The new-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS was revealed in New York this week, the German marque’s flagship SUV gets increased proportions, a sharper design and more technology.
Dimensionally, the new GLS is 77mm longer and 22mm wider which allows for an additional 60mm between the wheels. Mercedes claims the extra length has increased legroom in the second row by 87mm when the seats are in their rearmost position.
Remarkably, Mercedes is also talking up the third row claiming adults up to 194cm can fit in the heated rear chairs. Those stuck in the cheap seats will also find USB charging ports.
Along with the twin-screen MBUX system up front, there is also the MBUX Rear Seat Entertainment System which adds two 11.6-inch touchscreens for movie, music and internet enjoyment.
Should you wish to use your luxury SUV to haul furniture, a push of a button is all that is required to stow away the seats to reveal a 2400-litre cargo space.
The GLS will also wear Multibeam LED headlamps as standard, with a total of 112 LEDs per headlamp. Apparently, these produce the maximum light intensity permitted by law, which results in the brightness of the main beam headlamps only falling below the reference value of one lux after a distance of more than 650 metres.
The new design has seen the coefficient of drag lowered from 0.35cD to 0.32cD. This should lead to greater efficiency.
Globally, there will be a choice of petrol and diesel powerplants, the range-topping GLS580 packs a V8 petrol unit with EQ Boost technology (a 48-volt onboard electrical system and integrated starter-generator) to produce 360kW and 700Nm of torque, with a further 250 Nm of torque and 16 kW available via EQ Boost over short periods.
A six-cylinder in-line engine petrol version, the GLS450 uses the same EQ Boost tech to deliver 270kW and 500Nm.
A pair of six-cylinder diesel options will be available, the GLS350d and GLS400d, producing 210kW/600Nm and 243kW/700Nm respectively. These are likely to strike a chord with local buyers given our enthusiasm for large SUVs with diesel power.
All engines are matched to a nine-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels through the brand’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system.
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