TORONTO, ON – The new Mercedes-Benz GLE has been updated with a wealth of innovations and new features for model year 2020. The interior is more spacious and comfortable than ever before, with a third row of seating available upon request. The infotainment system has been completely reimagined with large screens as standard, an optional full-colour head-up display with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels, and MBUX with available Interior Assist, which can recognize hand and arm gesture commands. The exterior design, which exudes presence and power also sets a new standard for aerodynamics in the SUV segment. Arriving in Canada by mid-2019, the new GLE will be available with a range of new engines. A new 4MATIC systemon the GLE 450 will ensure great agility on the road and superior performance off the beaten path.
"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. It's an example of 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, considerably extended and refined assistance systems, the best aerodynamics in the segment, a 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. "It perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity, and represents modern luxury."
In 1997 Mercedes-Benz founded the premium SUV segment with the launch of the M-Class. Since autumn 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 offers seven highly successful models in the SUV segment: GLA, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS, G-Class. The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will be presented to the public for the first time at the Mondial de l'Automobil in Paris (October 4th to 14th, 2018). It will arrive in dealerships by mid-2019. The GLE is produced in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (USA).
The new GLE features several exciting innovations, including:
- An in-line six-cylinder engine with EQ Boost: The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC is powered by a six-cylinder engine systematically electrified with 48-volt technology. The integrated starter generator (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.
- E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL: This fully networked hydropneumatic, active suspension works by combining the 48-volt technology of the GLE 450 with the newly developed optional air suspension. This is the only system in the market where the spring and damping forces can be individually controlled at each wheel. It not only counteracts body roll, but also pitching and squat.
- Active Stop-and-Go Assist: This driving assistance system enables the GLE to recognize traffic situations on highways at an early stage, and actively support the driver in stop-and-go traffic up to approximately 60 km/h.
- Turn-off function of Active Brake Assist: If there is risk of a collision with oncoming traffic when turning across lanes of traffic, the GLE will automatically brake to avoid the collision.
- 4MATIC: Available for the first time with a six cylinder engine, fully variable all-wheel drive (Torque on Demand) 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 (80 mm longer than before), which results in a more spacious interior. A third row of seats is available as an option.
Exterior design: powerful presence
The aesthetic appeal of the GLE is based on the harmonious interaction of emotion and intelligence, which is designed to awaken desire. This is characterized by timeless beauty, and a combination of high-grade technology and craftsmanship.
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 leave no doubt that this vehicle feels at home on any terrain. The GLE follows the design philosophy of sensual purity, opting for generously modelled surfaces rather than individual edges and beading. The surfaces interact with precise graphic elements.
The front section of the GLE exudes presence and power: with an upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, prominent chrome-plated underguard, and two powerdomes on the hood, this striking appearance is emphasized by a distinctive headlamp design.
Viewed from the side, the GLE's wide C-pillar conveys a message of self-assured stability. The standard 20" wheels are housed in wheel arches with prominent liners. This underlines the GLE's robust SUV character, as do the pillared roof rails and the optional illuminated running boards. In contrast, the chrome surrounds of the windows are reminiscent of a premium sedan.
The GLE also cuts an athletic figure from the rear. Its powerful shoulder muscles extend from the C-pillar to the rear lights. The reflectors are located lower down, giving the rear lights a flatter appearance. They are also in two sections, which 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.
Aerodynamics: detailed fine-tuning
With significant improvements over the preceding model, the new GLE boasts best-in-segment aerodynamics. These aerodynamic properties contribute to low fuel consumption under everyday conditions. A host of aerodynamic details were optimized with numerous computation loops, CAE simulations (computer-aided engineering) and measurements in the wind tunnel in Sindelfingen, Germany.
The measures taken include:
- Cooling air control system behind the radiator grille for need-related metering of the airflow (AIRPANEL)
- Wheel spoilers with aerodynamically optimized mouldings ahead of the front wheels
- Optimized exterior mirrors
- Additional wheel spoilers ahead of the rear wheels
- Side spoilers with D-pillar seal on the tailgate
- Rear lights with special spoiler lips
- Large area of underbody and propshaft tunnel panelling, flush fuel tank cladding, aerodynamic cladding on the rear axle, aerodynamically optimised diffuser lining.
