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Drew Dowdell

Mercedes Unveils the GLB Concept :Comments

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large.1912045935_2020MercedesGLBConcept007.jpgMercedes-Benz unveiled the Concept GLB at the Shanghai Motor Show today.   The GLC Concept is to fit between the Mercedes-Benz GLA and GLC in the lineup, yet have a more rugged appeal than the two.

The concept sits on a relatively long wheelbase (111 inches) for its size and offers seating for up to 7 passengers. It is powered by a 4-cylinder turbo producing 224hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It send power to the wheels via an 8-speed dual clutch transmission with 4Matic All-wheel drive standard.  The 4Matic is configurable into three modes depending on driving preferences and conditions.  In regular driving operation, the drive program "Eco/Comfort" is based on an 80:20 distribution (front axle:rear axle), while in "Sport" it is 70:30. In off-road mode the all-wheel drive clutch acts as an inter- axle differential lock, with the basic distribution a balanced 50:50.

Inside is Mercedes MBUX system that looks largely carried over from the other A class cars and that can be activated with the phrase, "Hey Mercedes". 

While Mercedes calls this a concept, we feel it is just a thinly veiled one as it uses a lot of production hardware. The production model will look pretty close to this concept.  

Mercedes-Benz Press Release on Page 2


Mercedes-Benz Concept GLB

This is how spacious and robust a compact car can be

With the Concept GLB at Auto Shanghai (April 18 to 25, 2019), Mercedes-Benz shows what SUV ideas on the company's compact car platform might be realized alongside the GLA as a sporty all-rounder. While the latter promises engaging driving enjoyment with its coupe-like lines, the Concept GLB places an emphasis on spaciousness with a robust character. The concept car (length/width/height: 182/74/75 in) has space for up to seven occupants, thanks to its long wheelbase (111 in). A number of sturdy features also signals that the Concept GLB feels right at home on rough tracks.

"We asked ourselves whether there is still space between the GLA and GLC in our successful SUV range. The Concept GLB is the answer to this question. With it we are demonstrating the creative ideas we have for this segment, too," says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales. "The Concept GLB is a durable and practical SUV with nonetheless compact dimensions. Whether it is a generous, seven-seater family vehicle or a versatile leisure time companion: we are certain that this concept will be of great interest to our customers." Customers highly appreciate the varied SUV portfolio of Mercedes-Benz. To date, more than six million customers worldwide have purchased a Mercedes-Benz SUV. In 2018, with more than 820,000 units sold, the SUVs were the strongest segment for Mercedes-Benz.

SUV genes brought to the forefront: Exterior design

The Mercedes-Benz Concept GLB has a distinctive presence in the world of compact SUVs thanks to its muscular proportions. The clear, surface- accentuated contours with minimal lines and precise joints convey effortless superiority and modernity. The upright front section with striking MULTIBEAM LED headlamps is clear evidence of off-road genes, as are the short overhangs at the front and rear. The long wheelbase and large greenhouse are key factors providing generous space for up to seven occupants.

The muscular and sensuously contoured vehicle shoulder dominates the side view, an effect reinforced by the rising beltline. All-round protective cladding divides the overall proportions and emphasizes the vehicle's off-road character.

The harmonious color concept has exterior paintwork in designo cashmere white magno with high-gloss black parts (e.g. the claddings or integrated roof box) as a contrast, plus discreet orange highlights in the radiator grille and as lettering on the outside mirror housings.

The chrome underguard at the front with integral air inlets in a stainless steel look emphasizes the off-road qualities. The rear underguard echoes this theme, creating a balanced overall picture.

Extra show car elements: equipped for expeditions

With a series of distinctive extra elements, the concept vehicle exhibits a particularly robust character. At the front and rear, two shrouds emerge from the roof frame and accommodate LED spotlights acting as ambient lighting and orientation aids when driving off-road.

The black roof rails end in a curve at the front and rear. A roof box is mounted on the rear area. The aggressive-tread off-road tires are on robust 17-inch wheels in a two-color design.

High-quality finish and very spacious: the interior

The interior of the Concept GLB reveals its membership of the new Mercedes- Benz compact car family, but as a showcar and SUV it has special leather features and trim elements. For the first time in a compact model by Mercedes- Benz, a third row seat is equipped, with two additional single seats that can be recess-flushed into the load compartment floor to increase load capacity. These seats are far more than emergency seats, and offer comfortable seating for two medium-sized occupants.

Making space: flexible seat arrangements in the second and third row

The backrest of the middle seat row is 40:20:40 split-folding, and can be folded down to create a level load surface. The seat surfaces have a 40:60 division. The second row is fore-and-aft adjustable by 5.5 in – by 3.5 in to the front, to increase luggage space or legroom for occupants right in the rear, and by 2 in to the rear if particularly generous legroom is required in a five-seat configuration. An eight-stage backrest incline adjustment in the second row also facilitates adjustment according to the space or comfort requirements.

To facilitate access to the third row, the seats in the second row have an Easy- Entry function: when the unlocking lever on the top outer edge of the backrest is operated, the backrest folds forward and the entire seat can be pushed forward. A total of four child seats can be attached in the second and third seat rows.

Contrast in chestnut: exclusive leather and open-pored walnut

The seats, fittings and door panels are partially lined in nappa and nubuk leather, the predominant color tone being "chestnut brown". Echoing the exterior highlights, there are orange trim strips and seams in a few key places. The center sections of the front seats have two parallel rows of perforations in their woven nubuk leather covers, revealing the orange-colored fabric sub- layer. These extend from the front edge of the seat cushion to the upper edge of the integrated head restraint.

The wood trim elements on the dashboard and center console are open-pore walnut. The walnut panels have a chiselled honeycomb pattern that fades out towards the edges. The pedals in the footwell feature decorative inserts in the same material within a high-gloss metal surround, with an identical honeycomb pattern.

Dashboard: MBUX and off-road elements

The basic architecture of the dashboard corresponds to that of the B-Class, with a widescreen cockpit facing the driver and functions and displays controlled via the Mercedes-Benz User Experience – MBUX. New features are the off-road- type tubular elements in milled aluminum, which round off the dashboard at the lower end. These give the dashboard support an impression of robustness, power and a certain factor of fun. Below the three round center elements is the air conditioning control panel with an intentionally analogue look, whose buttons create the impression that they have been milled from a solid aluminum cylinder.

The robust character of the interior continues on the center console. Aluminum tubular elements with a brushed structure in a grab-handle look lend solidity to the design of the components and controls. Along the doors, the SUV character is reinforced by the horizontal grab handle, which forms a robust part of the door panel structure as a machined aluminum tube.

Powertrain: Four-cylinder turbo with 224 hp

The Concept GLB is powered by the M260 four-cylinder gas engine combined with an 8-speed-DCT dual clutch transmission, with a maximum output of 224 hp and peak torque of 258 lb-ft. The engine block of diecast aluminum with cast iron cylinder liners has CONICSHAPE® technology, which is also known in-house as "trumpet-honing". To further minimize piston friction and lower fuel consumption, the cylinder bore is widened at the lower end of the cylinder liners. The resulting conical shape resembles the mouth of a trumpet.

