New Mercedes-Benz GLE will debut latest suspension, engine tech in 2019
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The second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLE is set to introduce a raft of new technologies from the Stuttgart-based company when the SUV is launched in early 2019.
Mercedes has announced the first GLE details, confining the new SUV will debut a suspension system more advanced then that found in Mercedes' flagship S-Class and the addition of a plug-in hybrid with 'a particularly long range', rumoured to offer 80km of electric-only range.
When to model is launched, Mercedes say the new suspension setup will be the only system in the market that can adjust spring and damping forces individually at each wheel, counteracting body roll,pitch and squat.
A petrol GLE 450 will be the first model launched, with other petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrids to follow. The GLE 450 will be powered by a in-line six-cylinder engine and fitted with the compnay's integrated starter/alternator 48-volt energy recuperation system with EQ Boost function. The engine produces 270kW of power and 500Nm of torque, while the EQ Boost allows for a further 16kW and 250Nm 'over short periods'.
All GLE models will send their power through a 9-speed automatic transmission. Four-cylinder all-wheel drive variants send power through a fixed 50:50 transfer case, while all other models will feature a transfer case with electronically controlled multi-disc clutch allowing a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100 per cent between front and rear axles. A transfer case specially configured for off-road driving will be offered as an option.
The new GLE's proportions are considerably larger than its predecessor for added interior space, especially passengers in the rear. Wheelbase has been increased by 80mm, adding 69mm of leg room for those in the back. On request, and as a world first in the SUV segment, a second seat row with six fully electric adjustments is available.
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. In conjunction with the new suspension air suspension, the vehicle's rear can be lowered by around 40mm for easier loading.
The front section of the GLE features an upright radiator grille, chrome-plated underguard and bonnet with two 'powerdomes'. New 'Ultra Range' high beam of LED headlamps produces the maximum light intensity permitted by law, capable of lighting the path more than 650 metres ahead. The GLE's new exterior is also set to boast best-in-class aerodynamics with a drag coefficient of 0.29.
Cheif GLE designer Gorden Wagner says the new model exhibits iconic Mercedes-Benz design while remaining true to its character as an off-roader.
"With its design idiom it perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity and modern luxury," said Wagner.
"The interior derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious and elegant design."
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will be produced in Alabama, USA, and will be presented to the public for the first time next month. It's expected to land in New Zealand dealerships in 2019.