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V8 GLE 580: Mighty hybrid ready for launch in US market

  • Mighty wagon magic on way from Mercedes
  • World’s first 48-volt active suspension, too
  • Starter/generator a double-edged feature
MERCEDES V8 GLE 580 4MATIC: Mighty power from a combination of powerful electric/V8 biturbo petrol engine with a 48-volt electrical system. Image: Mercedes-Benz

NEW YORK – Mercedes-Benz will expand its GLE range in the US with the introduction of a V8 GLE 580 4Matic that comes with”a host” of innovations that ”establish industry benchmarks”.

”For example,” the automaker says, ”the GLE is the first SUV in the Mercedes range to introduce  E-Active body-control suspension – said to be the world’s first 48-volt active suspension.”

The wagons also, Mercedes says, premiere ”extended” driving assistance systems with ”active stop/go” and a third row of seats.

The cabin has the brand’s latest technology, including a ”user experience” infotainment system capable of voice control and the ability to understand requests, its display a 31cm  dual digital touchscreen and satnav.

CAPTION

Drive power comes from ”a powerful electric/V8 biturbo petrol engine with a 48-volt electrical system and integrated starter/generator.

HYBRID FUNCTIONS

This arrangement can make 360kW/700Nm with an extra 250Nm and 16 extra kW through EQ Boost for short bursts.

The starter/generator is responsible for hybrid functions such as EQ Boost and battery recuperation, resulting in fuel savings previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology.

The innovative ISG eliminates the need for a belt drive for ancillary components at the front of the engine, which reduces its overall length, and the slim design of the engine, with the physical separation of the intake/exhaust, creates space for a close-coupled exhaust after-treatment.

READ MANY MORE Mercedes features on Carman’s Corner

The 48V electrical system serves not only high power-consumers such as the water pump and aircon compressor, but also the integrated starter-generator (ISG) which also supplies energy to the battery through highly efficient energy recuperation.

The GLE 580 4MATIC also has the latest tech, including variable all-wheel drive, a redesigned cabin with more overall space for passengers, adaptive air suspension, leather upholstery, and exterior AMG Line.

The cars are expected in the US towards the end of 2019. It’s not yet known if the cars will reach South Africa but, as a price guide, they cost about $76 000 in the US – or R1 095 426 (May 2019) not including VAT and import duties.

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