An innovative low-friction oil and optimized piston rings also reduce friction losses. To take account of the higher specific output, the pistons themselves feature cooling ducts. This also ensures more efficient combustion. The balance shafts for smooth running are located in the lower section of the crankcase. To enhance comfort even further, there is a centrifugal pendulum damper in the powertrain.

The aluminum four-valve cylinder head also features CAMTRONIC, a variable valve timing system that allows two-stage adjustment of the valve lift on the intake side of the valve assembly. In the partial-load range, this variable valve lift adjustment allows less air to be fed to the combustion chamber with a smaller valve lift, which leads to lower gas cycle losses. In higher load ranges the system switches to the higher valve lift to achieve the engine's full power delivery.

All-wheel drive as a matter of course: 4MATIC with three selectable characteristic maps

The Concept GLB is equipped with the permanent all-wheel system, 4MATIC, with variable torque distribution. This sporty all-wheel drive configuration allows the driver to use the DYNAMIC SELECT switch to influence the characteristics of 4MATIC. Three characteristic maps are available to control the all-wheel drive clutch, though the system responds flexibly to the current driving situation in any mode. In regular driving operation, the drive program "Eco/Comfort" is based on an 80:20 distribution (front axle:rear axle), while in "Sport" it is 70:30. In off-road mode the all-wheel drive clutch acts as an inter- axle differential lock, with the basic distribution a balanced 50:50.

4MATIC components include the power take-off to the rear axle, which is integrated into the automated dual clutch transmission, and the rear axle differential with an integrated multiplate clutch, which is electro-mechanically operated. Via a crown wheel and a ball ramp, an electric motor exerts an axial force on the clutch pack to open or close the plates. The rear axle differential compensates the different paths/rotational speeds of the rear wheels. The advantages of this control system are above all non-rpm-dependent operation across the entire actuation range, pilot control of the clutch while still stationary and higher efficiency thanks to the ball ramp concept.

A look back at Shanghai 2013: world premiere of the Concept GLA

This is not the first time a compact SUV concept has celebrated its world premiere at the Shanghai auto show: On April 18, 2013 the Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA drew public attention. As a sporty, coupe-like evolution of this vehicle class, the showcar pointed a new way in the compact SUV segment. It combined a sporty spirit with the all-round qualities of a robust recreational companion.

The multitalented GLA became orderable from the end of November 2013, and deliveries began in March 2014. Since then the GLA has become a major contributor to the success story of the compact Mercedes-Benz models. In 2018 over 609,000 customers worldwide took delivery of their new A or B-Class, their CLA, CLA Shooting Brake or GLA. This means that in 2018, one in four cars sold by Mercedes-Benz was a compact model.


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Here is the Ener-G Force concept car put to production form, so Mercedes does build concept cars. 

I think this looks amazing inside and out and I don’t like crossovers.  The “active lifestyle” millennials that will never go off road will buy these up in waves because they think they’ll go off road and haul kayaks, just like they think they’ll commit to going to the gym 4 times a week as a New Year’s resolution.

3rd row seat even if just for kids is a huge plus in this segment and Mercedes now has three 7 seat SUVs after having only 1 last year.  Also important because people don’t buy the seats they need they buy the number of seats they Might need.

The production interior probably won’t be that, but I hope they offer that Alcantara and stitching and leather in a designo package. Also the roof lights, gotta offer that too.

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I like the concept interior, esp. in brown.   The exterior is nice, not the mini-G-class as was rumored. 

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Posted (edited)

Funny, I seem to remember pegging this vehicle long ago for exactly what it is shaping up to be. And @Drew Dowdell either dismissed it, or thought it was a bad idea. Something along those lines. Looks like I have been vindicated! 😄

Edited by Frisky Dingo

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1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

Here is the Ener-G Force concept car put to production form, so Mercedes does build concept cars.

A blinged-up production vehicle isn't a true concept. And this is still a "concept"- we all know how hard daimler pulled back with the new g-class after showing the ener-g concept.

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1 hour ago, balthazar said:

A blinged-up production vehicle isn't a true concept. And this is still a "concept"- we all know how hard daimler pulled back with the new g-class after showing the ener-g concept.

The Ener-G concept is the GLB.  The Ener-g concept was not a G-Wagon concept.  

3 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

I like the concept interior, esp. in brown.   The exterior is nice, not the mini-G-class as was rumored. 

I thought it would have had more G-Wagen in it as well.  This is the Ener-G concept comps to life.  I do think this looks rather good, it might be their best looking SUV other than the G-wagen which is kind of love itnor hate it because of how obnoxious it is.

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@smk4565

https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/design/vision-ener-g-force-off-road-for-the-future/

GLB is NOT the Ener-g force concept.

See the source image

To quote their own website!!!

New off-road design idiom.

“The Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow’s adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G model,” observes Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz”.

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1 hour ago, dfelt said:

@smk4565

https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/design/vision-ener-g-force-off-road-for-the-future/

GLB is NOT the Ener-g force concept.

See the source image

To quote their own website!!!

New off-road design idiom.

“The Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow’s adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G model,” observes Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz”.

GLB looks a lot like that.  That concept "invokes genes" of the G-class, that is like when Chevy puts out a Blazer that is inspired by a Camaro, that is all marketing speak that has nothing to do with anything.  They never said Ener-G was a preview of the next G-wagen, the G-wagen wasn't going to change styling.

GLB is for "tomorrow's off road adventures"

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1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

GLB looks a lot like that.  That concept "invokes genes" of the G-class, that is like when Chevy puts out a Blazer that is inspired by a Camaro, that is all marketing speak that has nothing to do with anything.  They never said Ener-G was a preview of the next G-wagen, the G-wagen wasn't going to change styling.

GLB is for "tomorrow's off road adventures"

Wrong, if you actually read the web site, the Ener-G-Force is the size and concept of a future G-Wagon. Not a Small compact knock off with some style cues from it.

GLB is not the Ener-G-Force.

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24 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Wrong, if you actually read the web site, the Ener-G-Force is the size and concept of a future G-Wagon. Not a Small compact knock off with some style cues from it.

GLB is not the Ener-G-Force.

That was never a future G-wagon, why would they ever change the styling?  in 2040 the G-wagen will look the same as it does today.  

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Because it's the W-Body Impala of Germany. Worse than that- it's older than dirt.

Just imagine tho if the recent so-called 'redesign" of the g-wagon HAD been the ener-g concept, as shown; as the flagship it would have a pretty substantial trickle-down effect instead of being a left field Frankenstein of 1970s parts that you can't tell if it's a 1980 or a 2020.

