• Bigger, cleaner, faster
• More efficient than the previous model
• Hardcore AMG model announced

Full details of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL 4×4 have been revealed. The new model will be bigger, faster and more fuel efficient than the previous model. Next year’s GL will also feature a raft of new technologies. The new car will feature two new models, the GL 350 BlueTEC AMG Sport and the high-performance GL 63 AMG.

Mercedes’ GL 350 BlueTEC AMG Sport is powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine, which will be up to 15 per cent more efficient that the previous model, promising 35.3mpg on the combined cycle. Mercedes also says that CO2 emissions will be reduced by 14 per cent – to 209g/km. Despite this apparent parsimony and cleanliness, the GL will still be able to sprint to 62mph in 7.9 seconds and go on to a top speed of 137mph.

The new GL 350 BlueTEC AMG Sport will feature much more kit as standard than the out-going model, including intelligent bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights, an AMG body-kit, 21” wheels, an electric glass sunroof, air suspension, Parktronic with Active Park Assist. Next year’s GL will also get the updated COMAND Online with a media interface and a DAB radio. The third row of seats can also now be folded electrically, whilst two new paint colours are available; Cavansite Blue and Cinnabar Red.

Two new safety technologies are also available on the new GL, with Crosswind Assist and Collision Prevention Assist making their debuts in the range. Crosswind Assist works with the ESP system to stabilise the car after a strong gust of wind and Collision Prevention Assist which warns the driver if the set distance between the car and the one in front becomes smaller.

The new GL 63 AMG is powered by a 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8, which produces 550bhp and 516ft/lb of torque. This is enough to launch the GL 63 to 62mph in 4.9 seconds and on to an electronically limited 155mph top-speed. Despite this performance, the 63 still manages 23mpg on the combined cycle.

On the outside, the GL 63 AMG gets 21” lightweight alloy wheels and a sports exhaust with twin chromed tail pipes. The suspension and brakes have also been upgraded over the lower-powered versions to help keep the performance in check.

Inside, the high-performance GL gets an AMG Performance steering wheel, finished in nappa leather with silver-coloured gear-change paddles as well as leather AMG sports seats (which come with a memory and massage function). The front two rows of seats are also heated whilst the car also gets automatic climate control.

Production begins in January 2013, with the GL 350 BlueTEC AMG Sport starting at £59,465 and the GL 63 AMG costing from £91,680.

By James Richardson

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