Beyond the new ML expected in 2005, Mercedes-Benz is aiming another model at the burgeoning sport utility market, called the Grand Sport Tourer (GST).
By LANCE BRANQUINHO
Beyond the new ML expected in 2005, Mercedes-Benz is aiming another model at the burgeoning sport utility market.
Unveiled at the Detroit motor show, Mercedes-Benz showcased the Grand Sport Tourer (GST), although industry insiders speculate the production version will be called the ‘R-Class’.
Expected to slot in between the E- and S-Class, the Mercedes-Benz GST looks more like an oversized Euro-MPV than a budding contender in the soft roader market. Expected to share many components, especially drive trains, with the new ML, the GST will be available with a standard and stretched wheelbase, the latter to accommodate American buyers need for a third row of seats. Drive will be through all four wheels, and an air suspension arrangement is also expected.
Power trains are likely to be carried over from other Mercedes-Benz models, with the venerable 3,2 and 5-litre V6 and V8 motors making up the backbone of the model range respectively. AMG will provide a range topping 6,3 litre V8 producing 370 kW. The GST concept was originally shown in 2002 with a 4,0-litre turbocharged diesel-electric hybrid motor, which is expected to be both immensely powerful (233 kW) and diesel miserly in consumption.
Prices are expected to start at R345 000, with production beginning at the retooled Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama in 2005.
Original article from Car