2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE details revealed
Mercedes-Benz has shared some details of its 2020 GLE SUV prior to its official launch in Paris this October. New technology including the E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL is a 48-volt active suspension system and a world first, while the driver assistance systems take another step forward with Active Stop-and-Go Assist. The interior is even more spacious and comfortable, with a third seat row available on request.
The infotainment system has larger screens, a full-color head-up display with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and the new MBUX Interior Assistant, which can recognize hand and arm movements and supports operating intentions.
The exterior design not only exudes presence and power, but also sets a new standard for aerodynamics in the SUV segment. The GLE will receive a new range of engines and the new 4MATIC system that ensures great agility on the road and superior performance off the beaten track.
Viewed from the side, the wide C-pillar, typical of the GLE, conveys self- assured stability. The large wheels in sizes from 19 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 and the optional Illuminated Running Boards. The chrome surrounds of the windows are reminiscent of a premium sedan.
The GLE also cuts an athletic figure from the rear. This is emphasized by the powerful shoulder muscle extending from the C-pillar to the rear lights. The reflectors are relocated lower than before, giving the rear lights a more flattering appearance. They are also in two sections. This 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.
The interior of the new GLE derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious, elegant ambience of a Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan 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 also extends around the driver and front passenger to meet the doors.
The prominent, raised center console creates a robust contrast with the free- floating appearance of the dashboard. As a typical feature of off-roaders, there are two prominent grab handles on the center console. Apart from comfort and ergonomics, flowing surfaces create a modern, luxurious impression rounded off by a broad area of trim and flush-fitting roller blinds. All the controls and displays are enhanced by the new design. The controls with haptic and audible feedback appear to have been milled from a solid metal block.
On request, and as a world first in the SUV segment, a second seat row with six fully electric adjustments is available. The right and left seats can be separately adjusted fore-and-aft by up to 3.9 inches, the backrests are adjustable for angle and foldable in a 40:20:40 ratio, and the head restraints are adjustable for height. The rear seat adjustments are controlled by a switch in the door panel. The backrest can also be completely folded down electronically, using a switch in the luggage compartment.
Useful holders and protective elements have been specially 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 1.6 inches 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.
The ENERGIZING COACH is a new feature. This function, based on an intelligent algorithm, recommends one of the programs depending on the situation and individual. If a Garmin® wearable is worn, personal values such as stress level or quality of sleep optimize the accuracy of the recommendation.
The GLE is equipped with the latest generation of the multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience. The revolutionary system includes two large 12.3” screens as standard, which are arranged in-line with each other for an impressive widescreen look.
Depending on mood or to suit the chosen interior, the user has a choice of four different styles:
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 rearview mirror, for example. The driver and front passenger can both program a personal, favorite function which is initiated using a horizontally outstretched index and middle finger
General operation of the multimedia system has been improved in numerous respects. For example, the settings menus are in a new design and the initial setup assistant has been improved.
Other strengths include touchscreen control of the multimedia 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 directional arrows or house numbers are automatically superimposed directly onto the image in the multimedia display. This makes it easier for the driver to search for a certain house number, or to find the correct road for a next turn. The intelligent Voice Control has also been improved with Natural Language Understanding, and is activated by the keyword "Hey Mercedes.
The optional Head-Up Display with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and extended projection distance also sets new standards. Important information is projected into 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-color image measuring around 17.8 x 5.9 inches (45 x 15 centimeters) into the windscreen. To the driver it appears to float above the hood at a distance of around 10 feet. 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 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 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.
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will be launched with a variety of engine offerings, including a 2.0L Inline-4 turbo engine for the GLE 350 and GLE 350 4MATIC that produces 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The new 3.0L inline six-cylinder turbo engine with EQ Boost in the GLE 450 4MATIC produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and is systematically electrified with 48-volt technology. The Integrated-Starter Generator (ISG) is responsible for functions such as EQ Boost and energy recuperation, while allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology.
In all variants of the new GLE, power is transmitted by a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission. With the four-cylinder engine in the new GLE 350, 4MATIC all-wheel drive is realized with a transfer case which transmits the drive torque to the axles in a fixed ratio of 50:50 percent. Spinning wheels are addressed by braking intervention at the relevant wheel.
A transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch is used for the other engines, including the GLE 450. This allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100% (torque on demand) between the axles.
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.
Driver assistance systems: superior support in traffic jams
The new GLE marks the debut of the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance systems giving cooperative support to the driver.
Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC® and Active Steering Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and properly steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of bends or junctions by Route-Based Speed Adaptation. This is complemented by Evasive Steering Assist, a considerably improved Active Lane Keeping Assist and also the additional functions of the Active Emergency Stop Assist.
The turning function of Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function is completely new: If there is a danger of a collision with oncoming traffic when turning, the GLE can be braked at the speeds typical of such maneuvers.
Braking intervention takes place if the driver signals the intention to turn (indicators) and the vehicle can be braked to a stop before crossing the lane marking. Oncoming vehicles are recognized by the front long-range radar sensor and the stereo multipurpose camera.
In addition, the new GLE is equipped with Active Blind Spot Assist with an added Exit Warning Assist. This function can lower the risk of a collision with other road users, such passing cyclists. Active Blind Spot Assist monitors the blind spot when at standstill, and can warn the driver of approaching vehicles, motorcycles or bicycles when opening the door. This function is active for up to three minutes after switching off the engine. The warning appears in the exterior mirrors and is given audibly via the instrument cluster.
E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL: the 48V suspension
Even 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 in 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, E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL is the world's most intelligent SUV suspension and makes an extraordinary level of comfort possible.
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will celebrate its World Premiere at Mondial l'Automobile in Paris in October 2018 and will go on sale in the U.S. in 2019.