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I’ll give Benz credit. They at least show pics of the most expensive trim when releasing to the press. The reality is though that most of them sold will not carry the same high end material and colors schemes of the top of the line trim shown here. Take away the two tone color and you have a pretty boring design given the make and supposed “best or nothing else” marketing behind it. 

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Posted (edited)

I’ll give Benz credit. They at least show pics of the most expensive trim when releasing to the press (concept or otherwise). The reality is though that most of them sold will not carry the same high end material and colors schemes of the top of the line trim shown here. Take away the two tone color and you have a pretty boring design given the make and supposed “best or nothing else” marketing behind it. 

 

Oh and only 224HP on a seven passenger SUV? Seems like someone here has some crow to eat given their history of slamming brands Ike Cadillac and Lincoln for their “weak” engine offerings. 

Edited by surreal1272
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25 minutes ago, balthazar said:

Because it's the W-Body Impala of Germany. Worse than that- it's older than dirt.

Just imagine tho if the recent so-called 'redesign" of the g-wagon HAD been the ener-g concept, as shown; as the flagship it would have a pretty substantial trickle-down effect instead of being a left field Frankenstein of 1970s parts that you can't tell if it's a 1980 or a 2020.

But nothing else is going to look like the G-wagen, that is why it is an icon.

The biggest flaw I see in Mercedes design is with the SL.  That should look like the 1955 version and be a retro style to be to the car side, what the G-wagen is to the SUV side.  

22 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

I’ll give Benz credit. They at least show pics of the most expensive trim when releasing to the press. The reality is though that most of them sold will not carry the same high end material and colors schemes of the top of the line trim shown here. Take away the two tone color and you have a pretty boring design given the make and supposed “best or nothing else” marketing behind it. 

Compare the GLB to an XT4 or NX200 or 250 or whatever Lexus calls their small SUV which has almost the exact name a s Nissan commercial van.  And we know 300 hp is right around the corner from launch of the base model, which is more than any of these other compact 4-cylinder SUVs have.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

But nothing else is going to look like the G-wagen, that is why it is an icon.

The biggest flaw I see in Mercedes design is with the SL.  That should look like the 1955 version and be a retro style to be to the car side, what the G-wagen is to the SUV side.  

Compare the GLB to an XT4 or NX200 or 250 or whatever Lexus calls their small SUV which has almost the exact name a s Nissan commercial van.  And we know 300 hp is right around the corner from launch of the base model, which is more than any of these other compact 4-cylinder SUVs have.

That is just future guessing. Says right above that they are using the 224HP four banger and offering a bigger option down the road is a cop out (seeing as how that 300HP offering is for the much overused “AMG” model that will cost at least $20K more than the XT4) and proves my point about offering a weak motor on a seven passenger SUV. You also go the apples to oranges route yet again since the NX200 and XT4 don’t offer seven passenger seating (and with good reason). On top of that, Benz is supposed to offer more, according to your past comments. Here, they offer less and you offer up excuses you do not grant to Cadillac or anyone else not wearing a German label. 

Edited by surreal1272
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10 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

That is just future guessing. Says right above that they are using the 224HP four banger and offering a bigger option down the road is a cop out (seeing as how that 300HP offering is for the much overused “AMG” model that will cost at least $20K more than the XT4) and proves my point about offering a weak motor on a seven passenger SUV. You also go the apples to oranges route yet again since the NX200 and XT4 don’t offer seven passenger seating (and with good reason). On top of that, Benz is supposed to offer more, according to your past comments. Here, they offer less and you offer up excuses you do not grant to Cadillac or anyone else not wearing a German label. 

No one offers 7 seats in this segment.  A win for Mercedes.  

The GLB 35 won't be a $20k premium, the 45's are a $20k premium.  

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20 hours ago, Frisky Dingo said:

Funny, I seem to remember pegging this vehicle long ago for exactly what it is shaping up to be. And @Drew Dowdell either dismissed it, or thought it was a bad idea. Something along those lines. Looks like I have been vindicated! 😄

I was dismissive of a Renegade sized vehicle.  Something that is nearly GLC sized and can seat 7 is another matter entirely.   I am actually really interested in this. 

@smk4565  Why no comment on the engine?  It has less horsepower than the XT4. It can't even shut down cylinders like the Cadillac can. 

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4 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I was dismissive of a Renegade sized vehicle.  Something that is nearly GLC sized and can seat 7 is another matter entirely.   I am actually really interested in this. 

Could be a good Encore replacement for you based on needs you have stated here in the Forums.

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1 minute ago, dfelt said:

Could be a good Encore replacement for you based on needs you have stated here in the Forums.

yeah.  I need something sooner than this will be available.  Plus, I don't want to buy new. Current thoughts are to replace the Cruze with a Canyon and replace the Encore with a 300S. 

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47 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I was dismissive of a Renegade sized vehicle.  Something that is nearly GLC sized and can seat 7 is another matter entirely.   I am actually really interested in this. 

@smk4565  Why no comment on the engine?  It has less horsepower than the XT4. It can't even shut down cylinders like the Cadillac can. 

My complaint with XT4 and XT5 and XT6 is only 1 engine choice.

If 224 hp isn’t enough a 300 hp will be available probably at launch or close to given that the work is done on the 35’s.  And they might do a 400 hp GLB45, I would be surprised if they AMG everything.

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5 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

My complaint with XT4 and XT5 and XT6 is only 1 engine choice.

 

For the women that lease these appliances, 1 engine choice is enough.  The XT* aren't performance vehicles, just FWD/AWD generics. 

Edited by Robert Hall
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14 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

My complaint with XT4 and XT5 and XT6 is only 1 engine choice.

If 224 hp isn’t enough a 300 hp will be available probably at launch or close to given that the work is done on the 35’s.  And they might do a 400 hp GLB45, I would be surprised if they AMG everything.

XT4, XT5 and XT6 will probably get some engine updates and a v-sport would make sense. I see no reason that Cadillac could not V series everything.

At least there is cylinder on demand with the Cadillac, this thing has pathetic horsepower. Clearly someone is mainlining meth as this is not the company line of "Best or nothing at all!"

Might as well be nothing at all with this!

See how this works!

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2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

XT4, XT5 and XT6 will probably get some engine updates and a v-sport would make sense. I see no reason that Cadillac could not V series everything. 

No point in V-series for these....

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1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I was dismissive of a Renegade sized vehicle.  Something that is nearly GLC sized and can seat 7 is another matter entirely.   I am actually really interested in this. 

@smk4565  Why no comment on the engine?  It has less horsepower than the XT4. It can't even shut down cylinders like the Cadillac can. 

He’s still looking for a way to move the bar again and make another apples to oranges comparison to justify any shortcomings on the part of Mercedes. 

