The all new Mercedes-Benz GLC (X 253): Second generation marks a big step forward
"Our new GLC represents a further, systematic step in the implementation of our successful SUV philosophy. It combines the ultimate in driving comfort with a sporty touch, impresses on the road and – more than ever – off it as well, and appeals to the eye with the new design and equipment line," says Thomas Weber, member of the Management Board of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
The design philosophy behind the new GLC essentially favours sensual purity and modern aesthetics over the classic off-road look. The dynamic design exudes emotional appeal while also employing purist forms. Surfaces embodying a degree of tension and precise lines cite the clear design line followed by all state-of-the-art SUVs from Mercedes-Benz. The GLC only represents a departure from its progenitor – the G-Class – in terms of appearance, however. On a technical level it sets new benchmarks in all disciplines - the mid-size SUV's off-road capabilities remain as outstanding as ever.
The paradigm shift in the area of design affects not only the outside appearance. The model change also signals a marked upgrade for the interior. The new design idiom combines sensual purity with dynamic sportiness and embodies a new interpretation of modern luxury. In addition, a considerably more spacious interior awaits the occupants and their luggage.
A key focus of the totally new interior design is the dashboard and the centre console with its flowing lines. Here a large, one-piece console panel performs an elegant sweep below the semi-integrated media display from the centre air vents to the armrest. These clear-cut lines create a feeling of open space and establish a purist, modern vibe. The newly developed touchpad in the handrest over the rotary pushbutton nestles ergonomically in the centre console.
More space, more fun, more comfort
In comparison to its predecessor, the new model is substantially more spacious for front and rear occupants alike. The increase in the length and width of the GLC by 120 millimetres and 50 millimetres respectively in comparison with the previous model has been entirely invested in the most important comfort and safety parameters. This is further enhanced by more intelligent packaging, and in some areas the interior dimensions have increased more than the exterior dimensions:
- elbow and shoulder width +57 and +54 mm
- kneeroom in the rear +36 mm
- foot entry clearance in the rear +34 mm
- load compartment length +40 mm, min. load compartment width +150 mm
- load capacity +80 litres
- four-link front suspension +27 mm, greater ride comfort thanks to
- front module +18 mm, optimised perdestrian protection and more favourable comprehensive insurance category
Energy efficiency: crucial parameters
Mercedes-Benz has applied an extensive package of measures to enhance the GLC's energy efficiency and performance substantially. Modified or new drive systems, outstanding aerodynamics and intelligent lightweight design are the primary factors behind the vehicle's fuel efficiency. The diesel and petrol models boast significant reductions of up to 19 percent in both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in comparison to the previous model, while at the same time improving performance with the same power output. The GLC 250 d 4MATIC now only consumes 5.0 - 5.5 l/100 km (129 - 143 g CO2/km). For the first time in this segment, with the GLC 350 e 4MATIC Mercedes-Benz is additionally offering a plug-in hybrid which combines the merits of agile all-wheel drive with the lowest fuel consumption and emissions: The mid-size SUV emits only 60 g of CO2 per km* and attains a top speed of 235 km/h with a best-in-class system output of 235 kW (320 hp). The semi-electric vehicle can cover up to 34* km in zero-emission all-electric mode, accelerating to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds if needed, courtesy of the boost function. * Provisional figures
Energy efficiency: crucial parameters
The design transition has also bestowed superlative aerodynamics on the new GLC. With a Cd value of 0.31 (GLK 0.34) and total aerodynamic drag of 0.794 (GLK 0.87), it sets a clear benchmark in this segment. Apart from the vehicle's substantially more aerodynamically efficient basic shape, this exceptional aerodynamic performance also results from a host of solutions relating to points of detail, such as sealing of the radiator and headlamp surrounds, a radiator shutter, the extended roof spoiler or the optimised underbody panelling.
Despite markedly larger outer dimensions, a longer wheelbase and a more extensive scope of equipment, the vehicle's weight has been cut by 80 kilograms. The main contributory factor to this reduction is the totally new body, which is 50 kilograms lighter than the smaller GLK counterpart, thanks to an intelligent mix of materials comprising aluminium and high- to ultra-high-strength steels. Aluminium components additionally reduce the weight of the chassis, which also benefits ride comfort due to the attendant reduction in unsprung masses. The optional AIR BODY CONTROL full-support multi-chamber air suspension features spring elements in lightweight yet robust glass-fibre-reinforced plastic, which reduce the system weight in comparison to conventional air suspensions. The use of the new compact transfer case as an add-on module and the 9G-TRONIC with its magnesium transmission housing results in weight reduction of 12 kg in comparison to the previous model.
