Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLS just ahead of the 2019 New York International Auto Show. The flagship SUV now features even more interior space, luxury appointments, and latest generation powertrains and connectivity features.
A major highlight of the new car is its wheelbase of 3,135 mm, which is 60 mm longer than its predecessor. At the front, the new front grille is flanked by new Multibeam LED headlamps as standard, with a total of 112 LEDs per headlamp. New slim LED DRLs with three LED segments and a chrome-plated under guard finish off the new front end. At the rear, the GLS sports two-piece LED tail lamps which are crowned by a slim chrome trim strip that runs the width of the tailgate. A chrome-plated under guard is fitted at the back too.
The design changes have improved aerodynamics: the new car boasts a drag coefficient of 0.32, versus 0.35 for its predecessor.
A slew of six- and eight-cylinder engines will power the G-Class, highlighted by the new GLS 580 4Matic variant, which features Mercedes-Benz’s EQ Boost hybrid technology. The GLS 580 is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 which is aided by an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) motor for hybrid functions and brake energy recuperation. The engine uses a 48V onboard electrical system.
The GLS 580’s power is rated at 489 hp and 700 Nm, with an additional 22 hp/250 Nm available from the ISG for short bursts. The less powerful GLS 450 4Matic is equipped with a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder and ISG hybrid system. The engine alone produces 367 hp and 500 Nm, the ISG again adds the same 22 hp/250 Nm depending on the driving situation.
The 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic transmission features in all variants of the GLS. Power is sent to all four wheels through the 4Matic all-wheel drive system which, in the GLS, is equipped with a transfer case specially adapted for off-road driving. The unit features a multi-plate clutch system with a ‘torque-on-demand’ function and a reduction gear for off-road driving.
The GLS comes with the Airmatic air suspension system with Adaptive Damping System Plus fitted as standard in all variants. The E-Active Body Control suspension, which is combined with the newly developed Airmatic air suspension can be optionally fitted.
In terms of connectivity, the GLS is equipped with the latest generation MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. Two large 12.3-inch screens are fitted as standard with the optional MBUX Interior Assistant which allows in-car comfort and MBUX functions to be controlled with gestures.
For example, when a hand approaches the touchscreen on the center console, the media display changes and individual elements are highlighted. The system is able to distinguish the driver's hand from the front passenger's and therefore knows for whose seat the massage function is to be activated.
New driver assistance features include the Active Distance Assist Distronic with route-based speed adaptation that responds to real-time traffic information and can slow down the vehicle if required even before the driver becomes aware of the hazard.
Another cool trick of the GLS is its carwash function: when the function is selected, the GLS automatically folds in the exterior mirrors, suppresses the rain sensor information, switches the climate control to air-recirculation mode, and activates the front camera to assist the driver when driving into the carwash. The function deactivates once the driver accelerates again past 20 km/h.
The new Mercedes-Benz GLS will go on sale in Europe and the US by the end of 2019.
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