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      Executive Rear Seat Package: Separate tablet for controlling all of the MBUX comfort and entertainment functions from the rear seats Electrically adjustable seats throughout as standard, as is the Easy- Entry function, which makes it easier to get into and out of the third row seats Simple folding-down of all rear seats at the push of a button Choice of either three-seat rear bench seat or two luxury individual seats with armrests in the second row Two fully fledged seats in the third row (for people up to 6.4 feet/1.94 meters tall) Heated seats and separate USB charging ports for the third row Five-zone automatic climate control available (standard on GLS 580) "The new GLS is the S-Class of premium SUVs. It embodies luxury, confidence and intelligence like almost no other vehicle," states Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for corporate research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development.
      "The GLS combines modern luxury with the character of an off-roader," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "Powerful highlights of the off-road design idiom combined with an elegance reminiscent of a classic luxury sedan. The interior is a synthesis of modern, luxurious aesthetics, hallmark SUV practicality and digital high-tech. In our view, the new GLS therefore offers the best of all these worlds."
      Since the M-Class was introduced in 1997, Mercedes-Benz has been building premium SUVs in the USA - the largest market for these vehicles worldwide. The full-size GL offering space for seven people was launched in 2006. In 2015, a facelift emphasized the luxurious character of this large SUV's second generation and also heralded the changing of the name to GLS. On top of that, the GLS is the market leader in its segment - just like the S-Class Sedan.
      At present, Mercedes-Benz offers seven models in the SUV segment (GLA, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS and G-Class). The SUVs are a major structural pillar in the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio, and greatly contribute to the growth of the brand. To date, more than five million customers worldwide have purchased a Mercedes-Benz SUV.
      The new Mercedes-Benz GLS, produced in the U.S. in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will be presented to the public for the first time at the New York International Auto Show.
      Exterior design: powerful presence
      Modern luxury both on and off the road: that is the design message of the new GLS. Its aesthetics are based on the confident presence that its impressive dimensions alone create (length 205.2 in, width 77 in). The wheelbase of 123.4 inches, which is 2.4 inches longer than that of its predecessor, makes the vehicle beneficially longer and gives it harmonious proportions, emphasized by the understated, elegant side design. The GLS follows the design strategy of Sensual Purity, and dispenses with individual edges and beading in favor of generously sculptured surfaces.
      The front section of the new GLS exudes a powerful presence: this is ensured by the upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, the prominent, chrome-plated under guard in the front bumper with the bone- shaped air inlet grille, and the hood with two power domes. This striking appearance is emphasized day and night by the distinctive headlamp design. The GLS is equipped with MULTIBEAM LED headlamps as standard, with a total of 112 LEDs per headlamp. These produce the maximum light intensity permitted by law, which results in the brightness of the main beam headlamps only falling below the reference value of 1 lux after a distance of more than 2,000 feet (650 meters). The daytime running lights with three LED segments underline the status of the GLS as the S-Class of SUVs.
      The GLS cuts an imposing figure from the rear, too. This is particularly ensured by the powerful shoulder muscle extending from the rear doors to the tail lamps, which enables the GLS to strike an imperious pose on the road. The two- piece tail lamps are based on LED technology, and their high-caliber, three- dimensional look conveys depth and solidity. The reflectors are relocated lower down, giving the tail lamps a flatter appearance. They are crowned by a slender, continuous chrome trim strip. The rear is strikingly rounded off with the chrome-plated under guard.
      Aerodynamics: exquisite fine-tuning
      The new GLS achieves global cd figures as low as 0.32 - a clear improvement compared with its predecessor (cd 0.35) and an impressively low figure in the large luxury SUV segment. The excellent aerodynamics help to reduce fuel consumption and limit wind noise, one of the areas on which development work focused specifically.
      Special attention was paid to the underbody and the air flowing through the engine compartment because the hallmark SUV shape, with its upright front end and high ground clearance, makes these areas susceptible to low- frequency airflow noise. A host of details were optimized with numerous computation loops, CAE simulations (computer-aided engineering) and measurements in the wind tunnel in Sindelfingen.
      Interior design: luxuriously elegant and powerfully progressive
      The interior of the new GLS is all about luxuriously elegant aesthetics, as evidenced immediately by the interior appointments that combine the comfort of a Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan with the robustly progressive detailing of an SUV. The central element in the dashboard's design is an impressively sized screen unit embedded in a distinctive dashboard support. The dashboard support flows into the door panels, and the integral trim element extends to meet the doors.
      The prominently wide, raised center console creates a robust contrast with the free-floating appearance of the dashboard. As a typical feature of off-roaders, there are two prominent grab handles on the center console. Apart from good ergonomics, fluent surfaces create a modern, luxurious impression, rounded off by a broad area of trim and flush-fitting sun blinds. The controls with haptic and audible feedback appear to have been milled from a solid metal block.
      The large touchscreen of the MBUX infotainment system allows all the GLS comfort features to be controlled from the driver's seat. Very fine chiseling and the pyramid structures of the trim surfaces showcase the desire for perfection and craftsmanship. The new multifunction sport steering wheel with its striking spoke design accentuates the impressive appearance of the SUV's interior.
      Interior: generous amount of space in the second and third seat row
      The new GLS has a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor (123.4 in, an increase of 2.4 in). This creates more space, especially in the second seat row, which can also be adjusted. Legroom here is increased by 3.4 inches when the seats are in their rearmost position, which also makes it easier to get into the vehicle.
      As standard, the second row has a 60:40-split folding rear bench seat with adjustable 40:20:40-split backrests. Alternatively, it is possible to order the two luxury individual rear seats with armrests, between which it is possible to access the rearmost seats with ease. This is particularly useful when child seats are fitted in the second seat row.
      All seats are electronically adjustable. The same applies to the EASY-ENTRY function, which makes it easy to get into and out of the two individual seats in the third row. For this, the seats in the second row move a long way forwards and fold forwards.
      The seats in the third row are fully-fledged seats that are suitable for people up to 6.4 feet (1.94 m) tall and are heated for the first time. There are also two additional USB charging ports here.
      The new GLS has several climate control options: three-zone, four-zone or five- zone. If the GLS is equipped with the five-zone automatic climate control (as is standard with the GLS 580), the third row has its own zone with climate control vents in the roof. This zone is supplied by its own, electrically powered heater and air conditioner.
      A push of a button is all that is required to stow away the comfortable seats and make full use of the trunk space in the GLS. The switches on the left and right of the load compartment and on the front of the wheel arches on the front- passenger side in the C-pillar area allow the seats in the rear rows to be folded completely flat. It is also possible to fold down all the seats simultaneously by pressing the "ALL" button. The carpet-trimmed backs of the backrests form part of a flat, practical load area. Another push of a button lowers the trunk sill by approximately 2 inches to make it easier to load heavy or bulky items.
      Even more comfort in the rear: MBUX served on a tablet
      Luxury in the new GLS is shared generously among all passengers, particularly if the Executive Rear Seat Package is ordered. It includes a 7-inch Android tablet in its own docking station in the second row's larger luxury center armrest. The tablet allows control of all MBUX comfort and entertainment functions (see next section) from the rear seat rows, such as access to the radio, media, phone and a web browser. It can also be used to control the Executive Rear Seat Package and the five-zone automatic climate control for the rear seats. The driver can seamlessly assume control of all options and features from his or her seat at any time too.
      The center console also offers a wireless charging compartment for smartphones and additional USB ports. Rear passengers are indulged further still thanks to luxury headrests with additional cushions and the rearward- extended center console between the front seats with cup holders.
      It is even possible to order rear seats with a lumbar massage function and climate control as an additional option for the Executive Rear Seat Package Plus in the second row.
      MBUX with Interior Assistant
      The GLS is equipped with the latest generation of the infotainment system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). Upgrades compared with the A-Class, in which the revolutionary system made its debut, include two large 12.3-inch screens as standard. The information on the digital instrument cluster and central media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens. The presentation with brilliant graphics underlines the comprehensibility of the intuitive control structure.
      The optional MBUX Interior Assistant also allows intuitive operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement recognition. A camera in the overhead console registers movements of the driver's and front passenger's hands and arms. When a hand approaches the touchscreen or the touchpad on the center console, the media display changes and individual elements are highlighted. The system is able to distinguish the driver's hand from that of the front passenger, and therefore knows for whose seat the massage function is to be activated, for example.
      In addition there are functions that can be controlled by simple hand gestures: the reading lamp can be switched on and off by extending a hand towards the interior mirror, for example. Furthermore, the driver and front passenger can each store personal favorite functions such as "navigate home" or "call office."
