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Much like the rest of Mercedes products being released today as refresh and next generation products, design of the all-new GLE remains harmonious, timeless, powerful, athletic, and high-tech. All of this was carried over successfully while still executed in a way unique to the GLE. Making up these exterior changes are design elements like a wheelbase extended just over 3 inches, short front and rear overhangs, elegant multibeam LED headights, wide C-pillar for an up-segment feel, big wheels, and an athletic edge all throughout that pulls it all together especially from rear.
More: Mercedes Benz USAThe aesthetic appeal of the GLE is based on the harmonious interaction between emotion and intelligence, which is designed to awaken desire. This is characterised by timeless beauty, a combination of high-grade technology and craftsmanship and reduction to what is really important.
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 already leave no doubt that it feels at home and cuts a good figure on any terrain. The GLE follows the design strategy of sensual purity, and dispenses with individual edges and beading in favour of generously modelled surfaces. The surfaces interact with precise graphic elements.
The front section of the GLE exudes presence and power: this is ensured by the upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, the prominent, chrome-plated underguard and the bonnet with two powerdomes. This striking appearance is emphasised by the distinctive headlamp design for day and night.
The ULTRA RANGE high beam of the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps produces the maximum light intensity permitted by law, - the brightness of the main beam headlamps remains above the reference value of 1 lux over a distance of more than 650 metres.
Viewed from the side, the wide C-pillar typical of the GLE conveys self-assured stability. The large wheels in sizes from 18 to 22 inches are housed in wheel arches with prominent liners. This underlines the GLE's robust SUV character, as do the pillared roof rails or the optional illuminated running boards. The chrome surrounds of the windows are however reminiscent of a premium saloon model.
The GLE also cuts an athletic figure from the rear. This is particularly ensured by the powerful shoulder muscle extending from the C-pillar to the rear lights. The reflectors are relocated lower down, giving the rear lights a flatter appearance. The rear lights are also divided into 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.
Inside, the exterior design theme seamlessly flows right in and builds on it, touching on everything from luxurious design cues to practicality on and off road. Upfront is a captivating dashboard, the main attraction of your GLE that permeates throughout the cockpit and immediate cabin area. Luxurious appointments like flowing leather lively trim add to the perfection and craftsmanship typical of Mercedes. Practicality comes in with; center console mounted grab handles, increased leg room, configurable seats for extra cargo carry capacity, and more. Some might say the all-new GLE is a one-size-fits-all utility vehicle.
The interior of the new GLE derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious, elegant ambience of a Mercedes-Benz luxury saloon and the robust, progressive features of an SUV. The central element in 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 likewise extends around the driver and front passenger areas to meet the doors.
The prominent, raised centre console creates a robust contrast with the flee-floating appearance of the dashboard. As a typical feature of off-roaders, there are two prominent grab handles on the centre console. Apart from good ergonomics, flowing leather surfaces create a modern, luxurious impression rounded off by a broad area of trim and flush-fitting sunblinds. All the controls and displays are in a new design. The controls with haptic and audible feedback appear to have been milled from a solid metal block. Very fine chiselling and pyramidal structures demonstrate the desire for perfection and craftsmanship. The new sport steering wheel with its striking, sculptured spoke design accentuates the impressive appearance of the SUV's interior.
More: Mercedes Benz USAA size larger: the new GLE has a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor (2995 mm, plus 80 mm). This creates significantly more space, especially for passengers in the rear. Legroom in the second seat row has increased by 69 mm to 1045 mm. Headroom in the rear with the standard, fixed rear seat unit and 40:20:40 split backrest has been increased by 33 mm to 1025 mm. And because the A-pillar is more upright than before, spaciousness and entry comfort in the first row has been further improved.
On request, and as a world first in the SUV segment, a second seat row with 6 fully electric adjustments is available. The right and left seats can be separately adjusted fore and aft by up to 100 mm, the backrests are adjustable for angle and foldable in a 40:20:40 ratio, and the head restraints are adjustable for height. In typical Mercedes fashion, the rear seat adjustments are controlled by a switch in the door panel. The backrest can also be completely folded down electrically, using a switch array in the luggage compartment.
