Words: Vineeth Mohan
Photography : Sumeet Kumar Choubey
The S-Class of SUVs is how Mercedes-Benz is marketing the new GL-Class internationally. Easy Entry system to help occupants get into the third row easily, interiors with open pore wood trim are some of the firsts the GL-Class can boast of.
Mr. Boris Becker, tennis legend and Mercedes-Benz aficionado who was at the launch of the GL-Class said, “The GL-Class is the cornerstone of achievement for anyone across the world. It is a true blue SUV and the ultimate machine for off-roading. My association with Mercedes-Benz goes back to more than two decades. I identify with the values of the Mercedes-Benz brand – fascination, perfection and responsibility. I enjoy going for off-roading with my family I believe that the GL-Class is a perfect companion on those tracks. It is my pleasure to be a part of the launch of this majestic vehicle, here in India.”
The variant that will be launched in India is the GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, powered by a 2987cc engine producing 619Nm of torque @ 1600-2400 rpm and a power 190kW/258hp @ 3600rpm. The GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC offers 14.8% lower fuel consumption than its predecessor. ECO start stop system is standard. Coupled with 7G-TRONIC Plus Automatic transmission 0-100kph is reached in 7.9 seconds and Mercedes-Benz claims a top speed of 220 km/hr.
Pre-Safe, Attention Assist, Crosswind Assist make the GL-Class one of the safest vehicle in its class.
As with the ML-Class, Mercedes-Benz India offers a ‘Launch Edition‘, CBUs with addtional features like AMG body styling comprising front and rear apron painted in body colors, 21-inch AMG 5 twin-spoke light-alloy, aluminium finish running boards with LED illumination and flared wheel arches. Designo Exclusive Package is also on the offer which includes AMG sports seats and rear seats featuring upholstery in designo leather, upper and lower dashboard sections and door beltlines in design leather, heated front seats, design headlining in Dinimica black.
The ‘Launch Edition’ will also have heated seats, and temperature controlled cup holders. This Launch Edition of the GL 350 CDI 4MATIC will be available at INR 77.50 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi and is limited to 100 numbers most of which have been booked already.
The GL-Class assembly is scheduled to begin in Mercedes-Benz’s Chakan plant by September 2013. Expected the locally assembled variant to cost less.
Mercedes-Benz offers more equipment as standard in this generation of new GL models. These include comfort details such as electric sliding sunroof, electrically operated EASY-PACK tailgate, EASY ENTRY system, high-dampening acoustic windscreen or electromechanical steering. Inside, the standard equipment includes a colour screen with photo-realistic display or dashboard finished in ARTICO man-made leather. While we know that EASY ENTRY is available on the India spec GL-models, we are yet to confirm if the rest of the features that are available as standard in the new generation GL-Class models are also standard in India.
Mr. Eberhard Kern, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “2013 is the ‘Year of Offensive’ for Mercedes-Benz India and we are excited to present the all new GL-Class to our valued customers. Exclusivity and dynamism are two of the most enigmatic features of an ultimate SUV and the GL-Class imbibes both these as it established the SUV image of Mercedes-Benz in India with its launch in 2010. We have already succeeded with the new M-Class and now the introduction of the new GL-Class will further strengthen our dominance in the Luxury Large SUV segment. The GL-Class with its proven off-roading prowess and luxurious appointments exudes the Absolute Supremacy statement during on and off-road situations and is ideal to suit the taste of the growing number of off-roading aficionados in India”.
The GL 63 AMG variant is expected to make its way to our shores soon, while there’s no information available on the petrol V8.