Compact SUV unveiled

  • 31-Mar-2008 06:29 EDT
M-Benz GLK Townside .JPG
The new Mercedes-Benz GLK will offer selective damping, a modified version of what is available on the C-Class.
Mercedes-Benz will extend its SUV lineup to five models this fall with the addition of the GLK. The new GLK "fits all the strengths of our large models into a compact format," Daimler AG Chairman Dieter Zetsche said at the SUV's NAIAS world debut.

GLK, shown as a close approximation to its production release, will come in two versions. The Townside version is designed mainly for on-road driving because of its lowered chassis and sports suspension, while the Freeside version is more attuned to off-road jaunts with its detachable body parts and underside guard.

A 2.2-L, four-cylinder diesel producing an estimated 204 hp (152 kW) and 369 lb·ft (500 N·m) will power the GLK. "It's a completely new engine," said Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management for Daimler AG and head of corporate research and the development of Mercedes-Benz cars.

The new diesel engine gets the support of fourth-generation common-rail direct-injection technology with new piezo-injectors "that deliver an injection pressure of 2000 bar, as well as two-stage turbocharging," said Weber. According to Frank Zimmermann, GLK's Product Manager, the U.S. market "most probably" will offer the GLK–at some point–a choice of either a gasoline six-cylinder or diesel four-cylinder engine fitted with the modular Bluetec emissions-control system.

The GLK's four-cylinder diesel engine will be mated with the 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission and the latest-generation 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. "This compact, light, and low-friction high-tech system was introduced first in the S-Class and most recently in the new C-Class," said Weber.
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