The New Mercedes Benz GL-Class - Optimum Strength With Lightweight Steel | Part Two

Mercedes Benz GL-Class

Mercedes Benz GL-Class

Intelligent solutions promote excellent safety

The GL-Class makes full use of the advantages of its unitised body, combining optimum strength with intelligent lightweight steel design. The result is excellent passive safety. Combined with the front and rear deformation zones, the high-strength occupant cell forms an efficient base for the occupant protection systems that include:

  • Adaptive, two-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger
  • Sidebags in the front, and in the middle row of seats as an option
  • Windowbags across all three rows of seats from the A to the D-pillar
  • NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger as an option
  • 3-point seatbelts on all seven seats
  • Seatbelt tensioners and adaptive belt-force limiters for the driver and front passenger, seatbelt tensioners and belt-force limiters on the outer seats in the middle row

With the optionally available PRE-SAFE preventive occupant protection system, a world first in this market segment, Mercedes Benz has raised safety to an even higher level. The system's most striking feature: passive and active safety systems are networked with each other. PRE-SAFE utilises the sensors in the dynamic handling control systems such as ABS, BAS (Brake Assist) and ESP and optimises the protective function of the passive safety components in potential accident situations. The GL-Class also takes the issue of pedestrian protection to a new level. The front section includes precisely defined ample crumple space between the body and the major assemblies underneath. In conjunction with impact zones that are designed to yield, this design provides a high degree of protection both for pedestrians and cyclists.

The GL-Class meets all the requirements of a state-of-the-art, luxury SUV and even redefines them on a higher level. Yet the hallmark Mercedes off-roader genes such as superlative robustness, ruggedness and long-term durability have not been compromised. It is not without reason that the model designation echoes the legendary precursor of all Mercedes Benz off-roadvehicles - the G-Class. The evergreen off-roader is now in its 27th year of production and will continue to be marketed alongside the new GL-Class.

Outstanding handling on and off-road

4MATIC - the permanent four-wheel drive from Mercedes Benz - provides the GL-Class with superior handling whatever the conditions. Together with the standard-fit AIRMATIC air suspension, the precise speed-sensitive power steering and the ADS Adaptive Damper System also fitted as standard, the imposing GL-Class (wheelbase 3075 mm) handles impressively. Handling, when pulling a trailer is no less impressive thanks to ESP Trailer Stabilisation. It defuses critical driving situations involving a trailer before they become dangerous by precisely applying the brakes, while AIRMATIC provides fully automatic level adjustment.

continues... | Part Three
Published 14 January 2006 Melanie Carter
 

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