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Rediff.com  » Business » Iconic off-roader Mercedes GL Class to hit roads in May

Iconic off-roader Mercedes GL Class to hit roads in May

Last updated on: April 26, 2013 07:58 IST

Iconic off-roader Mercedes GL Class to hit roads in May

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Jyotsana Gupta


Mercedes Benz GL Class, the full-blown luxury SUV crossover from the German automaker that has penned down countless success stories for its manufacturers on every soil that it has ever set foot on, will be launched in its spanking-new 2013 avatar in India on May 16, 2013.

Codenamed as X166, the 2013 GL Class has been 'the talk of the town' for quite some time now, especially since late January when the car was caught on camera doing test runs on Indian roads, which came as the first unmistakable indication that the car would sooner or later be arriving in India.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes Benz

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Iconic off-roader Mercedes GL Class to hit roads in May

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Speculators back then had predicted a mid-2013 launch for this regal ride, confirmation to which arrived recently when Mercedes Benz officially announced a May 16 launch for the new version of the GL Class in India.

To grace the launch event of the car that is known as one of the most iconic off-roaders ever to be built, legendary tennis players Boris Becker will be arriving in India. And that is where the newly-launched Facebook campaign of Mercedes Benz comes in.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes Benz

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Iconic off-roader Mercedes GL Class to hit roads in May

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Named as 'Served with the Stars' and offering the winner 'A date with a legend', this brand awareness campaign involves a simple trivia quiz that can provide the participants with a lifetime opportunity of meeting Boris Becker himself in Delhi or get their kid an exclusive pass to Becker's tennis clinic in Bangalore.

Now getting back to the car, the 2013 Mercedes Benz GL Class is an updated version of the existing GL generation that has been given a major makeover along with some really interesting mechanical tweaks and a big pack of highly advanced technological tools to add to its arsenal.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes Benz

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Iconic off-roader Mercedes GL Class to hit roads in May

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Starting with the looks, the GL Class crossover, in its latest incarnation, can be seen donning an outfit that has changed considerably, its resemblance with the current M-Class becoming more evident and its sporty attitude getting accentuated by the inclusion of the AMG body kit.

The front fascia of this new SUV that draws inspiration from the F800 concept is one of the most striking features of its appearance and gets adorned with daytime driving lights.

The tail-lamps, on the other hand, show a closer connection with the ML-Class of the German luxury automaker.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes Benz

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Iconic off-roader Mercedes GL Class to hit roads in May

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The AMG Sport Pack that the test mule of the 2013 Mercedes Benz GL Class SUV was caught wearing is expected to show up on the actual model as well when it breaks cover next month.

Incorporating traits like 21-inch alloys, 9-inch perforated disc brakes, custom bumpers, flaring wheel arches and illuminated running boards, the distinctly sporty AMG body kit of Mercedes Benz has been appearing on all their newly-launched models lately and the same is being speculated for the GL Class too.

Just like the exteriors, the interiors for the next generation of GL Class SUV have also been upgraded keeping in mind the sportiness and aggression that define this off-roader.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes Benz

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Iconic off-roader Mercedes GL Class to hit roads in May

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Expected to encompass features like an electrically-controlled steering wheel, AMG Sport seats, electric parking brake, electronically adjustable third row of seats and leather jacketing for almost everything, the ultimate regal experience, unmatched style and exceptional comforts that this seven-seater Mercedes ride has been claimed to offer its riders is what makes its manufacturers proudly pronounce it 'the S-Class among SUVs'.

Optional add-ons on this fabulous off-roader include a Bang & Olufsen audio system that gives a total output of 1200W with 14 speakers and a surround view feature that makes use of four different cameras to provide the driver with an all-round view of the surroundings.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes Benz

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Iconic off-roader Mercedes GL Class to hit roads in May

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Moving on to take a look at the mechanical package of the car; the same 2,987 cc, 4-valve, direct injection, turbocharged CDI diesel mill has been loaded under the hood of the new 2013 GL Class that drives the existing generation of the SUV but with a number of smart twists and tweaks that not only result in higher power ratings but also improve the efficiency of the engine considerably.

Capable of churning out a peak 255 bhp along with a maximum of 632Nm of torque, this power-packed oil-burner gets mated to a reworked 4MATIC AWD system and a 7-speed G-Tronic automatic transmission gearbox to deliver a fuel-economy that is 20 per cent higher (in the European driving cycle) than that offered by its preceding models.

To assist with the enhancement of fuel-economy, the upcoming GL Class SUV has been made 90 kg lighter than the current models.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes Benz

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Just like the M-Class, for now, the new GL Class is likely to be imported via the CBU (Completely Built Unit) route from the Alabama-based production facility of Mercedes Benz, to be shifted on the CKD (Completely Knocked Down unit) track towards the second half of 2013 with the Pune facility getting the responsibility of assembling the CKD units.

As far as price is concerned, nothing can be said for sure right now except that the upcoming model is going to be premium of the current generation, and that once the imports change from CBU to CKD, a price cut is bound to come by.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes Benz

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