2006 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class / News & Reports / Motoring / Web Wombat

22 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2006 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class / News & Reports / Motoring / Web Wombat
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

2006 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class: From $103,900

All Australian versions of the GL-Class will

The GL-Class is perfect for towing your boat,

Like most Mercedes vehicles, the

GL-Class will be heavy on the luxe

Stuttgart, Germany One of Germany’s best-known brands, Mercedes-Benz, has recently confirmed that the GL-Class, it’s large luxury off-roader, will arrive in Australia in November from $103,900. The big AWD is the spiritual successor to the G-Class mudslinger, known by its fans as the Gelaendewagen. The objective of the new Merc SUV is to bring customers a larger, more luxurious and more capable 4WD wagon than the M-Class.

If you want the biggest and the best, the new GL-Class will definitely fit the bill.

More than 5.0 metres long and almost 2.0 metres wide the new GL-Class is spectacularly large, and Mercedes explains that its brand-new 7-seater premium off-roader offers excellent handling both on and off-road while pampering occupants in classic German luxury style with its extremely spacious interior.

The Australian division of Mercedes-Benz has revealed that the diesel-powered V6 GL 320 CDI and petrol GL 500 will be available at market launch here in November priced at $103,900 and $146,900 respectively. Pricing has not yet been confirmed for the GL 450, which will find its place Down Under in the first quarter of 2007.

As well as offering the levels of luxury that are typical of a Mercedes, the new GL-Class will appeal to those looking for highest levels of safety, with the 7-seater becoming the first vehicle in its market segment to provide the Pre-Safe safety system (a pre-emptive system that readies the brakes, airbags, seatbelts and other features to improve safety in the event of a collision).

All Mercedes GL-Class models will be sold as standard with the 7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic transmission, allowing the oversized vehicles to retain a semblance of fuel efficiency when hauling their heavy mass around.

The entry level GL 320 CDI delivers 165kW of power, while its ample 510Nm of torque are on tap across a wide range of engine speeds. Despite all of this power, the engine only burns 9.8 litres of diesel per 100 kilometers, and is expected to take the lions share of sales in Australia.

The GL 500 on the other hand features a newly developed 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine with a rated output of no less than 285kW. Mercedes hasn’t released figures on fuel ratings for the larger 5.5-litre V8 in the GL-Class, meaning it’s probably quite high, despite the use of the 7-speed transmission.

While the new 2006 GL-Class will be powered by 6- and 8-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, European buyers will get another diesel option on top of the 165kW (224hp) V6 diesel engine in the GL 320 CDI. A new-generation high-performance V8 diesel in the GL 420 CDI will be for European consumption, which now has an output of 225kW (306hp) and maximum torque of 700Nm, which will help it compete with the Volkswagen Touareg’s 5.0-litre V10 diesel.

In addition to the newly developed 5.5-litre, 285kW (388hp) engine in the GL 500, launched earlier in the new S-Class, the second unit in this ultra-modern V8 family of engines is celebrating its world premiere in the GL-Class. In the GL 450, expected to arrive in Australia early in 2007, a 4.6-litre V8 engine beats away under the car’s sheet metal, developing 250kW (340hp) and all engines fulfill the stringent EU 4 limits.

The arrival of the GL-Class in November will allow us to meet additional customer needs, providing a large versatile vehicle with seven seats optionally available, said Horst von Sanden, the head of the Mercedes Car Group in Australia.

The GL-Class combines superior on and off road capabilities, with the standard inclusion of Off-road Pro Engineering package, coupled with AirMatic air suspension, added von Sanden, explaining that the new GL-Class will be well-equipped to tackle the Australian bush.

The distinctive design of the GL-Class looks nothing like the old G-Class of old, and more like the newer ML-Class, with its modern styling cues and powerful stance. Mercedes says the car has calm body surfaces, powerful, wedge-shaped features and striking details that give the impression the luxury off-roader is surging forward even when stationary. And as we’ve mentioned earlier, the new Gelaendewagen is not a small vehicle: it measures 5088mm in length and 1920mm in width and 1840mm in height.

But despite the car’s immense size (and expected 2.0+ tonne kerb weight), Mercedes says the new GL-Class is an agile performer, with its first line of defense against tractions loss being the 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive system, which enables the GL-Class to deliver solid grip in a range of conditions, from sealed to unsealed, wet to dry roads.

Mercedes is pushing the new GL-Class as a serious option for off road purists, and though the price tag may be a little high for some, the German company is adamant when it states that the new vehicle ‘shines as a genuine off-roader’. The standard specification Off-Road Pro engineering package considerably enhances the car’s off-road capabilities (with reinforcements and various chassis upgrades) and will appeal to 4×4 drivers who are looking to upgrade, but still want to be able to hit the rough stuff without running out of ground clearance.