The luggage capacity is up 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. Useful holders and protective elements have been especially developed as accessories for practical stowage of recreational equipment in the interior. In conjunction with the AIRMATIC air suspension, the vehicle's rear can be lowered by around 40 mm using a switch, for easier loading and unloading.
Even more flexibility is possible with the optional, folding third seat row, which provides two extra seats. Thanks to the Easy Entry function of the fully electrically adjustable second seat row, the two rearmost passengers can conveniently reach their seats.
ENERGIZING seat kinetics is another innovation available for the front seats in conjunction with fully electric seat adjustment with memory function. ENERGIZING seat kinetics supports changes in the seating posture by means of minute movements of the seat cushion and backrest.
Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) arrives in the new GLE with two standard 12.3-inch screens. These large screen display everything you need from vitals from the instrument cluster to media information. Modern Classic, Sport, Progressive, and Discreet styles help personalize the experience. MBUX Interior Assist helps to distinguish the driver from passenger when changing individual seat settings on the shared touchscreens, especially with gesture controls. Other key features include; extended range of apps, extension of online functions, predictive functions, augmented reality technology for the navigation display and many more.
More: Mercedes Benz USAThe GLE is equipped with the latest generation of the multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience. Improvements versus the A-Class in which this revolutionary system debuts include two large 12.3-inch/ 31.2 cm screens as standard, which are arranged side-by-side for an impressive wide-screen look. The information from the instrument cluster and media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens. Showcasing elements in an emotively appealing manner underlines the comprehensibility of the intuitive control structure and impresses with brilliant graphics.
Depending on mood or to suit the chosen interior, the user has a choice of four different styles:
- Modern Classic is a further development of the classic display style in an elegant and light material mix.
- Sport has a high-tech turbine look with decidedly sporty black/yellow contrasts.
- Progressive presents digitality in reduced form.
- In the Discreet style, all displays are reduced to the absolutely necessary.
The optional MBUX Interior Assist also allows intuitive, natural operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement 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 highlighted. The system is able to distinguish the driver's hand from that of the front passenger, and therefore recognises for whose seat the massage function is to be activated, for example.
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 each programme a personal, favourite function.
General MBUX operation has been improved in numerous respects. For example, the settings menus have been newly designed and the initial setup assistant has been improved. The 40 or so new MBUX functions in the GLE include, for example.
A unique feature of MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience is its learning capability thanks to artificial intelligence. With its predictive functions, MBUX for example, anticipates what the user would like next. For instance, anyone who often telephones with their mother on Tuesdays during the journey home will receive her telephone number as a suggestion in the display on this day of the week. Anyone who regularly switches over to a radio station with news at a certain time receives this as a suggestion.
- 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 in the instrument cluster
- ENERGIZING COACH
- ADAPT driver's seat adjustment: if the body size is entered, the seat automatically moves to a usually suitable position
- Extension of online functions: for example. "In-car office" can now read out emails and includes speech-to-text tools.
- Integration of online music (TIDAL) in Europe
- Extended range of apps, for example, specific functions for individual regions. Online music is available via the provider Kuwo in China, for example. Extensive information about points of interest (POIs) is made available by Baidu Wiki in China.
Other strengths include touchscreen control of the media display as standard and the use of augmented reality technology for the navigation display: a video image of the surroundings is enhanced with helpful navigation information for example, arrows or house numbers are automatically superimposed directly onto the 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 turning off. The intelligent voice control with natural language comprehension has also been improved, and is, for example, activated by the keyword "Hey Mercedes". Much more complex commands and questions are now understood, initially in the three top languages Mandarin, US English and German.
Also available is a next-generation head‑up display whose resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and extended projection distance sets new standards. Important information is projected on to the windscreen, reducing distraction from the traffic situation. There is also less eye fatigue for the driver, as the eyes do not constantly have to refocus between close-up and long-distance vision. A system of lenses and mirrors projects a full-colour image measuring around 45 x 15 cm on to the windscreen. To the driver it appears to float above the bonnet at a distance of around 3 metres. Now more than twice the size, the virtual image is 20 percent brighter for better legibility in bright conditions and has space for further information about, for example, the current audio source, the current phone call and the reception and battery status of the connected phone. In addition it shows the arrival time and distance to the destination if route guidance is active. The driver is able to select the information considered relevant, including additional off-road content such as vehicle inclination, torque distribution and acceleration forces.