      A unique feature of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) is its learning capability thanks to artificial intelligence. With its predictive functions, MBUX anticipates what the user would like next. For instance, anyone who often calls their mother on Tuesdays during their drive home will receive her telephone number as a suggestion in the display on this day of the week. Anyone who regularly switches over to a radio station with news at a certain time also receives this as a suggestion.
      Also available is a next-generation full-color Head-up Display, which sets new standards with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and an extended projection distance.
      Powertrain: all engines have an EQ Boost integrated starter generator
      The high aspirations of the new Mercedes-Benz GLS are also clearly apparent in its engine line-up. Powerful six and eight-cylinder engines deliver the comfort and effortlessly superior power that suit the characteristics of this luxurious vehicle.
      The introduction of the GLS 580 4MATIC will mark the world premiere of a new, electrified V8 gasoline engine with 48-volt on-board electrical system and integrated starter generator. It has an output of 483 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, with a further 184 lb-ft of torque and 21 hp available via EQ Boost over short periods. The integrated starter generator (ISG) is responsible for hybrid functions such as EQ Boost or energy recuperation, while allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology.
      ISG eliminates the need for a belt drive for ancillary components at the front of the engine, which reduces its overall length. The slim design of the in-line engine, together with the physical separation of intake/exhaust, creates space for close-coupled exhaust after treatment. The 48 V on-board electrical system serves not only high power consumers, such as the water pump and air- conditioning compressor, but also the integrated starter-generator (ISG), which also supplies energy to the battery by means of highly efficient energy recuperation.
      The Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 4MATIC is also available with a six-cylinder in- line engine electrified with 48-volt technology. This sophisticated engine produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, with a further 184 lb-ft of torque and 21 hp available via EQ Boost over short periods.
      4MATIC variable all-wheel drive: agile on the road, superior when off- road
      In all variants of the new GLS, power is transmitted by the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. The broad ratio spread of gears from one to nine allows a clearly perceptible reduction in engine speed and is a decisive factor behind the high level of energy efficiency and ride comfort. A transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch is also fitted as standard. This allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100 percent (torque on demand) between the axles.
      Also new, and available as an option on the GLS 580, is a transfer case specially configured for superior off-road driving characteristics. In addition to the controlled multi-plate clutch with torque-on-demand function, it also features a reduction gear for off-road driving.
      When driving on the road, and particularly when cornering, the two fully networked transfer cases with torque-on-demand function allow a further improvement in handling safety and agility by specifically influencing the degree of yaw to induce oversteer or understeer.
      Driver assistance systems: even better support
      The new GLS is equipped with the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance systems giving cooperative support to the driver. These systems further enhance the level of active safety.
      When Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adaptation is activated, the new GLS is able to recognize and respond to traffic jams or slow-moving traffic with the help of information from LiveTraffic before the driver becomes aware of the hazard. For example, when a traffic jam is detected on the highway (and if the driver does not choose a different response), DISTRONIC reduces the speed to around 62 mph (100 km/h) as a precaution.
      A new feature of the Driver Assistance package: when actually driving in a traffic, Active Stop-and-Go Assist is substantially able to perform the tasks of keeping the vehicle in the lane and maintaining a safe distance with a high level of availability at speeds up to around 37 mph (60 km/h). In addition, restarting can be automatic up to one minute after coming to a stop. Once the traffic jam clears, the GLS accelerates back up to the speed preset for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adaptation. If traffic signs differ from this, the sign posted speed limit is automatically given priority.
      Suspension: AIRMATIC air suspension as standard
      The GLS comes with the enhanced AIRMATIC air suspension system with Adaptive Damping System Plus fitted as standard. This setup uses highly complex sensor systems and algorithms to adapt the damping characteristics to the road condition and driving situation in real time. All components have been enhanced compared with the previous generation, and the wheel suspension mountings have been optimized to maximize ride comfort. In addition, the air suspension keeps the car at the same level, regardless of the load on board.
      Carwash function: ready for cleaning
      One new standard feature is the Carwash function - which comes in handy, especially for a large vehicle like the GLS. When this function is selected, the suspension moves to the highest position, which reduces the track widths due to the axle geometry. This makes it easier to drive into a carwash as well as remove any dirt remaining in the wheel arches from the last off-road trip. The Carwash function also:
      Folds in the exterior mirrors. Closes the side windows and the sliding sunroof. Suppresses the rain sensor information so that the windshield wipers remain switched off in the carwash. Switches the climate control to air-recirculation mode and, after eight seconds, activates the 360° camera's front image to assist the driver when driving into the carwash Deactivates these settings automatically when the driver drives out of the carwash and accelerates to a speed above 12 mph. Outstandingly intelligent suspension: E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL
      Even better ride comfort and agility plus new functions such as recovery mode are provided by the optional E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension, which is combined with the newly developed AIRMATIC air suspension. This is currently the only system on the market that can individually control spring and damping forces at each wheel. This means that it not only counteracts body roll, but also pitching and squat. Together with ROAD SURFACE SCAN and the curve inclination function CURVE, E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL makes an exceptional level of comfort possible, and supports the claim of Mercedes- Benz to build the world's most intelligent SUV suspension.
      E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL operates with a voltage of 48 V. On poor road surfaces the system is even able to recuperate energy, roughly halving the energy requirement compared with the preceding system in the S-Class. The hydropneumatics generate dynamic forces that overlay the air suspension forces and actively support and dampen the vehicle body during linear and lateral acceleration or when driving on uneven roads.
      The off-road functions include rocking mode. For example, if the GLS has become bogged down in a sand dune, this can help to free the vehicle more easily in many such situations. If possible, the suspension level is automatically raised and lowered several times, which changes the ground pressure of the tires and therefore improves traction and allows the GLS to rock itself free. Individual wheel actuation is another function for off-road driving. This allows the level at each wheel to be individually adjusted via the touchscreen of the media display, thus improving the vehicle's alignment on rough terrain when one wheel is stuck in a ditch or a wheel spring is fully contracted. This also helps to increase traction and the torque at the wheel.
      E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL in the GLS also has the curve inclination function CURVE: like a motorcycle, the GLS leans into bends and thereby allows cornering in three stages with practically no centrifugal force. If the GLS is equipped with a stereo multi-purpose camera, ROAD SURFACE SCAN becomes possible: the camera continuously scans the road surface, while the suspension responds in advance to any undulations before the vehicle drives over them and largely compensates for them. In this way, the GLS improves the perceived road quality.
      The new Mercedes-Benz GLS will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      While pictures of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS leaked out a few days ago, Mercedes officially pulled the wraps off the big SUV today at the New York International Auto Show.
      The GLS is Mercedes' largest and most luxurious SUV, and in this new iteration it is even larger than before in most dimensions, but probably most importantly is the 2.4 inch longer wheelbase. That allows for more seating space. Three fully electrically adjustable seat rows offer all passengers a generous amount of space and outstanding seating comfort. The seats in the third row can be lowered into the floor to increase the trunk space, while the seats in the second row fold flat.
      The GLS debuts a new engine with the GLS 580 4Matic. It is an electrified V8 with a 48-volt and EQ Boost, an onboard electrical system and starter-generator.  The base engine will be a GLS450 4Matic, a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-6 and EQ Boost. 
      As the S-Class of Mercedes-Benz SUVs, the new GLS indulges its passengers in every way, especially those in the rear. Here are some key comfort features at a glance:
      Executive Rear Seat Package: Separate tablet for controlling all of the MBUX comfort and entertainment functions from the rear seats Electrically adjustable seats throughout as standard, as is the Easy- Entry function, which makes it easier to get into and out of the third row seats Simple folding-down of all rear seats at the push of a button Choice of either three-seat rear bench seat or two luxury individual seats with armrests in the second row Two fully fledged seats in the third row (for people up to 6.4 feet/1.94 meters tall) Heated seats and separate USB charging ports for the third row Five-zone automatic climate control available (standard on GLS 580) The GLS comes with the enhanced AIRMATIC air suspension system with Adaptive Damping System Plus fitted as standard. This setup uses highly complex sensor systems and algorithms to adapt the damping characteristics to the road condition and driving situation in real time. All components have been enhanced compared with the previous generation, and the wheel suspension mountings have been optimized to maximize ride comfort. In addition, the air suspension keeps the car at the same level, regardless of the load on board.
      The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS will go on sale by the end of the year. 
      Mercedes-Benz Press Release on Page 2


