By assembling the first ever unit of the All-new GL-Class outside of the Tuscaloosa plant in USA, Mercedes-Benz has sent auto-enthusiasts into a tizzy. Enthusiasts will now go into a frenzy over how India is such an important market for Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes informs us that the initial 100 units of the ‘Launch Edition’ of the GL Class SUV were sold out in mere 15 days of launch. Local production of the GL-Class 350 CDI at the Pune plant is no mean technological feat. It involves the use of synchronized conveyor systems along with latest generation PLC control units for all units. This provides adaptability with different models on common production lines and increases flexibility of the production process.
It also means that there is a price slash of Rs 5 Lakh owing to lesser duties. Mercedes launched the GL 350 CDI in May at Rs 77.5 Lakhs which is now available at Rs 72.5 Lakhs ex-showroom.
There exists a stringent quality environment under which the GL-CLASS production takes place.
It includes :
- EMS-Transfer Production Lines with Latest Generation Controllers
- X-Road-Dynamic-Testing and Programming of Cars
- Frequency Controlled Measurements for Accuracy
- Shower Testing Cabin for Simulation of Rain Test
For its spaciousness and comfort, the GL-Class is often christened the S-Class among SUVs. It is an SUV filled to the brim with brawn, thanks to its increased proportions of 5120 mm length, 1934 mm of width and a height of 1850 mm. The muscled grille with the Three-Pointed-Star allows the GL-Class an immense composure.
It is capable of retaining its poise even in the most challenging of on as well as off-roading conditions however we have not driven one to ascertain this claim. The new design philosophy creates a more mysterious look with the challenging headlamps and the bumper-integrated Daytime Running Lamps. More appeal is added with the help of sporty alloy wheels and the robust two-piece tail-lamps with integrated fiber optic technology.
Interiors are luxurious and classy. Elegance is projected by the Open Pore Ash Wood Trim, a first time in India. The boot capacity is a generous 680 litres, which can be expanded to 1210 litres by folding the 3rd row of seats. If you still need space, the 2nd row can be folded to further increase the space to 2300 litres. A unique addition to the Mercedes GL-Class is the full 360 degree surround camera.
Regarding technology, the GL-Class incorporates cutting-edge electronic guardians like DSR, ESP, 4ETS, 4 MATIC and AIRMATIC. It also claims 14.8% lower fuel-efficiency, courtesy ECO start-stop function. AIRMATIC package allows for better ride control over the most treacherous terrain. Active Parking and PARKTRONIC help to steer the gigantic beast for parking, even on bends.
Added to the list of technologies is a panoramic sunroof which provides a wide view of the sky, even for the third-row passengers. Latest multimedia is present with the COMAND Online featuring a 7 inch TFT display. Bluetooth interface is present along with hands-free function. It can also be used for internet browsing. There is something seemingly interesting called Mercedes-Benz apps.
The New GL-Class is powered by an upgraded V6 diesel engine. The massive 2987 cc engine churns out 619 Nm of twist @ 1600-2400 rpm and 258 hp @ 3600 rpm. The mill is coupled with a 7G-TRONIC Plus automatic tyranny which pushes the giant vehicle from 0-100 kmph in 7.9 seconds before maxing out at a top speed of 220 kmph.
Yet, there is no letdown on safety. Pre-Safe ensures that the SUV reacts before any possible collision. Nine airbags all around the interiors make the cabin as safe as a vault. There is Attention Assist to help stave off driver drowsiness on longer trips, and Crosswind Assist is claimed to provide rock-solid stability.
The new GL-Class is available is available in three color and upholstery options :
- Obsidian Black with Almond Beige
- Polar White with Almond Beige
- Palladium Silver with Black
Mercedes has been on a product launching rampage and has launched some really volume churning models like the A-Class as well as the B-Class results of which have already started pouring in. Mercedes also has plans to assemble these locally later.