The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL550. Photo courtesy of MBUSA.

Mercedes-Benz next generation 2013 GL-Class Uberwagens


Fresh from a redesign and only now marking its second generation, the Mercedes Benz GL-Class may have a retro look, but it’s definitely looking forward with state-of-the-art safety technology that not only sees impacts before you do, but notices if you’re getting drowsy, too.

That’s because the launch of the new GL ushers in a stellar new safety system, Collision Prevention Assist, which uses a sensor to measure the distance to a preceding vehicle as well as stationary objects. If a risk of collision is imminent, the system charges the brakes while alerting the driver with both sonic and visual warnings.

Other Safety Innovations
Other new cutting-edge safety features include Active Lane Keeping Assist (ALKA), which uses the unique methodology of simulating rumble strip vibration in the steering wheel when the car begins to drifts from its lane with no signals. It kicks in at 38-mph by recognizing white and yellow lines defining pathways. This works with a windshield camera and computer image analysis. ALKA also has intervention feature, wherein braking will automatically correct the car’s course if the initial warning goes unheeded.

Active Blind Spot Assist (ABSA) monitors both blind spots behind and beside the vehicle, providing visual and audible warnings when a vehicle’s in the blind spot, activated by the turn signal. ABSA also incorporates ESP intervention feature if the driver fails to respond.

The GL-Class line comes with ESP stability control, ABS anti-lock brakes, two-stage adaptive air bags for the driver and front passenger, driver’s knee seat-mounted side cushions in front and rear, curtain side bags plus adaptive belt-tensioning and force limiters.

Besides preparing seatbelts, The Pre-Safe system automatically moves the front passenger seat to a better position for protection on some models, while side windows close to support the side-curtain airbags, and in the case of an impending rollover, the sunroof closes.

The 2013 GL Lineup
Included in the new 2013 GL model lineup is the fuel-sipping GL350 BlueTEC with its 240-hp V6 turbodiesel that delivers 455 lb.-ft. of torque. Next in line is the GL450 sporting a 362-hp engine developing 406 lb.-ft. and the 429-hp GL550 with 516 lb.-ft. Both take their power from new direct-injection biturbo V8 engines. At the top of the class reigns the high-performance 550-hp GL63 AMG, deriving 560 lb.-ft. of torque from a hand-built AMG 5.5-liter biturbo, direct injection V8.

The exterior of the new GL line features an integrated front grille and bumper, chrome window trim and skid plates front and rear. Taillights and daytime running lights feature modern LED accents.

All GL-Class models come with four-wheel independent suspension and height-adjustable AirMatic suspension. The GL550 can be easily identified by the flared fenders, aggressive aprons front and rear, chrome trim and 21-inch AMG wheels.

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