- Aero-wheels with aerodynamically optimized tires.
Interior design: luxuriously elegant and powerfully progressive
The interior of the new GLE is influenced by the beautiful contrast of the luxurious, elegant ambience of a Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan and the robust, progressive features of an SUV. The central element within 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 extends around the driver and front passenger to meet the doors.
The prominent, raised centre console creates a robust contrast with the free-floating appearance of the dashboard. A typical feature of off-roaders, there are two prominent grab handles on the centre console. Flowing leather surfaces create a modern, luxurious impression rounded off by a broad area of trim and flush-fitting roller blinds. All of the vehicle controls and displays have been redesigned. The controls with haptic and audible feedback appear to have been milled from a solid metal block. Very fine chiselling and pyramid structures demonstrate the desire for perfection and craftsmanship in the model. The new standard steering wheel with its striking, sculptured design further accentuates the impressive appearance of the SUV's interior.
Interior: more space in the rear and third seat row on request
The new GLE boasts a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor (2995 millimetres, an increase of 80 mm). This creates significantly more space, especially for passengers in the rear. Legroom for the second row seating 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. The A-pillar is more upright than before, which improves entry comfort in the first row and improves spaciousness.
The luggage capacity has increased 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 AIRMATIC air suspension, the vehicle's rear can be lowered by around 40 millimetres with the click of a button, for easier loading and unloading.
Even more flexibility is possible with the optional, folding third row seating, which provides two extra seats. Thanks to the Easy Entry function of the fully electrically adjustable second row seating, the two rearmost passengers can conveniently access their seats.
ENERGIZING comfort control: now with a guide
The optional ENERGIZING comfort control connects various comfort systems in the vehicle, and uses musical and lighting moods in addition to a number of massage modes for a wide range of feel-good programs.
Another innovation available for the front seats is the ENERGIZING seat kinetics. ENERGIZING seat kinetics supports changes in the seating posture by means of small movements of the seat cushion and backrest.
The ENERGIZING COACH is a new feature. This function is based on an intelligent algorithm and recommends specific programs depending on the situation and the individual. If a Garmin® wearable is worn, personal values such as stress level or quality of sleep are considered to optimize the accuracy of the recommendation. The aim is for passengers to feel well and relaxed even during demanding or monotonous journeys.
MBUX: now with Interior Assist
The GLE is equipped with the latest generation of the multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience. This revolutionary system made its debut in the A-Class and has been improved for the GLE with two large 31.2 cm screens as standard, which are arranged next to each other for an impressive widescreen look. The information of the instrument cluster and media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens.
To suit their individual tastes, users have a choice of four different display styles:
- Modern Classic is a further development of the classic display style in an elegant and light material mix.
- Sport boasts a high-tech turbine look with decidedly sporty black and yellow contrasts.
- Progressive presents digitality in reduced form.
- Discreet reduces all displays to only what is absolutely necessary.
The optional MBUX Interior Assist also allows intuitive, natural operation of different comfort and MBUX functions via gesture recognition. A camera in the overhead console registers movements of the driver's and front passenger's hands and arms. When a hand approaches the touchscreen or the touchpad on the centre console, the media display changes and individual elements are highlighted. For example, the system is able to distinguish the driver's hand from that of the front passenger, and therefore knows which seat to activate the massage function on.
In addition, there are functions that can be controlled by simple hand gestures: the reading lamp can be switched on and off by extending a hand towards the rear-view mirror, for example. The driver and front passenger can both program a personal, favourite function which is initiated using the index and middle finger extended into a V-shape.
