The new Mercedes-Benz GLE celebrated its World Premiere at Mondial l’Automobile in Paris last month and has wealth of innovations. For example, E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL is a 48-volt active suspension system and a world first, while the driver assistance systems take another step forward with Active Stop-and-Go Assist. The interior is even more spacious and comfortable, with a third seat row available on request. The infotainment system has larger screens, a full-color head-up display with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and the new MBUX Interior Assistant, which can recognize hand and arm movements and supports operating intentions. The exterior design not only exudes presence and power, but also sets a new standard for aerodynamics in the SUV segment. The GLE will receive a new range of engines and the new 4MATIC system ensures great agility on the road and superior performance off the beaten track.
“The new GLE is not only more comfortable than ever before on the road, but also shows its superior off-road character off the beaten track. This alone shows our determination to reinforce our claim to leadership in the SUV segment,” says Ola Källenius, responsible for corporate research at Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz Cars development. “Significantly more space in the interior, the new control concept, considerably extended and refined driver assistance systems, the best aerodynamics in the segment, a completely new range of engines and numerous other innovations emphatically underline this.”
“The GLE exhibits iconic Mercedes-Benz design while remaining true to its character as an off-roader,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. “With its design idiom it perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity, thus representing modern luxury. The interior derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious and elegant design and the digital high-tech of our MBUX system.”
In 1997 Mercedes-Benz founded the premium SUV segment with the launch of the M-Class. Since fall of 2015 the model family has borne the name GLE, emphasizing its positioning as an SUV in the E-Class model family. At present Mercedes-Benz is highly successfully represented with seven models in the SUV segment (GLA, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS, and G-Class). The new Mercedes-Benz GLE is produced in Tuscaloosa (Alabama/USA), and will go on sale in the U.S. in 2019.
The five most important innovations in the new GLE:
•E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL: Fully networked hydropneumatic, active suspension on a 48-volt platform, for the first time in combination with a newly-developed air suspension. This is the only system in the market where the spring and damping forces can be individually controlled at each wheel. This means that it not only counteracts body roll, but also pitch and squat.
•Active Stop-and-Go Assist: This driver assistance system enables the GLE to recognize traffic jams at an early stage, actively supporting the driver in stop-and-go traffic up to approximately 37 mph.
•Turn-off function of Active Brake Assist: activation of Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Assist when turning across the opposite lane. If there is a risk of collision when turning across the path of oncoming vehicles, the vehicle will be braked when traveling at low speeds.
•Fully-variable 4MATIC®: Available for the first time on the GLE, fully variable all-wheel drive controls the torque distribution between the front and rear axle from 0-100% depending on the selected driving mode.
•Seating comfort: The new GLE has a much longer wheelbase (+3.1 inches / 80 mm), with corresponding interior spaciousness. Comfort is particularly enhanced by the fully adjustable second seat row, and a third seat row is also available as an option.
Exterior design: powerful presence.
The aesthetic appeal of the GLE is based on the harmonious interaction between emotion and intelligence, which is designed to awaken desire. This is characterized by timeless beauty, a combination of high-grade technology and craftsmanship and reduction to what is really important. Modern luxury both on and off the road: that is the design message of the new GLE. The vehicle’s proportions with a long wheelbase, short overhangs and large, flush-fitted wheels already leave no doubt that it feels at home and cuts a good figure on any terrain. The GLE follows the design strategy of Sensual Purity and dispenses with individual edges and beading in favour of generously modelled surfaces. The surfaces interact with precise graphic elements.
The front section of the GLE exudes presence and power: this is ensured by the upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, the prominent, chrome-plated underguard and the bonnet with two power domes. This striking appearance is emphasized by the distinctive headlamp design by day and night. Viewed from the side, the wide C-pillar typical of the GLE conveys self-assured stability. The large wheels in sizes from 18 to 22 inches are housed in wheel arches with prominent liners. This underlines the GLE’s robust SUV character, as do the pillared roof rails or the optional illuminated running boards. The chrome surrounds of the windows are however reminiscent of a premium saloon model.
Also athletic from the rear.
The GLE also cuts an athletic figure from the rear. This is particularly ensured by the powerful shoulder muscle extending from the C-pillar to the rear lights. The reflectors are relocated lower down, giving the rear lights a flatter appearance. They are also in two sections.
This not only gives an impression of width, but also creates an unmistakable night design with illuminated blocks typical of Mercedes-Benz SUVs, in this case with backlit edge lighting. The rear is strikingly rounded off with the chrome-plated underguard.
Interior: luxuriously elegant and powerfully progressive.
The interior of the new GLE derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious, elegant ambience of a Mercedes-Benz luxury saloon and the robust, progressive features of an SUV. The central element in the dashboard’s design is a sporty, stylish cockpit unit embedded in a striking dashboard support. The dashboard support flows into the door panels, and the integral trim element likewise extends around the driver and front passenger to meet the doors. The prominent, raised center console creates a robust contrast with the flee-floating appearance of the dashboard.
Perfection and craftsmanship.
As a typical feature of off-roaders, there are two prominent grab handles on the center console. Apart from good ergonomics, flowing leather surfaces create a modern, luxurious impression rounded off by a broad area of trim and flush-fitting roller blinds. All the controls and displays are in a new design. The controls with haptic and audible feedback appear to have been milled from a solid metal block. Very fine chiseling and pyramid structures show the desire for perfection and craftsmanship. The new sport steering wheel with its striking, sculptured spoke design accentuates the impressive appearance of the SUV’s interior.
For more information, please visit www.mercedes-benz.com.