Stuttgart. The new Mercedes-Benz GLE has a wealth of innovations. For example, the active suspension system E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL on a 48‑volt basis is a world first. While the driving 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-colour head-up display with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and the MBUX Interior Assistant, which can recognise 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 completely new range of engines on market launch in early 2019. The new 4MATIC ensures great agility on the road and superior performance off the beaten track. At a later stage a plug-in hybrid variant with a particularly long range will be added to the drive portfolio. The prices for the new GLE will be made known on the sales release date in late autumn.
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will be presented to the public for the first time at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris (4 to 14 October 2018). It will be in the dealerships in early 2019 (USA and Europe), and in spring 2019 in China. The GLE is produced in Tuscaloosa (Alabama/USA).
The five most important innovations in the new GLE:
- E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL: Fully networked hydropneumatic, active suspension on a 48-volt basis, for the first time in combination with the likewise 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 pitching and squat.
- Active Tailback Assist: This driving assistance system enables the GLE to recognise tailbacks at an early stage, actively support the driver in stop-and-go traffic up to approx. 60 km/h and even help to form a rescue lane
- Turn-off function of Active Brake Assist: If there is a danger of a collision with oncoming traffic when turning off across a carriageway, the GLE can be braked at the speeds typical of such manoeuvres.
- 4MATIC: Available for the first time for models with six and eight-cylinder engines and the plug-in hybrid, fully variable all-wheel drive (Torque on Demand, TonD) controls the torque distribution between the front and rear axle from 0‑1 00 % depending on the selected driving mode. With the optional Offroad package, and as a world first, likewise fully variable all-wheel drive (TonD) with a low and high range is available. This makes the GLE more off-road capable than ever.
- Seating comfort: The new GLE has a much longer wheelbase (plus 80 mm), with corresponding interior spaciousness. Comfort is particularly enhanced by the optional, fully electrically adjustable second seat row – 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 characterised 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 powerdomes. This striking appearance is emphasised by the distinctive headlamp design by day and night.
The ULTRA RANGE high beam of the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps produces the maximum light intensity permitted by law, i.e. the brightness of the main beam headlamps remains above the reference value of 1 lux over a distance of more than 650 metres.
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.
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 design: 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 centre console creates a robust contrast with the flee-floating appearance of the dashboard. As a typical feature of off-roaders, there are two prominent grab handles on the centre 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 chiselling 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.
Interior: more space in the rear and third seat row on request
A size larger: the new GLE has a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor (2995 millimetres, plus 80 mm). This creates significantly more space, especially for passengers in the rear. Legroom in the second seat row has increased by 69 millimetres to 1045 millimetres. Headroom in the rear with the standard, fixed rear seat unit and 40:20:40 backrest division has increased by 33 millimetres to 1025 millimetres. And because the A-pillar is more upright than before, spaciousness and entry comfort in the first row has been further improved.
On request, and as a world first in the SUV segment, a second seat row with six fully electric adjustments is available. The right and left seats can be separately adjusted fore-and-aft by up to 100 millimetres, the backrests are adjustable for angle and foldable in a 40:20:40 ratio, and the head restraints are adjustable for height. In typical Mercedes fashion, the rear seat adjustments are controlled by a switch in the door panel. The backrest can also be completely folded down electrically, using a switch array in the luggage compartment.
The luggage capacity is up to 825 litres behind the rear seats, and up to 2055 litres when the second seat row is folded down. A 72 mm increase in through-loading width allows bulky items to be stowed more easily. Useful holders and protective elements have been specially developed as accessories for practical stowage of recreational equipment in the interior. In conjunction with the AIRMATIC air suspension, the vehicle’s rear can be lowered by around 40 millimetres using a switch, for easier loading and unloading.
Even more flexibility is possible with the optional, folding third seat row, which provides two extra seats. Thanks to the Easy Entry function of the fully electrically adjustable second seat row, the two rearmost passengers can conveniently reach their seats.
ENERGIZING seat kinetics is another innovation available for the front seats in conjunction with fully electric seat adjustment with memory function. ENERGIZING seat kinetics supports changes in the seating posture by means of minute movements of the seat cushion and backrest.
ENERGIZING comfort control: now with a guide
ENERGIZING comfort control networks various comfort systems in the vehicle, and uses musical and lighting moods plus a number of massage modes for a wide range of feel-good programmes.
The ENERGIZING COACH is a new feature. This function based on an intelligent algorithm recommends one of the programmes depending on the situation and individual. If a Garmin®wearable is worn, personal values such as stress level or quality of sleep optimise the accuracy of the recommendation. The aim is for passengers to feel well and relaxed even during demanding or monotonous journeys.
Powertrain: in-line six-cylinder in the GLE 450 4MATIC with EQ Boost
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will be launched with the new in-line six-cylinder petrol engine, and other engines including diesels and a plug-in hybrid will follow.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC as the first petrol model is powered by a six-cylinder engine systematically electrified with 48-volt technology (combined fuel consumption: 9.6 – 8.3 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 220 – 190 g/km)1, and is available on market launch. Its performance data: 270 kW (367 hp) and 500 Nm of torque, with a further 250 Nm of torque and16 kW/22 hp available via EQ Boost over short periods. The integrated starter/alternator (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, together with the physical separation of intake/exhaust, creates space for near-engine exhaust aftertreatment. The 48-volt on-board power supply 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.
Other driving features include;
- 4MATIC all-wheel drive: agile on the road, superior when off-road
- Trailer Manoeuvring Assist: support during slow manoeuvres
- E-ACTIVE Body Control: The 48 V suspension