MERCEDES-BENZ TO HOLD WORLD DEBUT OF ALL-NEW GL-CLASS
World Premiere of Seven-Seat Premium SUV Planned for Detroit Show
MONTVALE, NJ, Mercedes-Benz is poised to enter yet another market with the all-new GL-Class, a seven-seat luxury sport-utility vehicle that will be produced in the companys Alabama plant along with the M-Class and R-Class. Already offering the broadest and most diverse product portfolio in the automotive industry, Mercedes-Benz is launching its first large sport-utility.
The new GL-Class will make its world premiere at the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit, open to the public January 14 – 22, 2006.
Its no coincidence that the new GL model designation echoes already legendary Mercedes-Benz G-Class. While the GL-Class is built on an entirely new platform, the venerable G-Class sport-utility is entering its 26th year of production and will continue to be marketed beside the new GL.
Mercedes-Benz Safety in a Premium SUV
The graceful body of the new GL-Class will be 200 inches in length, 75.6 inches wide and 72.4 inches tall, boasting an aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.37. Its steel unit body will provide outstanding passive safety with a high-strength occupant cell protected by technologically advanced front and rear crumple zones that include new provisions to help reduce potential injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. The GL will come with two-stage front air bags for the driver and front passenger, side air bags in the front and 2nd-row seats, and curtain air bags that span all three rows of seats.
The new GL-Class will debut in the U.S. market with a 4.6-liter four-valve-per-cylinder V8 engine producing 335-horsepower, a seven-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC full-time four-wheel drive.
The GL will come with four-wheel independent suspension, speed-sensitive power steering and 18-inch 265 / 60 all-season tires. The vehicle has a 7,500- pound Class V towing capacity and is available with optional height-adjustable Airmatic springing with ADS adaptive damping.
Inside, the GL will be fitted with real burl walnut wood trim, power front seats and a glass sunroof with a fixed glass panel over the third-row seats. The two third-row seats can be stowed electrically at the push of a button, either separately or together, to provide a totally flat cargo floor. As a five-seater, the GL can carry 43.8 cubic feet of cargo, and with the second row seats stowed as well, theres more than 83 cubic feet of cargo room.
In addition to the widely acclaimed Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC system, standard features such as DSR downhill speed regulation, hill-start assist, and a special off-road ABS algorithm will help drivers during off-road excursions. An optional Off-Road Pro package will include a two-speed transfer case and locks for the center and rear differentials. The package also includes modified air suspension that can increase ground clearance to 12 inches, which also raises its low-speed fording depth to more than 23 inches.
The Mercedes-Benz Alabama Plant
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama began production in 1997 with the first-generation M-Class, and about $600 million has been invested since 2001 to expand the facility. At its completion in May 2005, the plants annual production capacity stands at 160,000 vehicles, with a total investment of around $1 billion. Joining the M-Class and R-Class, the GL-Class is the third model line to be built in Tuscaloosa.