Mercedes GLK 'will come in right hand drive'
15 April 2008 16:31
It´s still top secret, but there is a 99 percent chance that the new Mercedes GLK will be available in right-hand drive form by mid-2010. CAR Online has spoken to a senior engineer on the programme and has the inside line on Merc's junior 4x4 - a shrunken, and rather angular, mini M-class. It would be the first right-hooker M-B passenger car with 4-Matic, paving the way for future 4WD versions of the C-class and the next E-class. The project engineer we spoke to, who preferred not to be named, said: 'We looked at the numbers, and we listened to the importers. There is clearly demand for the GLK from such high-margin markets as the UK, Japan and Australia. Trouble is, converting the hardware costs about €50m and it will take approximately two years.'
A right-hand drive GLK: not an easy job...
'Sadly, it´s not simply a matter of swapping driveshafts and adding a diff,' added our tame engineer. 'Due to packageing constraints, and since the uni-directional helical gear currently drives the front wheels from the right-hand side of the transmission housing, we need to develop a new application offset to the left which will likely be chain-driven.
'Of course, it makes sense to look at the big picture and to include the C-class, the next E-class and all derivatives in this advanced 4-Matic
If the proposal gets approved, the first rhd GLK mules will leave the prototype shop later this year.
To read our previous scoops on the GLK, click hereShould Merc bring the GLK to the UK? Or are there enough premium 4x4s out there? Click 'Add your comment' and have your say