Mercedes-Benz is testing the new GL-Class in India and our reader Sushrut Athale was quick to spot the vehicle in Pune. The German automaker will introduce the new GL-Class through the CBU (Completely Built Unit) route initially but will locally assemble the vehicle in India later, with kits coming from Mercedes’ Tuscaloosa County plant in Alabama. This US plant is the sole place where the GL-Class is manufactured. The local assembly of this 7-seater Mercedes SUV will result in reduced pricing, which will go a long way in boosting sales.
The new Mercedes GL-Class is a full sized SUV available in the international market with three engine options. The new GL-Class has grown bigger, is more luxurious and gets additional list of high-tech features. The manufacturer has managed to increase the dimensions while at the same time reduced the weight of the GL SUV by 100 kgs over its predecessor.
Mercedes offers the new GL-Class with three variants, GL 350 BlueTEC with a V6 diesel engine, GL 500 with a V8 petrol engine and the performance oriented GL63 AMG with a 5.5-litre V8 bi-turbo engine. The car maker is expected to introduce only the GL 350 V6 diesel 4Matic variant which packs a 2987cc unit that produces a maximum power output of 258 HP and a maximum torque figure of 620 Nm coupled with a 7-speed G-tronic automatic transmission.
The 2013 Mercedes GL-Class offers a huge list of advanced features including attention assist, collision prevention assist, crosswind assist, pedestrian protection with active bonnet, self-leveling AirMatic suspension, electric easy-pack tailgate, active parking assist, intelligent light system, keyless-go access system and front multi-contour seats with memory function. The new GL-Class is expected to be available with Indian dealerships in April 2013 with a slightly reduced price. The existing GL-Class is available with a starting price of Rs. 70,66,000/- (ex-showroom Delhi).