Mercedes says that, having dispensed with the ladder frame-type design that is more usual in this vehicle category, it went for a unitised steel body. This posed new challenges for Mercedes-Benz development engineers — on the one hand, the vehicle had to retain the typical benefits of a frame-type design such as robustness and durability under tough off-road conditions, but on the other hand, the specifications book also called for a relatively lightweight design and outstanding passive protection potential on a par with Mercedes-Benz saloon cars.

Taking 4×4 lessons from the G-Class, which is now in its 27th year of production, and will continue to be marketed alongside the new GL-Class, it features what Mercedes thinks will attract serious 4×4 buyers. These features include the 4Matic permanent four-wheel drive system that takes the power from the engine and apportions it to all four wheels, and also the standard-fit AirMatic air suspension which can raise and lower the vehicle’s ride height to suit conditions.

Getting back to the Off-Road Pro engineering package that will be standard on all GL models sold in Australia means the GL-Class can handle what Mercedes calls the most extreme off-road terrain. A strong statement, but the early word is that the new GL will indeed be a walk the walk, as well as talk the talk. The Off-Road Pro engineering package includes a 2-speed transfer case with a low range ratio and 100 percent differential locks for the transfer case and the rear axle.

The engineering package modifies the AirMatic air suspension as well, designed specifically for the more demanding conditions by increasing the ground clearance to a maximum of 307 millimetres where required, and raises the fording depth to 600 millimetres. Other off-road features such as Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR), hill-start assist and off-road ABS make the GL-Class sound like a real 4×4.

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

There’s also some useful features aimed at the less adventurous driver, like speed-sensitive power steering and the ADS (Adaptive Damper System) that are fitted as standard, giving the imposing GL-Class relatively nimble handling characteristics on sealed roads. But it doesn’t stop there. For those drivers who tow trailers, there’s even a specially coded ESP system that includes a Trailer Stabilisation feature that can defuse critical driving situations involving a trailer before they become dangerous by precisely applying the brakes.

Like most German luxury product that reaches the market these days, the interior has been well attended, featuring top-quality materials that help provide up to seven passengers with a pleasant atmosphere. To start with, the interior gains good freedom of movement, even on the two full-sized individual seats in the third row.

And unlike a lot of 7-seat people movers and SUVs, the GL-Class features electrically operated seats so, if fewer seats are required, the rear individual seats can be stowed electrically at the push of a button, either individually or in tandem to provide a completely flat load surface. No bending of backs, no reaching over and no scrambling about to fix the seating formula.

The hulking SUV from Mercedes has a huge amount of storage space; the luggage compartment capacity amounts to a 1240 litres in the 5-seater version (the third row of seats impinges on boot space), and this can be extended to provide up to 2300 litres of load capacity depending on the seating arrangements. And as with most Mercedes-Benz vehicles of late, the features list is extensive.

The ‘Thermatic’ automatic climate control system is fitted as standard in the entry-level GL 320 CDI and provides regulated heating and cooling for all seven seats, both in the depths of winter and on those sweltering summer days. The more expensive GL 450 and GL 500 come with the standard-fit multi-zone Thermotronic system, which offers even more climatic comfort.

Other standard convenience and comfort appointments include ARTICO man-made leather upholstery combinations in the GL 320 CDI, electrically adjustable front seats and a fixed rear glass roof above the third row of seats, providing even more illumination in the cabin. The GL-Class makes full use of the advantages of its unitised body, not just in off road scenarios, but also in regards to safety, as the body combines optimum strength with intelligent lightweight steel design. Mercedes explains that the result is excellent passive safety.There’s also a range of active safety systems, including the following:

Adaptive, two-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger

Sidebags in the front, and in the middle row of seats as standard

Windowbags across all three rows of seats from the A to the D-pillar

Neck-Pro crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger as standard

3-point seat belts on all seven seats

Seat-belt tensioners and adaptive belt-force limiters for the driver and front passenger, seat-belt tensioners and belt-force limiters on the outer seats in the middle row

Perhaps the the most important safety feature is the one that networks all existing systems together, something that Mercedes calls Pre-Safe. It uses sensors found in the dynamic handling control systems such as ABS, BAS (Brake Assist) and ESP and optimises the protective function of the passive and active safety components in potential collision situations. Mercedes claims the new GL-Class meets all the requirements of a state-of-the-art, luxury SUV – and even redefines them on a higher level.

With a decent aerodynamics for such a large SUV (Cd 0.37), Mercedes is already hailing it’s American-built GL-Class a success story. Something like 600 million US dollars have been invested since 2001 in expanding and constantly modernising the North American vehicle plant where the GL is built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The American-built Mercedes-Benz SUV will arrive in Australia in November 2006.

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

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