Mercedes-Benz GLC world premiere
Stuttgart/Metzingen. The second generation of the mid-size Mercedes-Benz SUV has been renamed from GLK to GLC, and this versatile SUV represents a big step forward on several fronts. On a technical level, the GLC clearly makes its mark with the excellent standard of safety that is a brand hallmark, featuring state-of-the-art assistance systems. The AIR BODY CONTROL multichamber air suspension is unparalleled in this segment, offering the combination of DYNAMIC SELECT engine and suspension modes together with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. This increases both ride comfort and agility, regardless of driving surface. Visually, the body follows the clear and sensual design idiom which was demonstrated so successfully by the GLC Coupé showcar concept in Spring 2015, and which also serves as the standard for future SUV families.
“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 favors sensual purity and a modern aesthetic 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 represents a departure from its progenitor- the G-Class – but only in terms of appearance. On a technical level, it sets new benchmarks in all disciplines, and the mid-size SUV’s off-road capabilities remain as outstanding as ever.
The characteristic SUV front with a short, succinct overhang, upright, threedimensional radiator grille with a twin louver and centrally positioned brand star follows the successful new design line. Striking headlamps, optionally available as LED High Performance lamps, lend the GLC a self-confident look which is further emphasized by their distinctive night design. The USA receives standard front and rear bumpers optimized for off-road use with a 28 degree angle of approach/departure for all variants.
The side view showcases the almost coupe-like greenhouse, which together with the 4.6 inch (118 millimeter) larger wheelbase lends the GLC an elegant long profile. This impression is further reinforced by the gently sloping dropping line, which is a hallmark of the brand, and by the powerful shoulders. The rising lower feature line also enlivens the vehicle’s side view. Matte black cladding in the wings, wheels up to a size of 20 inches (50.8 cm) and the optional side running board provide clear indications of the GLC’s off-road credentials.
The rear is characterized by the broad, muscular shoulders, the horizontal orientation of the contour lines and the split LED rear lamps featuring a distinctive night design. By integrating all the antennae into the exterior mirrors and the roof spoiler, it has been possible to do away with the fin which was previously featured on the roof.
GLC interior: added class
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. A modern setting prevails, which is reminicent of the standard set by its bigger brother, the GLE. The new design idiom combines sensual purity with dynamic sportiness and embodies a new interpretation of modern luxury. The GLC’s interior conjures up the feel-good atmosphere which is a brand hallmark courtesy of high-class materials featuring a hand-crafted character, such as nappa leather or open-pore wood trim, meticulously finished details and an appealing overall touch and feel. Last but not least, substantially more space is available for occupants and luggage. The optional large-area panoramic glass roof further enhances the light and airy feel inside.
A key focus of the totally new interior design is the dashboard and the center console with its flowing lines and large, one-piece panel performing an elegant sweep from the center air vents to the armrest. These clear-cut lines create a feeling of open space and establish a purist, modern vibe. The newly developed innovative touchpad in the handrest over the rotary pushbutton nestles ergonomically in the center console. As on a smartphone, this provides for verysimple and intuitive operation of all the head-unit functions using finger gestures. The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting. A centrally positioned media display is partially integrated above the center console. Five round air outlets with a metallic “cool touch” effect lend the dashboard a sporty air and create an interesting contrast to the warm look of the other materials.
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 GLC’s length in comparison to the previous model has been translated effectively into useful interior space. Almost all key comfort factors have been improved – substantially in some instances – above all the space on the rear bench.
Entry and exit space for the rear passengers has also been substantially enhanced; with 1.3 inches (34 millimeters) more foot space now available for the purposes of entering and exiting the vehicle.
Through the effective use of space and intelligent packaging, the engineers have also managed to increase the size of the luggage compartment with level a load area. The rear bench features a 40/20/40 split and offers a cargo position which increases the load capacity by locking the backrests at a steeper angle. In terms of non-SAE interior volume specs based on European figures, the load capacity behind the rear bench increases by 2.8 to 3.9 cubic feet (80 to 110 liters), to a total of up to 20.5 cubic feet (580 liters). In all, the GLC is able to transport up to 56.5 cubic feet (1600 liters) of cargo – 1.8 cubic feet (50 litres) more than was previously possible. The maximum luggage compartment length is 52.0 inches (1320 millimeters), while the maximum width increases by 5.9 inches to 43.3 inclues (1100 millimeters).
Added convenience for loading and unloading is provided by lowering of the load compartment sill by 1.6 inches (40 mm) with the AIR BODY CONTROL option and by HANDS-FREE ACCESS, which enables the tailgate to be opened automatically by performing a swiping movement with the foot under the bumper.
Energy efficiency: crucial parameters
Mercedes-Benz has applied an extensive package of measures to enhance the GLC’s energy efficiency and performance substantially. New drive systems, outstanding aerodynamics and intelligent lightweight design are the primary factors behind the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. In the United States, the GLC 300 and GLC 300 4MATIC will be powered by a 2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder engine. The preliminary data shows that this fuel efficient powerplant will produce 241 hp @ 5,500 rpm and 273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-4,000 rpm.
The design transition has also bestowed superlative aerodynamics on the new GLC. With a global 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 (NOTE: this is a global aerodynamics figure, which is TBD for the U.S. market and related larger standard wheels, which will differ). 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 optimized 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 176 pounds (80 kilograms). The main contributory factor to this reduction is the totally new body, which is 110 pounds (50 kilograms) lighter than the smaller GLK counterpart, thanks to an intelligent mix of materials comprising aluminium and high- to ultrahigh-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-fiber-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 both result in a reduction in weight of 26 pounds (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 0.6 inches (15 millimeters). Comfort mode offers the very opposite ride experience, focusing on particularly comfortable running with soft connection of the chassis. To ensure maximum driving safety in this mode, the spring and damper forces adapt within 60 milliseconds in response to sudden evasive manouvers. 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. The ECO, COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+ and INDIVIDUAL settings will be familiar to drivers from other Mercedes-Benz models.
4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive models feature a basic drive torque split of 45 to 55 percent between front and rear axle. In cooperation with the ESP® , ASR and 4ETS dynamic handling control systems, this provides for superior and clearly predictable handling. The multiple-disc clutch in the center differential assists the system in the event of really low friction coefficients between tire and road, for example on snow or ice. A basic locking force of 37 lb-ft (50 newton-meters) between the front and rear axles brings about a significant increase in traction with the same high level of driving stability.
The nine-stage 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission also comes as standard equipment on the GLC300 and GLC300 4MATIC for the USA. 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. The potential of the transmission is maximized to offer an impressively high shift speed and perfect transitions for energetic sprinting as well as gentle, barely perceptible gear changes for enjoyable cruising.
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 substantially enhance comfort and safety. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, Crosswind Assist, Active Highbeam Assist and ATTENTION ASSIST are on board as standard. The Driver Assistance Package (same for all S/E/C/CLS/GLE models in the USA) provides an even more comprehensive scope of active safety features, comprising DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist, 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 PRESAFE® 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. 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 manoevering 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 manoevers 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 desired settings or information are visualized by the large, partially integrated color media display in the middle of the dashboard. Direct selection buttons next to the light switchmodule 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 optimized 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.
The front passenger seat can additionally be fitted with automatic child seat recognition, which dispenses with the previous transponder in favor of a weight mat. This enables any child seat to be used. The airbag is automatically deactivated when a child seat is fitted and reactivated once it has been removed.
Source: Mercedes-Benz Press Release (USA)
Date Posted: June 30, 2015