The covers have come off the new Mercedes-Benz GLE ahead of its official public bow at the Paris Motor Show in October 2018, with the premium SUV boasting all sorts of interesting technology as it go up against the likes of the new BMW X5.
The Stuttgart-based brand says the new GLE – which features a Cd figure “from 0,29” – has an extra 80 mm between its axles compared with its predecessor (for a wheelbase of 2 995 mm). The result, says the automaker, is increased legroom in the second row.
A second row with six fully electric adjustments will be offered as an option. Luggage capacity measures up to a claimed 825 litres behind the rear seats, and up to 2 055 litres when the second seat row is folded down. There will also be the option of a folding third row, which provides two extra perches.
Of course, the GLE will also feature the new MBUX infotainment system, here boasting “improvements” (as many as 40, says Benz) over the arrangement that debuted in the A-Class. In the GLE, two 12,3-inch screens will ship as standard, arranged next to each other for a widescreen look. A head-up display measuring 720 x 240 pixels will also be offered.
So, what’s doing duty under the bonnet? Well, Mercedes says its new GLE will be launched with a fresh in-line six-cylinder petrol engine, with other engines (including diesels and a plug-in hybrid) to follow at a later stage.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic boasts a six-cylinder engine electrified with 48-volt technology. The engine churns out 270 kW and 500 N.m of torque, with a further 250 N.m and 16 kW available via “EQ Boost” over short periods.
In all variants of the new GLE, power will be transmitted to the road by a 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. In conjunction with the upcoming four-cylinder engines, the all-wheel-drive system will use a transfer case that transmits torque to the axles in a fixed ratio of 50:50.
A transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch is used for the other engines, allowing a variable transfer of torque from zero to 100 percent between the axles. A transfer case specially configured for “superior off-road driving characteristics” will also be offered, complete with a reduction gear set and an automatic locking effect.
The new GLE also features what Mercedes-Benz calls E-Active Body Control, a hydro-pneumatic active suspension based on the 48-volt system, and working in combination with the newly developed air suspension. The brand says it is the “only system in the market where the spring and damping forces can be individually controlled at each wheel”.
The long list of safety features includes a new Active Tailback Assist function, which Mercedes says enables the GLE to recognise tailbacks at an early stage and "actively support the driver" in stop-and-go traffic up to 60 km/h.