      The new Mercedes-Benz GLS is the largest and most luxurious SUV from Mercedes-Benz and, above all, offers more: more space, more comfort, more luxury. The confident presence of its exterior stems from its impressive dimensions, which are larger than those of its predecessor. One of the benefits of the 2.4-inch (60 mm) longer wheelbase is interior spaciousness, especially in the second row. The three fully electrically adjustable seat rows offer all passengers a generous amount of space and outstanding seating comfort. The seats in the third row can be lowered into the floor to increase the trunk space, while the seats in the second row fold flat. Furthermore, a six-seater variant with two luxurious individual rear seat Captain's Chairs in the second row is available for the first time. Also celebrating its world premiere in the GLS is a new engine: the GLS 580 4MATIC will have an electrified V8 engine featuring EQ Boost - a 48-volt onboard electrical system with an integrated starter generator. The GLS 450 4MATIC will feature a 3.0-liter inline-6 turbo engine with EQ Boost. The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLS will celebrate its World Premiere at the New York International Auto Show in April and will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.
      Also available on the new GLS, the sophisticated E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL active suspension paired with the 48-volt technology offers outstanding suspension comfort, agile handling and a high degree of off-road capability. Like the GLE, the GLS features the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance systems giving cooperative support to the driver. The new variable 4MATIC system ensures great agility on the road and strong performance off the beaten track. The new GLS has impressive aerodynamics in its segment, with a global Cd figure of 0.32. It also has a new Carwash function, which enables the car to be prepared for entry into a carwash with a single press of a button.
      As the S-Class of Mercedes-Benz SUVs, the new GLS indulges its passengers in every way, especially those in the rear. Here are some key comfort features at a glance:
      Executive Rear Seat Package: Separate tablet for controlling all of the MBUX comfort and entertainment functions from the rear seats Electrically adjustable seats throughout as standard, as is the Easy- Entry function, which makes it easier to get into and out of the third row seats Simple folding-down of all rear seats at the push of a button Choice of either three-seat rear bench seat or two luxury individual seats with armrests in the second row Two fully fledged seats in the third row (for people up to 6.4 feet/1.94 meters tall) Heated seats and separate USB charging ports for the third row Five-zone automatic climate control available (standard on GLS 580) "The new GLS is the S-Class of premium SUVs. It embodies luxury, confidence and intelligence like almost no other vehicle," states Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for corporate research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development.
      "The GLS combines modern luxury with the character of an off-roader," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "Powerful highlights of the off-road design idiom combined with an elegance reminiscent of a classic luxury sedan. The interior is a synthesis of modern, luxurious aesthetics, hallmark SUV practicality and digital high-tech. In our view, the new GLS therefore offers the best of all these worlds."
      Since the M-Class was introduced in 1997, Mercedes-Benz has been building premium SUVs in the USA - the largest market for these vehicles worldwide. The full-size GL offering space for seven people was launched in 2006. In 2015, a facelift emphasized the luxurious character of this large SUV's second generation and also heralded the changing of the name to GLS. On top of that, the GLS is the market leader in its segment - just like the S-Class Sedan.
      At present, Mercedes-Benz offers seven models in the SUV segment (GLA, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS and G-Class). The SUVs are a major structural pillar in the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio, and greatly contribute to the growth of the brand. To date, more than five million customers worldwide have purchased a Mercedes-Benz SUV.
      The new Mercedes-Benz GLS, produced in the U.S. in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will be presented to the public for the first time at the New York International Auto Show.
      Exterior design: powerful presence
      Modern luxury both on and off the road: that is the design message of the new GLS. Its aesthetics are based on the confident presence that its impressive dimensions alone create (length 205.2 in, width 77 in). The wheelbase of 123.4 inches, which is 2.4 inches longer than that of its predecessor, makes the vehicle beneficially longer and gives it harmonious proportions, emphasized by the understated, elegant side design. The GLS follows the design strategy of Sensual Purity, and dispenses with individual edges and beading in favor of generously sculptured surfaces.
      The front section of the new GLS exudes a powerful presence: this is ensured by the upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, the prominent, chrome-plated under guard in the front bumper with the bone- shaped air inlet grille, and the hood with two power domes. This striking appearance is emphasized day and night by the distinctive headlamp design. The GLS is equipped with MULTIBEAM LED headlamps as standard, with a total of 112 LEDs per headlamp. These produce the maximum light intensity permitted by law, which results in the brightness of the main beam headlamps only falling below the reference value of 1 lux after a distance of more than 2,000 feet (650 meters). The daytime running lights with three LED segments underline the status of the GLS as the S-Class of SUVs.
      The GLS cuts an imposing figure from the rear, too. This is particularly ensured by the powerful shoulder muscle extending from the rear doors to the tail lamps, which enables the GLS to strike an imperious pose on the road. The two- piece tail lamps are based on LED technology, and their high-caliber, three- dimensional look conveys depth and solidity. The reflectors are relocated lower down, giving the tail lamps a flatter appearance. They are crowned by a slender, continuous chrome trim strip. The rear is strikingly rounded off with the chrome-plated under guard.
      Aerodynamics: exquisite fine-tuning
      The new GLS achieves global cd figures as low as 0.32 - a clear improvement compared with its predecessor (cd 0.35) and an impressively low figure in the large luxury SUV segment. The excellent aerodynamics help to reduce fuel consumption and limit wind noise, one of the areas on which development work focused specifically.
      Special attention was paid to the underbody and the air flowing through the engine compartment because the hallmark SUV shape, with its upright front end and high ground clearance, makes these areas susceptible to low- frequency airflow noise. A host of details were optimized with numerous computation loops, CAE simulations (computer-aided engineering) and measurements in the wind tunnel in Sindelfingen.
      Interior design: luxuriously elegant and powerfully progressive
      The interior of the new GLS is all about luxuriously elegant aesthetics, as evidenced immediately by the interior appointments that combine the comfort of a Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan with the robustly progressive detailing of an SUV. The central element in the dashboard's design is an impressively sized screen unit embedded in a distinctive dashboard support. The dashboard support flows into the door panels, and the integral trim element extends to meet the doors.