There are approximately 40 new MBUX functions in the GLE, for example:
- Support for off-road specific driving modes (free-driving mode and individual wheel actuation)
- Extended off-road displays in the instrument cluster and head-up display (linear and lateral inclination, Torque on Demand, suspension level)
- The setting for the full-screen map in the instrument cluster can be changed directly on the screen
- ENERGIZING COACH recommends specific comfort settings based on the situation or driver
- ADAPT driver's seat adjustment: if the body size is entered, the seat automatically moves to a usually suitable position
- Extension of online functions: e.g. "In-car office" can now read out emails and have them dictated
A unique feature of MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience - is its learning capability as a result of artificial intelligence. With its predictive functions, MBUX anticipates what the user would like to do next. For instance, anyone who often phones their mother on Tuesdays after leaving work will receive her telephone number as a suggestion in the display on this day of the week.
Other features include touchscreen control of the media display as standard, and the use of augmented reality technology for the navigation display as optional. With augmented reality, a video image from the front camera is displayed with helpful navigation information. For example, arrows or house numbers are automatically superimposed directly onto the navigation image in the media display. This makes it easier for the driver to search for a certain house number, or to find the correct side road for a turn. The intelligent voice control with natural language comprehension has also been improved, and is activated by the keyphrase "Hey Mercedes".
Also available is a next-generation head‑up display with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and an extended projection distance. This feature projects information onto the windscreen so the driver doesn't have to take their eyes off the road. This feature considerably reduces eye fatigue for the driver since their eyes do not have to refocus between the close-up vision of the display and long-distance vision on the road. A system of lenses and mirrors projects a full-colour image that measures approximately 45 x 15 centimetres onto the windscreen. The image appears to float above the hood of the vehicle. Additional information such as the audio source, reception and battery status of the connected phone can also be displayed. In addition, it shows the arrival time and distance to destination if route guidance is active. The driver is able to toggle the information considered relevant for head-up display, including additional off-road content such as vehicle inclination, torque distribution and acceleration forces.
Powertrain: in-line six-cylinder in the GLE 450 4MATIC with EQ Boost
The Mercedes-Benz GLE will be launched with two gasoline engines: an in-line six-cylinder with EQ Boost (GLE 450 4MATIC) and a four-cylinder (GLE 350 4MATIC).
The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC is powered by a six-cylinder engine systematically electrified with 48-volt technology, delivering 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. EQ Boost technology enhances performance over short periods with a further 184 lb-ft of torque and 21 hp. 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.
The 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 paired with the physical separation of intake and 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 supplies energy to the battery by means of highly efficient energy recuperation.
4MATIC all-wheel drive: agile on the road, superior when off-road
In the new GLE, power is transmitted by the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission.The broad ratio spread of gears one to nine allows a clearly noticeable reduction in engine speed and is a decisive factor behind the high level of energy efficiency and ride comfort. In the four-cylinder engine, 4MATIC all-wheel drive brought to fruition through a transfer case which transmits the drive torque to the axles in a fixed ratio of 50:50 percent. Spinning wheels are braked by braking intervention at the relevant wheel.
A transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch is used in the GLE 450. This allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100 percent (torque on demand) between the axles.
When driving on the road, and in particular while cornering, the two fully networked transfer cases with torque on demand further improve handling safety and agility by specifically influencing the degree of yaw to induce oversteer or understeer.
Driving assistance systems: superior support in congestion
The new GLE is the first to showcase the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems. Optional active safety features have been improved from previous models with some Intelligent Drive functions that are unrivalled in the SUV segment.
Many drivers are familiar with accelerating onto the highway only to run into a traffic jam on the road. The new GLE assists its driver, before they run into traffic, during traffic - including assistance in stop-and-go traffic - and after the traffic has cleared.
When Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC is activated, the new GLE uses LiveTraffic to recognize and respond to slow-moving traffic before the driver becomes aware of the hazard. When traffic congestion is recognized (and if the driver does not choose a different response), DISTRONIC reduces the speed to around 100 km/h as a precaution. This allows Active Brake Assist to brake the vehicle to a standstill if necessary when a traffic backlog is recognized.
When driving in congested traffic, Active Stop-and-Go Assist can markedly reduce the driver's workload.Where there are lane markings, the system helps with the tasks of keeping the vehicle within the lane and maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles at speeds up to 60 km/h.
