This year, Mercedes-Benz expects its 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL model to surpass peak sales of 26,736, set in 2007 in the United States, according to the carmaker’s executives. With the figure, Mercedes should be bound to retain its best-seller crown in the large luxury sports utility vehicle/crossover segment.
Steve Cannon, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz USA, described the 2013 GL as the “S class of SUVs" referring to Mercedes' flagship S-class sedan, adding that the current model is better in every way. Cannon remarked that the second-generation GL is custom-fit to the US since around 53 percent of the volume of the current generation was sold in the country. Mercedes is building the seven-seat GL at its Vance plant in Alabama.
Todd Grieco, Mercedes-Benz USA product manager for SUVs, said GL commands around 25 percent of the large luxury sports utility vehicle/crossover segment, which has annual sales of around 100,000 units. The GL is outselling segment rivals like the Audi Q7, Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX56, Lexus GX 460 and Lincoln Navigator. Mercedes is due to roll out the 2013 GL this September in three variants.
The GL350 BlueTEC variant is powered by 240-hp V-6 turbodiesel and has a starting price of $63,305. The GL450 is powered by a 363-hp direct-injection gasoline V-8 engine and has a sticker price of $64,805. The GL550, meanwhile, is powered by a 429-hp direct-injection gasoline V-8 engine and has a tag of $87,805. All prices include shipping.
Mercedes will roll out a high-performance GL63 AMG, powered by a 550-hp 5.5-liter biturbo V-8 engine, in the first quarter of 2013. Mercedes will disclose the pricing for the AMG model closer to launch.
All four engines transmit power to the wheels through a new seven-speed automatic gearbox. Spec-wise, the 2013 GL is around an inch longer (201.6 inches) and an inch taller (72.8 inches) than the current model. The next-generation GL offers easier access to the third row of seats, disclosed Bart Herring, general manager of product management for Mercedes-Benz USA.