New Mercedes-Benz M-Class - In Depth  

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Design: Sending out powerful signals

  • Dynamic lines and stylish contours
  • Strong character to handle any situation
  • High-quality materials and precision build in the interior

Wider, longer, lower – in brief, this is the formula for the exciting appearance of the new Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Although the wheelbase and track of this successful SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) by Mercedes-Benz have been enlarged, the new M-Class makes a very compact and concentrated impression. As a careful evolutionary process, the designers have given it even more dynamic but stylish lines. The result is a decidedly sporty and athletic character with a clear, powerful message.

The muscular impression is created primarily by the stylish interplay between the soft contours and angular elements which give the vehicle's body its powerful structure. Numerous surfaces are delineated by sharply-drawn, muscular lines. At the same time these contours are extremely modern, give an impression of power, precision and solidity and create an interplay between light and shade which appeals from any angle. Moreover, many of the design touches clearly underscore the off-road qualities of the new M-Class.

Front end: striking features

The front end of the new M-Class sends out powerful signals. Its striking radiator grille leaves no doubt as to the fact that this is a vehicle with a personality of its very own which will accompany its owner through any situation that life holds in store. This impression is conveyed by the robust appearance of the grille, which is characterised by its three wide louvres with pronounced, angular air apertures integrated into them as well as by the Mercedes three-pointed star in the centre. The strong horizontal lines of the radiator also emphasise the width of the vehicle.

The grille is emphasised even more by a continuous, surrounding chamfer, which also delineates the bonnet and creates a self-contained design feature. Two ventilation grilles on the bonnet, which each feature three hallmark Mercedes fins, underline the sporty qualities of the new M-Class.

The restyled headlamps likewise make the new M-Class appear wider, as well as adding a new highlight to their appearance: the clear lenses now reveal the latest headlamp technology in three shiny, individual chrome tubes. Their lower edge is defined by a narrow indicator band, which runs across the entire width like a shiny glass rod and adds another striking focal point to the front end.

The impression of robustness is intensified by the bumpers, whose lower section has a dark colour contrast, clearly indicating the high ground clearance which is so typical of an off-roader. As a further interesting detail, the bumpers feature an aluminium-look underride guard with large, square apertures. Separate frames on the right and left accommodate either fog lamps or the combined fog lamps/cornering lights, a positioning that once again emphasise the width of the new M-Class.

Side aspect: dynamic elegance

The new M-Class suggests strong, forward-flowing energy when viewed from the side. This is due to the overall proportions and the rise of the major body lines towards the rear – including the shoulder as a harmonious extension of the front wing, the waistline, rub strip and side skirt. At the same time the body is visually elongated and injected with dynamic elegance by a pronounced contour running from the headlamps, along the A-pillar and roof frame and back to the tailgate.

The shoulder tapers gradually towards the rear and ends satisfyingly in an aerodynamically formed airflow breakaway edge. The C-pillar is positioned at the highest point of the shoulder as the visual centre of power. As in the preceding series, the C-pillar of the new M-Class is slanted forwards but now has an even more flowing line, allowing it to establish itself as a distinctive characteristic feature of the M-Class.

The pronounced edges of the muscular wings stand out from the basic shape of the bodywork, indicating not only power but also precision and sure-footedness, while effectively emphasising the large wheels. Depending on the equipment line, the new M-Class is fitted with 17-inch to 19-inch light-alloy wheels whose unbroken surfaces and stabilising chamfers suggest solidity and spottiness to further accentuate the four-wheel-drive character of the M-Class.

Rear end: pronounced contours

The rear end is characterised to a large degree by the extended, curved rear window, which merges with the rearmost side windows to form a wide, panoramic surface and which combines together with horizontal edges to suggest powerful forward motion while effectively emphasising the vehicle’s width and visually reducing its height. This impression is reinforced by the tailgate with its high-quality chrome handle and by the powerful, high-set rear bumper, which has the same two-tone paint finish sported by its counterpart at the front and whose toothed design and underride guard are perfectly in keeping with the off-road nature of the M-Class.

Especially when viewed from the rear, the wide track and pronounced wheel arches make an extremely sporty impression as well as lending sturdiness to the vehicle’s appearance. A third brake light integrated into the prominent rear spoiler rounds the tail off at the top and produces an even more powerful profile.

Interior: comfort with elegance and attention to detail

The interior of the new M-Class is characterised by self-assured elegance with calm, unbroken surfaces, meeting the requirements of discerning customers looking for an SUV that is able to accompany them through any situation in life with serenity, absolute reliability, comfort and charm. The unique atmosphere inside the new M-Class is also heightened by interestingly contoured features and high-grade materials which are finished with craftsman-like precision and attention to detail.

Drivers of the new M-Class are seated at a new four-spoke multifunction steering wheel whose two lower spokes feature an appealing aluminium finish. Behind it there is a broad dashboard which is horizontally divided into an upper and lower section in terms of both form and colour. Circular ventilation outlets are arranged in the centre and at the left and right extremities; their chrome surrounds are reminiscent of the engine pods on an aircraft wing.

The upper section of the dashboard arches powerfully over the instrument cluster, which has two slanted tubular binnacles for excellent legibility and a sporty look. An added touch of elegance is provided by their fine chrome surrounds.

The uncluttered, clearly arranged centre console features easily accessible and thoughtfully positioned controls and displays that combine ergonomic perfection with supreme precision. Various infotainment systems are also located here – from a CD radio to a CD radio with integral navigation or the latest COMAND system with DVD navigation and a large colour screen (optional).

The centre console extends into the prominent tunnel covering with its stowage compartments and integral cup holders. Also to be found here are two forwards-pointing, attractively styled handles which not only echo the principal lines of the overall design, but also provide a firm hold when driving off-road.

The two-tone colour scheme of the interior along the horizontal dividing line is also applied consistently throughout the centre console, tunnel covering and door panels. These panels are concave in shape at elbow level, thereby increasing elbow room and adding an extra-special touch of style to the interior with their pronounced contours.

Depending on the chosen specification, the centre console and doors feature a wood, wood/chrome or aluminium trim. The trim strips in the door panels are slanted forwards to echo the dynamic lines of the exterior.

The interior of the new M-Class is characterised by precision-crafted, high-quality materials, such as the soft leather of the armrests, as well as decorative topstitching and surfaces which are pleasant to the touch. The result is a harmonious ambience of elegant refinement. Three colours – black, alpaca grey and cashmere beige – are available for the interior appointments of the new M Class. These can be combined with two non-metallic and nine metallic paint finishes.

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