2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK Facelift Revealed
New design, exclusive appointments, pioneering assistance systems & efficient engines, the 2013 GLK is poised to be a leader
by John Clark | 22 March 2012
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The updated 2013 Mercedes GLK is scheduled to be unvelied that the New York Auto Show next month, but to raise awaremenss, Mercedes released the first photos and details of the new 2013 GLK-Class. Below we discuss the design updates for both the interior and exterior, but stay tuned as we will next go over the updated engines, including the all new four-cylinder diesel engine found in the GLk250 BlueTEC 4MATIC.
There is no longer any differentiation between different types of bumpers with specific on-road and off-road packages. Beneath the newly designed headlamps, all models offer LED daytime driving lights in a chrome clasp as standard. The radiator grille with two slats and central star follows the design idiom of all current passenger car models. The slats are painted silver, with chrome inserts optional. Also part of the model facelift, the designers have developed new wheels in size 43.2 cm (17-inch), 48.3 cm (19-inch) and 50.8 cm (20-inch), which are available in various paint finishes or with a high-sheen finish. An aerodynamically optimised 43.2 cm (17-inch) wheel is available for the first time.
The GLK SUV received a complete interior makeover: the dashboard, for example offers a wide trim in aluminium or optionally in wood spans the entire width of the dashboard. The new round vents and additional trim elements in silver shadow also catch the eye. A high-end colour display is optionally available for the instrument cluster. A three-spoke sports steering wheel, new upholstery colours and seat designs plus indirect ambient lighting featuring LED fibre-optic technology, which is available on the GLK for the first time, further enhance the feel-good atmosphere inside the car.
The GLK offers outstanding driving dynamics, excellent driving safety and superlative ride comfort. In addition to the rear-wheel drive versions, the 4MATIC models with permanent all-wheel drive demonstrate an intrepid spirit even in the most adverse conditions – both on- and off-road. Like all SUV and all-terrain vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, the GLK is a thoroughbred, no-holds-barred off-road operator. Meanwhile, the forefather of all modern-day Mercedes-Benz SUVs which lent its name to the GLK – the G-Class – is now in its 33rd model year and is also undergoing a thorough facelift.
New interpretation of the classic GLK design
The exterior lends the GLK added poise. The body combines classic elements of all-terrain vehicles with the design idiom of the current Mercedes-Benz saloons. Stringent lines, expansive surfaces and the smooth-surfaced, volume-emphasizing front and rear areas harmonise with the hallmark GLK body features which are typical of functional all-terrain vehicles. These include short overhangs, the upright front end, slender roof pillars, a steep windscreen and the taut roof line. The body design is not a stylistic end in itself. Rather, it applies the advantages typical off all-terrain vehicles to the compact SUV class. Accomplished ATV-specific features such as approach and departure angle and ground clearance enable off-road ventures at any time. The neatly designed body and the good all-round visibility combined with the seat position enhance suitability for everyday use and provide for relaxed driving.
There is no longer any differentiation between different types of bumpers with specific on-road and off-road packages. Beneath the newly designed headlamps, all models offer LED daytime driving lights in a chrome clasp as standard. The radiator grille with two slats and central star follows the design idiom of all current passenger car models. The slats are painted silver, with chrome inserts optional. The headlamps embody a new interpretation of the signature Mercedes lamp design. On the basic model with reflection-type headlamps, a chrome torch feature spans the two reflectors. On models featuring the Intelligent Light System (ILS), the headlamp comprises the projection unit, a reflector and the torch with LED fibre-optic cables for the position light, above which the turn signal indicators consisting of individual LEDs are located. The roof rails in a totally new design are particularly striking in the side view.
The rear bumper lends a bold, sporty character to the GLK’s rear end with its width-emphasizing lines and delicate tail lights. The new-style underride guard – optionally in chrome – and the chrome-plated tailpipe trims which also come as standard catch the eye here. The tail lights have undergone a complete revamp in terms of both appearance and functions. Fibre-optic cables and LEDs are also employed to provide the GLK’s rear end with a unique and characteristic night design, the new licence plate LED lamp providing a finishing touch.
As part of the model facelift, the designers have also developed new wheels in size 43.2 cm (17-inch), 48.3 cm (19-inch) and 50.8 cm (20-inch), which are available in various paint finishes or with a high-sheen finish. An aerodynamically optimised 43.2 cm (17-inch) wheel is available for the first time.
The AMG Sports package for the GLK
For GLK customers who appreciate sporty elegance a comprehensive AMG Exterior Sports package is available, boasting hallmark design features from the renowned customisation company. These include AMG front and rear apron, the specific radiator grille with two chrome slats, AMG LED daytime driving lights, 48.3 cm (19-inch) AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels and a sporty suspension setup. The features are based on the extended Exterior Chrome package.
