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New Mercedes-Benz GL-Class here from $130k

Big German: The new-generation Mercedes-Benz GL-lass kicks off at a shade under $130k.

Even the massive GL-Class SUV now gets Mercedes’ hardcore AMG treatment

8 May 2013

THE car that Mercedes-Benz calls the S-Class of SUVs – the new-generation GL-Class – has arrived in Australia, priced from $129,900 plus on-roads for the entry GL350 diesel.

A stylistic evolution over its boxy predecessor, the seven-seat GL will again sit above the ML-Class in the Benz SUV pecking order.

As before, Benz will offer a mid-range GL500 petrol V8 (from $154,900) alongside the entry 350 CDI BlueTEC diesel.

Larger but lighter than ever before, and packing some serious high-end technology, Germany’s answer to the Range Rover will also be offered for the first time in hardcore AMG form.

The headline act of the GL show – called the GL63 AMG – is priced from $214,900, and packs a 410kW/760Nm punch courtesy of its hand-built, twin-turbo and direct-injected 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine.

Despite its gargantuan proportions – roughly the same size as a Nissan Patrol – the AMG can be hustled from zero to 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds.

The engine is matched as standard to a seven-speed AMG Speedshift semi-automatic transmission channelling power through all four wheels.

4 center imageFuel-conserving measures including idle-stop and demand-responsive control of all ancillary units keeps consumption to 12.3 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

Meanwhile, the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel in the entry GL350 BlueTec produces 190kW/620Nm (down from 195kW/620Nm in the old model), but consumes as little as 7.7 litres per 100km on the combined cycle – a reduction of 1.8L/100km.

The GL500 features a 320kW/700Nm 4.7-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 that consumes 11.5L/100km and emits 269g/km.

Both variants continue with a tweaked version of the existing 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission.

All versions come standard with air suspension and adaptive dampers, parking assist, sunroof and electric tailgate. The base variant lengthy features list also includes 20-inch alloy wheels, leather trim, heated front seats and a 178mm TFT colour display with satellite-navigation and internet.

The GL500 adds, among other things, heated second-row seat, keyless go, 21-inch AMG wheels, an AMG sports package with bodykit and large brakes, privacy glass and electric folding rear seat access.

The big daddy AMG 63 adds an instrument cluster animated start-up sequence, LED upshift indicator and even a race-timer.

Also includes is an AMG flat-bottomed steering wheel, AMG sports seats with heavier bolstering, heating and ventilation, brushed steel pedals, digital radio, TV tuner, upgraded Harmon Kardon sound system, AMG sports exhaust and larger performance brakes.

All variants get standard safety equipment such as autonomous brakes, adaptive cruise control, brake assist, a blind-spot monitor, lane assist and a 360-degree camera.

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