Mercedes-Benz M ML-Class Third generation
|Assembly||United States: Tuscaloosa, Alabama Mexico: Toluca, Estado de Mexico India: Chakan, India|
|Class||Mid-size crossover SUV|
|Engine||3.5 L V6 4.6 L V8 5.5 L V8 2.1 L I4 diesel 3.0 L V6 diesel|
|Transmission||7-speed automatic CVT automatic (hybrid)|
|Wheelbase||114.8 in (2,916 mm)|
|Length||4,803 mm (189.1 in) AMG: 4,820 mm (189.8 in) Hybrid: 4,780 mm (188.2 in)|
|Width||1,926 mm (75.8 in) AMG: 1,950 mm (76.8 in) Hybrid: 1,980 mm (77.8 in)|
|Height||1,796 mm (70.7 in) AMG: 1,860 mm (73.3 in)|
|Curb weight||2,150 kg (4,700 lb)|
In 2006, development began on the next-generation M-Class and spanned over a period of 5 years, a much shorter duration than its predecessor. In 2008, the final design was approved and patented domestically on December 16, 2008(U.S. design patent filed on June 15, 2009). The newly redesigned M-class (chassis name W166) was introduced in pre-production form 10 June 2011 as a 2012 model. The first customer-designated W166 rolled off the Tuscaloosa production line on 20 July. It is moderately refined, taking styling cues from the new generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class. An increase in rear seat legroom has been implemented, alongside adjustable rear back-rests. It was to be launched in September 2011.
New features in the 2012 M-Class include an updated 7G-Tronic Plus seven-speed automatic transmission to provide improved fuel economy, optional Adaptive Cruise Control (Distronic Plus), Active Lane Departure Warning System, and an adjustable-height air suspension (AirMatic).
An On&Off Road Package is available for most markets (now including North America) as of the 2013 model year. The package adds a two-speed dual range Magna Powertrain transfer case with center differential lock, reduction gearing, underbody skid plates, and a 6-mode selectable terrain driving program system. The rear differential lock has been discontinued.
Open front and rear differentials are fitted, and use four-wheel electronic traction system (4-ETS) to simulate front and rear differential locks.
The current Popemobile is based on the 2012 M-Class and was delivered in December 2012.