quickly cool down the interior rapidly when the sun is at its most intense and temperatures are around plus 45 degrees. Or the fuel supply to the engine: does diesel fuel continue to flow freely at extremely low temperatures, is the formation of vapour bubbles in petrol engines prevented at extremely high temperatures? Do the filter systems for the engine and passenger compartment operate reliably? Do all of the different sealing systems perform their tasks efficiently?

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Looking at it from another point of view, can any parallels be drawn in the loads exerted on the GLK when driving in the extremes just mentioned?

As incredible as it may sound, there are indeed parallels. The loads exerted on the vehicle when driving over dunes or through deep sand, for example, are certainly similar to the demands experienced when driving in deep snow or up Alpine passes. Powder snow and desert dust likewise behave in a similar fashion. We are experience this for ourselves when driving in a long line of traffic: in winter when the road is covered in snow, you find yourself driving through a fine cloud of snow when following a vehicle in front; in summer on a dried-out track the effect is the same, but the cloud is of dust instead. In both cases, we have to prevent the fine particles from being drawn into the vehicle, where they could clog up the filter systems of the engine or passenger compartment ventilation, for instance.

In the second interview, Wolfgang Keller, who is Head of Overall Vehicle Testing for the Mercedes-Benz M-, GL- and GLK-Class, gives his thoughts on the specific test demands experienced under Arctic conditions:

Now that the series of testing in the Namib Desert is over, the car is due to be put through its paces in a polar environment close to the Arctic Circle. The contrast between the conditions could not be more stark. What particular findings do you glean from this extreme climatic change?

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Just like the fine-tuning drives in the Namib, the test drives near the Arctic Circle form part of our approval procedure prior to the start-up of series production. In both instances, the test vehicles are the same, meaning we can be sure that the future customer vehicles will meet the stringent Mercedes requirements. It is true that very few of our customers will be driving their GLK both in the Namib and near the Arctic Circle; but anyone who makes extensive use of their GLK – for example, for skiing in the Alps in the winter then a beach holiday in Spain in the summer – will come close to experiencing the conditions we simulate.

Don’t you verify such characteristics in an earlier phase of the development process?

Naturally we inspect all vehicle components back in the early stages of development, both in special test vehicles and on test rigs, as well as by conducting simulations as part of our digital prototyping. Yet, as the development process draws to an end and all assemblies are performing at their optimum, in line with our specifications, there comes a point at which the vehicle needs to be precision tuned. This brings the system as a whole into perfect harmony and ensures that it operates reliably and to the best of its abilities under all conditions. There is a clear comparison to be made with the making of a grand piano: here again, the individual components are developed with utmost care and manufactured with absolute precision. Following its assembly, however, minutely detailed work is required to tune the instrument and produce an optimum sound. And that is precisely what we seek to give our customers – the best possible "sound"!

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What fundamental differences must the dynamic handling control systems overcome in Namibia and in Sweden?

In Namibia, there is a low but relatively constant level of grip, both on the sand tracks and in the dunes. The idea here is to distribute the drive or braking torque evenly between all four wheels, thereby achieving maximum traction combined with high handling stability. Things are far tougher at the Arctic Circle though. Here, we are faced with the problem of tremendous fluctuations in friction: you can have more powdery or more compacted snow, sheet ice and areas of clear tarmac, all within the space of just a few metres. Handling stability and, consequently, driving safety must be absolutely guaranteed, both when accelerating or braking and when cornering. Propulsion is of secondary importance in this case.
Does the fine-tuning of the control systems under Arctic conditions throw up any other major challenges?

When driving in wintry road conditions, it is especially important that the ESP, ASR and 4ETS control systems act not just effectively, but smoothly too. Smooth, harmonious intervention is most important from the point of view of driver-fitness safety. Hectic, inharmonious interventions by the control systems may assist the driver, but they would also distract his attention from what’s happening around and prove wearying in the long run. We signal critical driving states by means of the ESP warning lamp, which prompts the driver to drive more cautiously.

What benefits does the sophisticated 4MATIC powertrain have to offer when driving over ice and snow?

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The latest-generation 4MATIC system boasts the ideal credentials for driving in wintry conditions. The friction-optimised construction means we have substantially less frictional losses in the powertrain than other systems where the engines are installed transversely, for instance. The basic split of the drive torque enhances traction and agility. The basic locking torque in the transfer case furthermore enables the GLK to pull away with ease, even on surfaces completely covered in ice.
The GLK chassis is seen as breaking new ground in the world of SUVs. What specific benefits does it have to offer under Arctic conditions?

The amplitude-dependent damping of our AGILITY CONTROL suspension keeps the tyres in optimum contact with the ground under all conditions, even on hard-packed snow or black ice. The result is effective transmission of longitudinal and lateral forces. And the better the power transfer between the tyres and the slippery road surface beneath, the less frequently the electronic control systems need to intervene. AGILITY CONTROL lays the foundation, as it were, for outstanding driving dynamics and safety, whilst at the same time guaranteeing the excellent standard of ride comfort that Mercedes is renowned for.