AIR BODY CONTROL: innovative air travel
The new GLC features the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with steel springs and a variable damping system as standard. The GLC is the sole model in this market segment to offer the option of fitting the chassis with a full-support multi-chamber air suspension system and electronically controlled, continuously adjustable damping. The AIR BODY CONTROL suspension combines excellent driving stability and sporty agility with optimum comfort and outstanding off-road capabilities. Specific characteristics are pre-selected according to the settings of the DYNAMIC SELECT driving dynamics program. In Sport mode the GLC's occupants feel as if they are sitting in a sports car with a high level of lateral dynamics due to the tauter connection of the chassis, which is additionally lowered by 15 millimetres. Comfort mode offers the very opposite ride experience, focussing on particularly comfortable running with soft connection of the chassis. To ensure maximum driving safety in this mode, too, the spring and damper forces adapt within 60 milliseconds in response to sudden evasive manoeuvres, for example.
When the GLC is equipped with the Off-Road Engineering package, AIR BODY CONTROL optimises the wheels' surface contact, ensuring good progress in off‑road terrain, by raising the driving level by up to 50 mm and providing for particularly soft basic tuning. Further benefits of the system include reduced rolling during cornering, automatic level control and lowering of the load compartment sill for convenient loading and unloading.
Powertrain: agility, dynamism and comfort à la carte
The new GLC offers the DYNAMIC SELECT handling control system with five driving programs as standard. In addition to the ECO, COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+ and INDIVIDUAL settings which are familiar from other models, the new all-rounder can also be equipped with the Off-Road Engineering package. This comprises up to five programs. Four off-road specific driving modes apart from "Slippery" are completely new: Offroad, Incline, Rocking with a ground clearance of up to 227 millimetres in conjunction with AIR BODY CONTROL and a trailer. The latter facilitates moving off with an attached trailer on wet grass, for example. Like the DYNAMIC SELECT modes, all the off-road driving modes are individually depicted on the central media display.
The nine-stage 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission also comes as standard for the GLC 220 d 4MATIC, GLC 250 d 4MATIC and GLC 250 4MATIC. Depending on the mode selected for the DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control, the automatic transmission with a torque converter boasts great agility and responsiveness or poised composure. As with all hybrid models from Mercedes-Benz, the GLC 350 e 4MATIC is equipped with the latest version of 7G-TRONIC PLUS, which has been specifically optimised in line with the needs of hybrid applications and also combines high driving dynamics with excellent drive comfort and superior efficiency.
Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive: guardian angels on board
Almost all of the driver assistance systems which are familiar from the C, E and S‑Class are available for the new GLC. As part of the Intelligent Drive concept, these systems combine data from various sensor technologies to enhance comfort and safety substantially. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, Crosswind Assist, Headlamp Assist and ATTENTION ASSIST are on board as standard. The Driving Assistance package Plus provides an even more comprehensive scope of active safety features, comprising DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian detection, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE® PLUS. The latter feature also offers added protection in the event of a rear-end collision. By means of a radar sensor in the rear bumper PRE-SAFE® PLUS identifies impending rear-end collisions, alerts the traffic behind by operating the hazard warning lights at a particularly eye-catching flashing frequency, activates preventive occupant protection measures and brakes the vehicle to a standstill after a rear-end collision to reduce the levels of stress acting on the occupants. Greater safety for all road users is provided by Traffic Sign Assist with its wrong-way warning function, which in addition to speed limits can also alert the driver to no-overtaking and no-entry signs. On vehicles equipped with the LED Intelligent Light System, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus allows main beam to be left on permanently by masking out the area of the main-beam light cone which is occupied by other vehicles. Simpler handling and a clearer view when manoeuvring in tight spaces or driving in dense urban traffic are ensured by the 360° camera, which is able to show the vehicle and its surroundings from different perspectives, and by Active Parking Assist, which manoeuvres the vehicle fully automatically into detected parallel and end-on parking spaces.
The improved ergonomics and simpler controls in the GLC also help to enhance safety. All important vehicle functions and settings can be carried out intuitively using the central rotary pushbutton or the touchpad. The required settings or information are visualised in the large, semi-integrated colour media display in the centre of the dashboard. Direct selection buttons next to the light switch module to the left of the steering wheel additionally enable direct activation of the most important assistance systems.
Also new is the Head-up Display (HUD). The HUD displays important information directly in the driver's field of vision on the front windscreen, thus providing for clear legibility and less distraction from the road ahead. The system provides information on speed, posted speed limits, navigation instructions and messages from the DISTRONIC system.
Airbag & co.: cushioning protection for the occupants
In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz tradition, the body forms the foundation for exemplary crash safety. A high-strength safety passenger compartment forms the core of this concept. It is surrounded by specifically designed and field-tested deformation zones, which ensure maximum safety for the occupants by virtue of optimised force paths and a combination of die-cast aluminium components and ultra-high-strength materials.
In addition to 3-point safety belts with pyrotechnical and reversible belt tensioning and belt-force limitation for driver, front passenger and those in the outer rear seats, numerous airbags serve to protect the vehicle's occupants in an accident. These include the combined thorax/pelvis sidebags for driver and front passenger and a newly developed windowbag extending over both seat rows, the optional sidebags for the outer rear seats and a driver kneebag.
Credits: Daimler AG
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