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New Mercedes GL launches in New York
You don’t see many Merc GLs in the UK. It’s even bigger than
a Range Rover, but it’s not a Range Rover. A hard sell then, even with the
cache of once being the off-duty wheels of choice of a certain Mr Lewis Carl
Davidson Hamilton of, um, Stevenage.
Lewis used to say he liked it because it was as far from his
weekend car as it was possible to get. Which doesn’t quite explain why he had
AMG build him a one-off GL63…
Anyway. Here’s the new one, like the old one, based on the
ML Class and made in America. It’s much the same size as its predecessor and
available with a whole lexicon of new acronyms and an AMG body kit complete
with 21ins wheels. As Lewis specced on his.
Benz says the new technology in the GL makes it as safe and
smooth as an S-Class, even off-road (but not on those whopping rims, one
assumes). Ideas from the M-B Lab seeing the light of day for the first time are
Crosswind Assist and Steer Control. We don’t need to explain the function of
the former (but you have to admit it’s a good idea). The latter basically gives
you bionic arms when you’re obliged to ask more of the steering than you can
Other ‘apps’ making their debut in a big Benz SUV include
CPA (that one is Collision Prevention Assist), Active Lane Keeping Assist and
Blind Spot Assist. Adding a few extra Go Pro cameras to that system also means
there’s a Range Rover-like 360 degree camera view. Wire in the sonars from the
parking sensors and the new GL will park itself. Providing you can find a
5.1-metre plus parking bay, of course.
We have to admit to rather liking the way it looks.
Especially the inside and extra-specially with those quilted leather chairs —
who needs a Bentley SUV? Incidentally, for those interested in these things,
those cupholders are heated. Or chilled. Americans love that kind of stuff,
which is why they buy GLs by the gross, whereas here only 500 or so find
(large) homes each year.
Power comes from the new-gen 4.6-litre V8 (if you’re in the
US) or the three-litre V6 diesel (the better choice for Europe). C02 is down
and MPG up, in both cases by around 20 per cent, the V8 returning 25mpg and the
diesel 38mpg and as low as 192 grammes/km, which once again is impressive
carbon reduction from Mercedes-Benz, who do seem masters of the sooty arts.
The GL is not due in the UK until next year. So you have
plenty of time to work on channelling Lewis and working on that beard…