      The prominently wide, raised center console creates a robust contrast with the free-floating appearance of the dashboard. As a typical feature of off-roaders, there are two prominent grab handles on the center console. Apart from good ergonomics, fluent surfaces create a modern, luxurious impression, rounded off by a broad area of trim and flush-fitting sun blinds. The controls with haptic and audible feedback appear to have been milled from a solid metal block.
      The large touchscreen of the MBUX infotainment system allows all the GLS comfort features to be controlled from the driver's seat. Very fine chiseling and the pyramid structures of the trim surfaces showcase the desire for perfection and craftsmanship. The new multifunction sport steering wheel with its striking spoke design accentuates the impressive appearance of the SUV's interior.
      Interior: generous amount of space in the second and third seat row
      The new GLS has a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor (123.4 in, an increase of 2.4 in). This creates more space, especially in the second seat row, which can also be adjusted. Legroom here is increased by 3.4 inches when the seats are in their rearmost position, which also makes it easier to get into the vehicle.
      As standard, the second row has a 60:40-split folding rear bench seat with adjustable 40:20:40-split backrests. Alternatively, it is possible to order the two luxury individual rear seats with armrests, between which it is possible to access the rearmost seats with ease. This is particularly useful when child seats are fitted in the second seat row.
      All seats are electronically adjustable. The same applies to the EASY-ENTRY function, which makes it easy to get into and out of the two individual seats in the third row. For this, the seats in the second row move a long way forwards and fold forwards.
      The seats in the third row are fully-fledged seats that are suitable for people up to 6.4 feet (1.94 m) tall and are heated for the first time. There are also two additional USB charging ports here.
      The new GLS has several climate control options: three-zone, four-zone or five- zone. If the GLS is equipped with the five-zone automatic climate control (as is standard with the GLS 580), the third row has its own zone with climate control vents in the roof. This zone is supplied by its own, electrically powered heater and air conditioner.
      A push of a button is all that is required to stow away the comfortable seats and make full use of the trunk space in the GLS. The switches on the left and right of the load compartment and on the front of the wheel arches on the front- passenger side in the C-pillar area allow the seats in the rear rows to be folded completely flat. It is also possible to fold down all the seats simultaneously by pressing the "ALL" button. The carpet-trimmed backs of the backrests form part of a flat, practical load area. Another push of a button lowers the trunk sill by approximately 2 inches to make it easier to load heavy or bulky items.
      Even more comfort in the rear: MBUX served on a tablet
      Luxury in the new GLS is shared generously among all passengers, particularly if the Executive Rear Seat Package is ordered. It includes a 7-inch Android tablet in its own docking station in the second row's larger luxury center armrest. The tablet allows control of all MBUX comfort and entertainment functions (see next section) from the rear seat rows, such as access to the radio, media, phone and a web browser. It can also be used to control the Executive Rear Seat Package and the five-zone automatic climate control for the rear seats. The driver can seamlessly assume control of all options and features from his or her seat at any time too.
      The center console also offers a wireless charging compartment for smartphones and additional USB ports. Rear passengers are indulged further still thanks to luxury headrests with additional cushions and the rearward- extended center console between the front seats with cup holders.
      It is even possible to order rear seats with a lumbar massage function and climate control as an additional option for the Executive Rear Seat Package Plus in the second row.
      MBUX with Interior Assistant
      The GLS is equipped with the latest generation of the infotainment system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). Upgrades compared with the A-Class, in which the revolutionary system made its debut, include two large 12.3-inch screens as standard. The information on the digital instrument cluster and central media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens. The presentation with brilliant graphics underlines the comprehensibility of the intuitive control structure.
      The optional MBUX Interior Assistant also allows intuitive operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement recognition. A camera in the overhead console registers movements of the driver's and front passenger's hands and arms. When a hand approaches the touchscreen or the touchpad on the center console, the media display changes and individual elements are highlighted. The system is able to distinguish the driver's hand from that of the front passenger, and therefore knows for whose seat the massage function is to be activated, for example.
      In addition there are functions that can be controlled by simple hand gestures: the reading lamp can be switched on and off by extending a hand towards the interior mirror, for example. Furthermore, the driver and front passenger can each store personal favorite functions such as "navigate home" or "call office."
      A unique feature of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) is its learning capability thanks to artificial intelligence. With its predictive functions, MBUX anticipates what the user would like next. For instance, anyone who often calls their mother on Tuesdays during their drive home will receive her telephone number as a suggestion in the display on this day of the week. Anyone who regularly switches over to a radio station with news at a certain time also receives this as a suggestion.
      Also available is a next-generation full-color Head-up Display, which sets new standards with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and an extended projection distance.
      Powertrain: all engines have an EQ Boost integrated starter generator
      The high aspirations of the new Mercedes-Benz GLS are also clearly apparent in its engine line-up. Powerful six and eight-cylinder engines deliver the comfort and effortlessly superior power that suit the characteristics of this luxurious vehicle.
      The introduction of the GLS 580 4MATIC will mark the world premiere of a new, electrified V8 gasoline engine with 48-volt on-board electrical system and integrated starter generator. It has an output of 483 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, with a further 184 lb-ft of torque and 21 hp available via EQ Boost over short periods. The integrated starter generator (ISG) is responsible for hybrid functions such as EQ Boost or energy recuperation, while allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology.
      ISG eliminates the need for a belt drive for ancillary components at the front of the engine, which reduces its overall length. The slim design of the in-line engine, together with the physical separation of intake/exhaust, creates space for close-coupled exhaust after treatment. The 48 V on-board electrical system serves not only high power consumers, such as the water pump and air- conditioning compressor, but also the integrated starter-generator (ISG), which also supplies energy to the battery by means of highly efficient energy recuperation.
      The Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 4MATIC is also available with a six-cylinder in- line engine electrified with 48-volt technology. This sophisticated engine produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, with a further 184 lb-ft of torque and 21 hp available via EQ Boost over short periods.
