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PrancingHorse

Report & Pics: Mercedes GL350 CDI Offroad Driving Experience and CKD roll out launch

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Mercedes has started to roll out the GL SUV from its plant at Chakan, Pune. India is the first plant to start local production of the GL outside the Mercedes SUV plant in Tuscaloosa in the USA. Mercedes first started operations in India in 1995 with the E Class. This was followed by the S Class, C Class and then the M Class. The GL is the fifth model from the Mercedes line up to be assembled locally. The GL350 CDI is powered by a V6 diesel motor producing 258 bhp @3600 rpm and torque of 619 Nm between 1600 – 2400rpm. It goes from 0 to 100 kph in 7.9 seconds and goes to a top speed of 220 kph. The GL comes with a 7 Gtronic Plus automatic gearbox. It is longer, wider and taller than the outgoing model.I attended this roll out event at the Mercedes Plant in Pune. Some pics of the Roll out

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Next post: Offroading Experience...

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Earlier in the morning before the roll out event, I was also given the chance to drive the new GL on Mercedes' own off road track in the plant premises. Rally Champion Hari Singh was my instructor. He first took me through the track with as a passenger and after that I took to the wheel. It was my first time doing something like this.

First task was to go down hill and the slope had deep ditches on alternate distances where if your front right wheel was in the ditch, your rear left would be in mid air. This was to show wheel articulation. After that I was made to drive sideways on an incline of 35 degrees I sailed through it perfectly. The key is to go very slowly with light press of the throttle. I was very impressed with the capbilities of the GL considering it was equipped with normal road going tyres. It had rained a bit earlier and that made things bit slippery but didnt pose a problem as such. Was good fun.

Here are some pictures from the off road track with me driving

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I don't understand one thing to-prove that your vehicle is offroader why build a track specifically for it . I would have like the Merc to have a go at the terrain opposite to the grill in the above pics. Or just drive through MP's roads :P

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