GLK interior: even classier setting, high feel-good factor
The newly designed GLK interior offers design, a quality feel and a choice of materials on a par with higher classes of vehicle. The interior designers at the Mercedes-Benz Design Studio in Sindelfingen have undertaken a complete makeover of the dashboard, for example: a wide trim in aluminium or optionally in wood spans the entire width of the dashboard. The new round vents and additional trim elements in silver shadow also catch the eye. A high-end colour display is optionally available for the instrument cluster. A three-spoke sports steering wheel, new upholstery colours and seat designs plus indirect ambient lighting featuring LED fibre-optic technology, which is available on the GLK for the first time, further enhance the feel-good atmosphere inside the car. The models with the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission are fitted with the DIRECT SELECT lever in ergonomically convenient position on the steering column tube. This frees up space in the centre console for a stowage compartment, which is provided with a precision-finished frame in silver shadow and can be closed by means of a retractable cover.
The Interior Sports package which was available for the predecessor model has been upgraded, with sports seats featuring in the GLK for the first time. Other components are the 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel in nappa leather, black sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with stitching in alpaca grey (alternatively real black leather upholstery), door centre panels in ARTICO man-made leather with diagonal stitching, shift lever in nappa leather with chrome surround and sports pedals in brushed stainless steel.
Infotainment: better entertainment, better information
The GLK is fitted with the Audi 20 CD radio as standard, with the following functions:
- Twin tuner
- TFT display with 14.7 cm (5.8″) diagonal
- mp3/wma/aac-compatible CD drive
- USB interface incl. CD cover display
- AUX-IN socket in the centre armrest
- Bluetooth® interface with hands-free function and
- audio streaming for music transfer
- Telephone keypad
The GLK goes online with special infotainment offerings, offers its occupants concert-hall acoustics and provides new entertainment facilities for rear passengers:
- Apple iPad® rear integration Plus. The convenient, ergonomic and crash-safe docking station for the iPad® is optionally available in the rear of the GLK. The mount can be tilted and turned by 180°, all connections remaining accessible. In addition, the battery can be charged via an integrated USB interface with the aid of a charging lead
- Central colour display in the instrument cluster offering photorealistic quality
- Becker® MAP PILOT: fully integrated navigation module with 2D/3D map display, navigation information shown on the display of the Audio 20 CD, operation via central controller and acoustic output of driving recommendations via the vehicle’s loudspeakers
- COMAND Online multimedia system: fast hard-disc navigation with high-resolution 17.8 cm colour display, free use of the integrated Mercedes-Benz apps and call-up of internet sites, LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system, USB interface and AUX-IN socket in the centre armrest, telephone module with Bluetooth® (SAP profile) in the armrest for telephony and internet connectivity
- In conjunction with COMAND, a TV tuner for digital TV reception (DVB-T) is being offered in the GLK for the first time
- Harman Kardon® Logic 7® surround sound system including 7-channel DSP amplifier and 2-channel booster with a total output of 510 W in conjunction with 12 high-performance loudspeakers, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS
Assistance systems take the GLK to the top of its market segment
Assistance systems familiar from the S- and E-Class enable a further improvement in active safety and driver-fitness safety in the new GLK and take the compact SUV to the top of its market segment. Optional equipment includes the ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system or the PRE‑SAFE® anticipatory safety system. Additional assistance systems, including active variants, are optionally available. One example here is Active Parking Assist, enabling fully automatic manoeuvring into and out of parking spaces. To facilitate manoeuvring when visibility is poor there is a backup camera with guide lines or – for the first time from Mercedes-Benz – a 360° camera. This feature uses image information from four cameras in the front and rear areas and in the exterior mirror housing to generate a bird’s eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings. The undistorted image is presented to the occupants in real time on the central COMAND display. In addition to the functions of the backup camera, it also enables monitoring of the areas to the side of the vehicle and in front of the vehicle, thus helping to avoid inadvertent collisions during manoeuvring. Guide lines provide additional assistance, the 360° camera marking the vehicle’s movement range according to the steering wheel angle.
Additional systems are optionally available as individual items or in special packages. The Driving Assistance package Plus comprises DISTRONIC PLUS including BAS PLUS, PRE-SAFE® Brake, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist. The Parking package combines the described 360° camera including Active Parking Assist for automatic manoeuvring in and out of parking spaces and PARKTRONIC. The Lane Tracking package includes Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist. The Offroad Engineering package continues to be available, ensuring that the vehicle is well able to assert itself away from paved roads with Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR), off-road driving programme (adaptation of transmission shift points and accelerator characteristic), simulated “Gemtex” underguard in tough plastic and a raised suspension. Another new development is the Offroad Engineering package in combination with ILS. Offroad Light is available here for trips in difficult terrain. Specific headlamp settings provide for better off-road orientation by more widespread illumination of the field of vision.