      4MATIC variable all-wheel drive: agile on the road, superior when off- road
      In all variants of the new GLS, power is transmitted by the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. The broad ratio spread of gears from one to nine allows a clearly perceptible reduction in engine speed and is a decisive factor behind the high level of energy efficiency and ride comfort. A transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch is also fitted as standard. This allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100 percent (torque on demand) between the axles.
      Also new, and available as an option on the GLS 580, is a transfer case specially configured for superior off-road driving characteristics. In addition to the controlled multi-plate clutch with torque-on-demand function, it also features a reduction gear for off-road driving.
      When driving on the road, and particularly when cornering, the two fully networked transfer cases with torque-on-demand function allow a further improvement in handling safety and agility by specifically influencing the degree of yaw to induce oversteer or understeer.
      Driver assistance systems: even better support
      The new GLS is equipped with the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance systems giving cooperative support to the driver. These systems further enhance the level of active safety.
      When Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adaptation is activated, the new GLS is able to recognize and respond to traffic jams or slow-moving traffic with the help of information from LiveTraffic before the driver becomes aware of the hazard. For example, when a traffic jam is detected on the highway (and if the driver does not choose a different response), DISTRONIC reduces the speed to around 62 mph (100 km/h) as a precaution.
      A new feature of the Driver Assistance package: when actually driving in a traffic, Active Stop-and-Go Assist is substantially able to perform the tasks of keeping the vehicle in the lane and maintaining a safe distance with a high level of availability at speeds up to around 37 mph (60 km/h). In addition, restarting can be automatic up to one minute after coming to a stop. Once the traffic jam clears, the GLS accelerates back up to the speed preset for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adaptation. If traffic signs differ from this, the sign posted speed limit is automatically given priority.
      Suspension: AIRMATIC air suspension as standard
      The GLS comes with the enhanced AIRMATIC air suspension system with Adaptive Damping System Plus fitted as standard. This setup uses highly complex sensor systems and algorithms to adapt the damping characteristics to the road condition and driving situation in real time. All components have been enhanced compared with the previous generation, and the wheel suspension mountings have been optimized to maximize ride comfort. In addition, the air suspension keeps the car at the same level, regardless of the load on board.
      Carwash function: ready for cleaning
      One new standard feature is the Carwash function - which comes in handy, especially for a large vehicle like the GLS. When this function is selected, the suspension moves to the highest position, which reduces the track widths due to the axle geometry. This makes it easier to drive into a carwash as well as remove any dirt remaining in the wheel arches from the last off-road trip. The Carwash function also:
      Folds in the exterior mirrors. Closes the side windows and the sliding sunroof. Suppresses the rain sensor information so that the windshield wipers remain switched off in the carwash. Switches the climate control to air-recirculation mode and, after eight seconds, activates the 360° camera's front image to assist the driver when driving into the carwash Deactivates these settings automatically when the driver drives out of the carwash and accelerates to a speed above 12 mph. Outstandingly intelligent suspension: E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL
      Even better ride comfort and agility plus new functions such as recovery mode are provided by the optional E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension, which is combined with the newly developed AIRMATIC air suspension. This is currently the only system on the market that can individually control spring and damping forces at each wheel. This means that it not only counteracts body roll, but also pitching and squat. Together with ROAD SURFACE SCAN and the curve inclination function CURVE, E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL makes an exceptional level of comfort possible, and supports the claim of Mercedes- Benz to build the world's most intelligent SUV suspension.
      E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL operates with a voltage of 48 V. On poor road surfaces the system is even able to recuperate energy, roughly halving the energy requirement compared with the preceding system in the S-Class. The hydropneumatics generate dynamic forces that overlay the air suspension forces and actively support and dampen the vehicle body during linear and lateral acceleration or when driving on uneven roads.
      The off-road functions include rocking mode. For example, if the GLS has become bogged down in a sand dune, this can help to free the vehicle more easily in many such situations. If possible, the suspension level is automatically raised and lowered several times, which changes the ground pressure of the tires and therefore improves traction and allows the GLS to rock itself free. Individual wheel actuation is another function for off-road driving. This allows the level at each wheel to be individually adjusted via the touchscreen of the media display, thus improving the vehicle's alignment on rough terrain when one wheel is stuck in a ditch or a wheel spring is fully contracted. This also helps to increase traction and the torque at the wheel.
      E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL in the GLS also has the curve inclination function CURVE: like a motorcycle, the GLS leans into bends and thereby allows cornering in three stages with practically no centrifugal force. If the GLS is equipped with a stereo multi-purpose camera, ROAD SURFACE SCAN becomes possible: the camera continuously scans the road surface, while the suspension responds in advance to any undulations before the vehicle drives over them and largely compensates for them. In this way, the GLS improves the perceived road quality.
      The new Mercedes-Benz GLS will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Buick unveiled a pair of Buick Encores at the Shanghai Auto Show yesterday.  The regular Encore (below) is about the same size as the current model sold in the US and likely sits on the same Gamma II platform as the current car. 
      Additionally, Buick released a long-wheelbase version called the Encore GX (Above, Side).  This model will likely make it to the US.  Details are scant, but this likely sits on GM's new VSS-F platform.  Both are powered by an eighth-generation Ecotech (probably the 1.5T) paired either with a 9-speed hydromatic or an optional CVT. These engine promise better fuel economy and emissions.
      The Buick Encore has been Buick's best selling model for the past three years. The design of the Encores is familiar yet modernized. A large grille with winged embellishments support the center Buick badge. The sheet metal looks taught and athletic.  
      No word yet on any timeline for arrival in the US. At least one of these will make it Stateside, possibly both given hot crossover market, we could see space for both models in the US. 

       
       
       
       
       
       

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