Once traffic clears, the GLE accelerates back up to the speed preset for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC.
To recognize traffic jams, Active Stop-and-Go Assist evaluates the road category, speed and distance from vehicles ahead and in adjacent lanes. In addition to the stereo multi-purpose camera (SMPC) and long-range radar, it uses the front multi-mode corner radar sensors to recognize vehicles that are cutting in. If Active Steering Assist and Active Distance Assist are activated, Active Stop-and-Go Assist is switched on automatically when traffic is recognized. This is indicated by "Stop-and-Go Assist active" in the instrument cluster. As soon as Stop-and-Go Assist is active and the vehicle is moving in traffic, a symbol is added to the "green steering wheel" symbol of Active Steering Assist in the instrument cluster.
Always ready to help: numerous other assistants on demand
The optional Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of bends or junctions. This is complemented by Evasive Steering Assist, a considerably improved Active Lane Keeping Assist and the additional functions of the Active Emergency Stop Assist.
The turning-off function of Active Brake Assist is completely new: If there is a danger of a collision with oncoming traffic when turning across lanes of traffic, the GLE can automatically brake to avoid collision. Braking intervention takes place if the driver signals the intention to turn (indicators) and the vehicle can be braked to a stop before crossing the lane marking. Oncoming vehicles are recognized by the front long-range radar sensor and the stereo multi-purpose camera.
In addition, like the recently launched A-Class, the new GLE is equipped with Blind Spot Assist with exit warning. This function lowers the risk of collision with other road users such as passing cyclists. Blind Spot Assist also monitors the blind spot when at standstill, and can warn the driver of approaching vehicles, motorcycles or bicycles when opening the door. This function is active for up to three minutes after switching off the engine. The warning appears in the exterior mirrors and is given audibly via the instrument cluster.
E-ACTIVE Body Control: The 48 V suspension
With the optional E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension, which works by pairing the the newly developed AIRMATIC air suspension with the 48-volt technology in the GLE 450, the GLE now offers even better ride comfort and agility and completely new functions such as free-driving mode. E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL 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. Together with ROAD SURFACE SCAN and the curve inclination function CURVE, E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL creates an extraordinary level of comfort.
E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL was developed in-house by Mercedes-Benz. It is available on the GLE 450 and works by pairing the the newly developed AIRMATIC air suspension with the 48-volt technology of the vehicle. On poor road surfaces the system is able to recuperate energy, roughly halving the energy requirement in comparison to the previous system currently found in the S-Class. The hydropneumatics generate dynamic forces that overlay the air suspension forces and actively support and dampen the vehicle body, e.g. during linear and lateral acceleration or when driving on uneven roads.
Free-driving mode is a completely new off-road function. If the GLE is bogged down in a sand dune or any similar situation, this function can help to free the vehicle. If possible, the suspension level is automatically raised and lowered several times, which changes the ground pressure of the tires and therefore improves traction. The GLE effectively rocks itself free. Individual wheel actuation is another new function for off-road driving. This allows the level at each wheel to be individually adjusted via the touchscreen of the media display, thus improving the vehicle's traction on rough terrain, for example when one wheel is stuck in a ditch or a wheel spring is fully contracted.
E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL in the GLE also features the curve inclination function CURVE. This feature allows the GLE to lean into bends, like a motorcycle, which allows cornering in three stages with practically no centrifugal force. ROAD SURFACE SCAN continuously scans the road surface and the suspension responds in advance to any undulations before the vehicle drives over them.
In addition to E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL, a newly developed steel suspension and a newly developed AIRMATIC suspension with the Adaptive Damping System Plus (ADS+) are available.
About Mercedes-Benz Canada
Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG passenger vehicles, Mercedes-Benz Vans and smart. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,700 people in 21 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of 11 Mercedes-Benz owned retail operations and 48 authorized dealerships, Mercedes-Benz Canada sold 52,298 vehicles in 2017. This represents the best year ever for the company and has positioned Mercedes-Benz as the top luxury manufacturer in Canada for the fourth consecutive year.
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