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Complete range of diesel and petrol engines

The state-of-the-art engine line-up ensures an exceptionally high level of drive smoothness and impressive performance right across the GLK range, not to mention low fuel consumption and emissions figures when compared to its rivals. Customers have a choice of four model variants: diesel aficionados can opt for the GLK 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY or GLK 320 CDI, while those with a preference for petrol can select the GLK 280 or GLK 350, both of which feature a V6 powerplant.

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The GLK 220 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY comes with a brand new generation of diesel engine under its bonnet that redefines standards for power output, torque, emissions characteristics and fuel economy. The compression-ignition engine also delivers impressive environmental performance and, like all diesel engines for Mercedes passenger cars, features exhaust gas recirculation, an oxidising catalytic converter and a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard. The smooth-running four-cylinder unit limits itself to 6.9 litres of diesel for every hundred kilometres, whilst emitting 183 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The Mercedes-Benz engineers have also succeeded in further reducing levels of untreated engine emissions. Even without an active denoxification process, the new four-cylinder diesel already meets the future EU5 emissions standard. The state-of-the-art powerplant propels the GLK 220 CDI 4MATIC from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 205 km/h.

Cutting-edge technology was deployed in order to attain these class-beating figures. The principal features of the new Mercedes diesel engine:

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  • Two-stage turbocharging ensures high power output and optimum torque delivery.
  • Fourth-generation common-rail technology with a rail pressure that has been increased by 400 bar to 2,000 bar, plus a new piezoelectric injector concept featuring direct injector needle control creates the ideal basis for more flexible injection timing, leading to smoother engine running.
  • The maximum ignition pressure is 200 bar, which also contributes to the high output.
  • Both the oil-spray nozzles and the water pump are activated in accordance with requirements to save energy.
  • The camshaft drive is positioned at the rear in order to enhance running refinement and achieved high standards of pedestrian protection.
  • The engine block is made from cast iron, the cylinder head from aluminium.
  • Two water jackets guarantee maximum cooling even at the points of greatest thermal radiation; it is this that enables an ignition pressure of 200 bar and such a high power-to-displacement ratio.
  • The aluminium pistons slide up and down in cast-iron barrels for minimum frictional resistance.
  • The connecting rods are made from forged steel, and their weight has been optimised by the Mercedes engineers.
  • In the interests of vibrational comfort, the forged crankshaft with its eight counterweights turns supported by five bearings. The radii of the crankpins are rolled and are notable for their high strength.
  • To compensate for the free vibration moments which are inherent to four-cylinder inline engines, there are two Lanchester balancer shafts at the bottom of the engine block running in low-friction roller bearings rather than conventional plain bearings.
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The new 125-kW/170-hp drive unit has a powerful feel to it, its response is agile, it delights with its tremendous pulling power and impresses with exemplary levels of smoothness for a four-cylinder engine. Besides its exceptional output, the new power unit offers breathtaking torque delivery from low revs along with the best torque characteristic curve in its displacement class: peak torque of 400 Newton metres is on tap over a wide rev band from 1400 up to 2800 rpm. This means that the engine can be run extremely economically at low rev speeds in everyday driving situations.

Supreme six-cylinder comfort comes to the compact-SUV segment

The diesel line-up is augmented by the proven V6 powerplant in the GLK 320 CDI, which develops 165 kW/224 hp and delivers a peak torque of 540 Newton metres. This propels the GLK to even more admirable performance, with a top speed of 220 km/h and a time of just 7.5 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h. The V6 engine also features exhaust gas recirculation, an oxidising catalytic converter and a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter, burns 7.9 litres of fuel per hundred kilometres and complies with the EU4 emissions standard.

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The two smooth-running V6 petrol models – the GLK 280 4MATIC and GLK 350 4MATIC – develop 170 kW/231 hp and 200 KW/272 hp respectively. Both make their mark with nifty performance combined with moderate fuel consumption. The 3.5-litre V6 in the GLK 350 4MATIC is particularly noteworthy, achieving figures similar to those of a sports car: it has a top speed of 230 km/h and races from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds. Both engines fulfil the Euro 4 limits and consume 10.4 litres and 10.6 litres per hundred kilometres respectively.

7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission as standard

All of the engine variants are matched with the 7G-TRONIC 7-speed automatic transmission as standard, which includes a Comfort (C) and a Sport (S) shift mode. The "C" drive mode prioritises drive smoothness and economy combined with high power reserves. Switch to the "S" mode selects a significantly sportier set-up, with a modified driving strategy and accelerator characteristic curve. In conjunction with the optional off-road engineering package, the automatic transmission also comes with a manual drive mode (M), complete with shift paddles on the multifunction steering wheel.

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The 7G-TRONIC come with a special function that decouples it when stationary. This technical feature reduces the transmission absorption torque when the vehicle is stationary with a gear engaged. This eases the burden on the engine, which has the effect of reducing fuel consumption, as well as improving vehicle acoustics, passenger comfort when stationary and the idling characteristics. The slip-controlled clutch is engaged the instant the driver releases the service brake pedal, enabling the vehicle to pull away without any delay or loss of comfort. This operating state is achieved by controlling a mechanical clutch so as to produce a defined level of slip. The clutch itself was designed for operating with constant slip.

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Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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