Image credits: © Mercedes-Benz.

2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

Full-Size GL – The Mercedes-Benz of Sport Utilities

The first full-size SÚV from Mercedes-Benz, the GL-Class lineup for 2012 includes the fully equipped GL550 (382 horsepower, 391 lb.-ft. of torque), the award-winning GL450 (335 hp, 339 lb.-ft.) and the fuel-sipping GL350 BlueTEC diesel (210 hp, 400 lb.-ft.), which is available in all 50 states, thanks to an innovative AdBlue exhaust treatment system that helps the diesel meet the most stringent emissions limits. The exterior appearance of the GL line includes front and rear skid plates, chrome window trim, sleek bumpers and front grille, and trapezoidal exhaust pipes. For the 2012 model year, all GL-Class models now feature LED daytime running lights, updated interior trim and new directional lines for the rearview camera.

Rich, Sporty Interiors wîth Flexible Cargo Space

Inside, the luxury SÚVs are fitted wîth heated power front seats, 'saddle' head restraints for the second- and third-row seats, genuine burl walnut trim and a retractable glass sunroof as well as a fixed glass panel over the third-row seats. The two third-row seats can be stowed electrically at the push of a button, either separately or together, to provide a totally flat cargo floor for 43.8 cubic feet of cargo, and wîth the second row seats stowed as well, there's more than 83 cubic feet of cargo room.

All GL-Class models feature four-wheel independent suspension and height-adjustable AIRMATIC suspension for unprecedented comfort and handling. With many optional features as standard equipment, the GL550 comes loaded wîth the latest innovations in occupant safety and creature comforts. In addition to its 21-inch AMG wheels fitted wîth all-season tires, the GL550 can be easily identified by a unique exterior styling treatment that includes fender flares, infra-red reflecting glass and a larger execution of the Mercedes-Benz star integrated into the front grille.

Among its many available options, the GL line is available wîth Blind Spot Assist (standard equipment on GL550) which monitors both blind spots behind the vehicle. Whenever a turn signal is activated wîth a vehicle in the blind spot, the driver gets visual and audible warnings.

In Command wîth COMAND

A standard COMAND system features a large seven-inch color display screen wîth a standard in-dash, six-disc DVD / CD changer and a Bluetooth interface that allows a phone still in a pocket or purse to be operated through the car's audio system.

It can be equipped wîth an optional iPod/MP3 interface, SIRIÚS satellite radio, HD radio, and enhanced voice control. The COMAND screen can play tracks stored on a data CD, DVD or SD memory card. The system can also display maps and directions for the optional hard-drive navigation system, which can be set up for SIRIÚS real-time traffic info and Zagat restaurant ratings as well.

All GL-Class models can be equipped wîth an optional 610-watt 12-speaker digital harman / kardon Logic7 audio system and a rear-seat entertainment system that includes two eight-inch screens, wireless headphones and an integrated DVD player wîth dual-source capability.

Mercedes-Benz Safety is Standard

The GL-Class line comes standard wîth ESP® stability control, ABS anti-lock brakes, two-stage adaptive air bags for the driver and front passenger, driver's knee air bag, seat-mounted side air bags in front and rear, curtain side air bags and adaptive belt tensioners and belt force limiters.

In addition, NECK-PRO active front head restraints move forward nearly two inches and upward by about an inch in the event of a severe rear collision, helping to support the head and reduce the likelihood of whiplash injuries. A rollover sensor can activate the belt tensioner and curtain air bags if the vehicle senses an imminent rollover.

PRE-SAFE® Gives The GL-Class Reflexes to Protect Occupants

PRE-SAFE® is a revolutionary safety system that can actually sense an impending collision before it happens and take measures to protect occupants during those valuable seconds before impact. The PRE-SAFE system automatically tightens the front seat belts before a possible impact and the front passenger seat moves to a position that can provide better protection. Side windows close to provide better support for the curtain air bags, and if the system senses an impending rollover, the sunroof also closes.

GL350 BlueTEC Boasts Impressive Fuel Economy

Vital Stats
Engine : 3.0 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 210 hp
Torque: 400 ft-lbs

7-speed Automatic

The diesel-powered GL350 BlueTEC delivers impressive performance, low exhaust emissions and great fuel economy. With 210 hp and a whopping 400 lb-ft. of torque, the GL350 BlueTEC features an innovative 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine wîth the torque of a V8 and the fuel economy to rival some four-cylinders. Equipped wîth the latest CDI (Common Rail Direct Injection) technology, this electronically injected and turbocharged diesel engine is changing consumers' dated perceptions about diesels.

BlueTEC diesel technology is helping to expand the company's already broad product portfolio in the Ú.S. market. In addition, the pioneering role of Mercedes-Benz in modern diesel engines is playing a key role in the company's future products that could also include hybrids, advanced piston engines and fuel cells.

With highway fuel mileage of an estimated 21 miles per gallon, the seven-seat SÚV also boasts impressive cruising range - more than 550 miles at highway speeds. For greater utility, V8-like pulling power makes the GL350 BlueTEC ideal for towing when it's equipped wîth an optional 7,500-lb. Class IV trailer hitch.

BlueTEC - A Modular Technology

BlueTEC incorporates an oxidation catalyst and a maintenance-free particulate filter as well as new techniques for reducing nitrogen oxide emissions - the last type of exhaust gas that's higher in diesel vehicles than gasoline engines.

The BlueTEC diesels feature an NOx storage converter in combination wîth an SCR catalytic converter and AdBlue injection to lower NOx emissions. The AdBlue system (technical name: urea SCR system) injects just the right amount of an aqueous carbamide solution into the exhaust flow, which releases ammonia (NH3), reducing nitrogen oxides to harmless nitrogen and water in the downstream SCR converter.

All-Aluminum 5.5-Liter V8 Power

The GL550 is powered by a 5.5-liter all-aluminum V8 that produces 382 hp and 391 foot-pounds of torque, wîth maximum torque available from 2,800 to 4,800 rpm, providing impressive engine response over a broader RPM range. The 4.6-liter engine in the GL450 and the 5.5 in the GL550 are part of the same engine family that comes wîth four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts in each cylinder bank and variable valve timing for both the intake and exhaust valves. The V8s also have 'tumble flaps' in the intake for better fuel economy and a two-stage intake manifold that broadens the power curve.

Variable Valve Timing and Tumble Flaps Improve Fuel Efficiency

Valve timing is automatically adjusted by electro-hydraulic vane-type adjusters on the end of each camshaft. At partial throttle, the adjusters keep the exhaust valves open as the intake valves are opening, using this valve overlap for internal exhaust gas recirculation, reducing exhaust emissions and improving fuel economy. Approaching full throttle, the camshaft adjustment optimizes valve timing for maximum power.

The tumble flaps boost gas mileage by nearly two percent, by pivoting open under partial load, improving combustion by creating additional turbulence around the intake valve and in the combustion chamber. During higher engine loads such as full throttle, the tumble flaps disappear into the wall of the intake manifold.

The two-stage magnesium intake manifold helps increase low-speed pulling power. Below engine speeds of 3,500 rpm a set of flaps in the manifold close off short intake passages, forcing intake air to take a much longer route into the engine. This creates pressure waves that help the intake process and improve torque. At higher engine speeds the flaps open and intake air flows the shortest distance to the combustion chambers, helping to make more horsepower.

The Mercedes-Benz Alabama Plant

Along wîth the M-Class and R-Class, the GL-Class sport utility vehicle is produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which began production in 1997 wîth the first-generation M-Class. Since 2001, more than $600 million has been invested to expand the facility for production of the three SÚV lines.

Source - Mercedes-Benz
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