...CLOSED COM­BUS­TION

The EQC might have stolen all the head­lines but Benz also qui­etly re­leased in­for­ma­tion on the new-gen­er­a­tion GLE SUV

Car (South Africa) - - INSIGHT -

SPA­CIOUS YET SLIP­PERY

The new GLE is larger than be­fore, with a wheel­base ex­panded by 80 mm to a to­tal of 2 995 mm. The larger foot­print not only frees up a claimed 825 to 2 055 litres of boot space, but also ups sec­ond-row knee­room by 69 mm and head­room by 33 mm, while an op­tional third row of seats is now of­fered. De­spite be­ing larger than its fore­bear, the new GLE is re­port­edly the most aero­dy­namic car in its class, with a Cd of just 0,29.

IM­PROVED IN­FO­TAIN­MENT

The GLE’S MBUX in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem has un­der­gone 40 im­prove­ments over the unit that de­buted in the A-class (which we test on page 72), in­clud­ing ex­tended off-road as­sis­tance, on­line app func­tion­al­ity and In­te­rior As­sist, which senses pas­sen­ger move­ment and high­lights an­cil­lary func­tions ahead of se­lec­tion.

Con­joined 12,3-inch in­stru­ment screens are stan­dard and a 720x240pixel head-up dis­play will also be of­fered.

FUR­THER OFF-ROAD

The GLE re­mains a ca­pa­ble of­froader thanks to a new fully vari­able all-wheel-drive torque-on-de­mand sys­tem con­trol­ling the torque dis­tri­bu­tion be­tween the front and rear axles up to 100% and in­cor­po­rates high and low-range set­tings when spec­i­fied with the op­tional of­froad pack­age.

SIX FOR STARTERS

The launch-model GLE450 4Matic fea­tures an all-new 3,0-litre, six­cylin­der en­gine elec­tri­fied with 48 V elec­tri­cal ar­chi­tec­ture and cou­pled to the firm’s nine-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. In ad­di­tion to the en­gine’s 270 kw and 500 N.m out­puts, the EQ Boost sys­tem ush­ers in a fur­ther 16 kw and 250 N.m over short pe­ri­ods.

BODY IN BAL­ANCE

The op­tional E-ac­tive Body Con­trol Sys­tem uses the pow­er­train’s 48 V elec­tri­cal sys­tem to in­di­vid­u­ally ad­just the air sus­pen­sion’s dampers at each cor­ner. This sys­tem not only helps the body stay neu­tral un­der cor­ner­ing, but can also help ex­tri­cate you from a tricky off-road sit­u­a­tion, rais­ing and low­er­ing the sus­pen­sion to op­ti­mise the ground pres­sure of the tyres to im­prove trac­tion.

ETA: Q2 2019

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