Designed from the ground up, its no surprise that this time around a new I6 gasoline engine is one of many to come, especially during challenging times to increase range and overall efficiency. This efficient entry-level powertrain has been electrified by a 48-volt, produces 367 hp and gets about 34mpg's combined. EQ Boost brings in extra torque when required while not impacting range thanks to that 48-volt on-board power supply. All engine options come with a 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission that when combined with all the other powertrain and drive system components, give us generous power when needed.
More: Mercedes Benz USAPowertrain: in-line 6-cylinder in the GLE 450 4MATIC with EQ Boost
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will be launched with the new in-line 6-cylinder petrol engine, and other engines including diesels and a plug-in hybrid will follow.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC as the first petrol model is powered by a 6-cylinder engine systematically electrified with 48-volt technology (combined fuel consumption: 9.6– � 8.3 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 220–190 g/km)1, and is available on market launch. Its performance data: 270 kW (367 hp) and 500 Nm of torque, with a further 250 Nm of torque and 16 kW/22 hp available via EQ Boost over short periods. 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.
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, together with the physical separation of intake/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 also 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 all variants of the new GLE, power is transmitted by the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. The broad ratio spread of gears 1 to 9 allows a clearly perceptible reduction in engine speed and is a decisive factor behind the high level of energy efficiency and ride comfort. With the 4-cylinder engines, 4MATIC all-wheel drive is realised with 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 for the other engines, for example, in the GLE 450. This allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100 per cent (Torque on Demand) between the axles. Also new, and available as an option, is a transfer case specially configured for superior off-road driving characteristics. In addition to the controlled multi-disc clutch with torque-on-demand function, this has a reduction gear set and an automatic locking effect from 0-100 per cent for off-road driving.
Also when driving on the road, and particularly when cornering, the two fully networked transfer cases with Torque on Demand allow a further improvement in handling safety and agility by specifically influencing the degree of yaw to induce oversteer or understeer.
E-ACTIVE Body Control
Complementing the power and torque being delivered is E-Active Body Control. Its an advanced suspension and body control system unlike anything else on the market that counters body roll, pitching and squatting. Playing into this are systems like ROAD SURFACE SCAN and CURVE that delivers what Mercedes calls an "extraordinary level of comfort possible". Other advancements include an ability to recoup energy via an optional 48-volt electrical system (only 6 cylinder variants), free-driving mode that makes any amateur look like a pro when off-road, and more. When Mercedes says this is the world's most intelligent SUV suspension, they aren't kidding.
More: Mercedes Benz USAEven better ride comfort and agility plus completely new functions such as free-driving mode are provided by the optional E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension, which is now combined with the newly developed AIRMATIC air suspension. This is the only system on 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 makes an extraordinary level of comfort possible, and supports the claim of Mercedes-Benz to build the world's most intelligent SUV suspension.
E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL has a 48-volt electrical system and is available as optional equipment for engine variants with 6 and more cylinders. On poor road surfaces the system is even able to recoup energy, roughly halving the energy requirement compared to the preceding system in the S-Class. The hydropneumatics generate dynamic forces that overlay the air suspension forces and actively support and dampen the vehicle body, for example, during linear and lateral acceleration or when driving on uneven roads.
Free-driving mode is a completely new off-road function: if the GLE becomes bogged down in a sand dune or in many such situations, for example, it can help to free the vehicle more easily. If possible the suspension level is automatically raised and lowered several times, which changes the ground pressure of the tyres and therefore improves traction – the GLE 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 attitude on rough terrain when, for example, one wheel is stuck in a ditch or a wheel spring is fully contracted.
E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL in the GLE also has the curve inclination function CURVE: Like a motorcycle, the GLE leans into bends and thereby allows cornering in three stages with practically no centrifugal force. If the GLE is equipped with a stereo multipurpose camera, ROAD SURFACE SCAN becomes possible: the camera continuously scans the road surface, the suspension responds in advance of any undulations and the vehicle driving over them, and they are substantially compensated.
In addition to E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL, a likewise newly developed steel suspension and a newly developed AIRMATIC suspension with the Adaptive Damping System Plus (ADS+) are available.