DaimlerChrysler has invested R4,1-billion in its Tuscaloosa plant in the US ahead of the launch of its luxury saloon/4x4 crossover GST model, of which we have an official picture, in 2005.

DaimlerChrysler has invested R4,1-billion in its Tuscaloosa plant in the US ahead of the launch of its luxury saloon/4x4 crossover GST model, of which we have an official picture, in 2005.


Mercedes-Benz GST (Grand Sports Tourer) goes into production at the Alabama plant at the beginning of 2005, alongside assembly of the next generation M-Class, with which it will share its underpinnings.


As CARtoday.com reported last year, two variants of the GST will be offered. The first, with a 2 950 mm wheelbase and overall length of 4 850 mm, features seating for five adults. In addition, the long-wheelbase version has an additional 265 mm to allow for an additional, third row of seats, raising passenger capacity to seven.


Under the bonnet, buyers can choose from a range of direct-injection petrol engines, starting with a three-litre V6 producing 172 kW. A 190 kW 3,6-litre V6 and a 227 kW five-litre V8 will complete the petrol line-up. A 2,6-litre V6 CDI diesel and three-litre V6 CDI diesel engine are also in the pipeline.


The GST's four-wheel drive system will have a 50/50 power split, with electronic differentials at each axle to apportion drive to whichever wheel has the most grip. The new 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission and air suspension will also be fitted to the six-seater.


Other developments include electro-mechanical brakes, as opposed to hydraulic brakes, and communications devices such as Internet access and connection points for laptops.