New GLA: demonstrating just how efficient an SUV can be
Stuttgart. Progressive in design, serene in day-to-day motoring and with off-road capability – as a wanderer between automotive worlds, the Mercedes-Benz GLA impressively reinterprets the compact SUV segment. It also boasts high environmental compatibility, as has now been confirmed by the neutral inspectors from the TÜV Süd technical inspection authority, who have awarded the GLA-Class from Mercedes-Benz the Environmental Certificate in accordance with ISO standard TR 14062. The award is based on a comprehensive life-cycle assessment of the model series, documenting every detail of relevance for the environment.
“We have already demonstrated with the M- and the GLK-Class that energy efficiency and environmental compatibility are fully reconcilable with an SUV. As one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its segment, the new GLA-Class is now setting benchmarks in the SUV world,” notes Professor Dr Herbert Kohler, Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG.
Mercedes-Benz analyses the environmental compatibility of its models throughout their entire life cycle – from production, through their long years of service, to recycling at the end of their lives. This analysis goes far beyond the legal requirements.
Leading the segment with a Cd value of 0.29
The GLA deploys only state-of-the-art four-cylinder engines with turbocharging and direct injection, and the ECO start/stop function is always standard. All the engines in the GLA already meet the Euro 6 emissions standard and both diesel units are in efficiency class A. Two petrol engines and two diesel engines will initially be available. The combined consumption of the TÜV-certified basic variant – the GLA 200 rated at 115 kW (156 hp) – is an economical 5.9 l per 100 km. The diesel variants also ensure a very high level of efficiency. The GLA 200 CDI rated at 100 kW (136 hp) runs on 4.5 – 4.3 l per 100 km, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 119 g – 114 g/km. The GLA 220 CDI rated at 125 kW (170 hp) displays a similarly low level of fuel consumption, at 4.6 – 4.4 l/100 km.
The excellent aerodynamics are crucial to this high efficiency: with the GLA, yet another model series is set to become the leader in its segment with respect to aerodynamic efficiency. It has a Cd value of 0.29. At 0.66 m2 the drag area, Cd x A, which decisively affects fuel consumption from around 60 km/h, is also outstanding.
A host of other measures, from in-engine optimisation to intelligent lightweight design, also help to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The most important measures at a glance:
- For all petrol and diesel powertrains: Friction- optimised engines with turbocharging, direct injection and thermal management; petrol engines with CAMTRONIC (GLA 200).
- Friction-optimised 6-speed manual transmission and 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, both featuring high-geared configurations.
- Regulated fuel and oil pump are able to adjust pump output according to required load.
- Intelligent generator management in conjunction with an efficient generator ensures that consumers are powered from the battery during acceleration, while during braking part of the resulting energy is recuperated and fed back into the battery.
- Highly efficient air conditioning compressor with optimised oil management, reduced displacement and magnetic clutch which avoids friction losses.
- With the electromechanical Direct Steer system (standard on all models), the power steering requires energy only when the driver actually turns the steering wheel.
- Wheel bearings with substantially reduced friction.
- Use of tyres with optimised rolling resistance.
- Weight optimisation through the use of lightweight materials.
Increased use of recycled and natural materials
The GLA-Class already currently meets the recoverability rate of 95 percent by weight, which will be mandatory as of 2015. The European ELV Directive 2000/53/EC additionally requires vehicle manufacturers to continually increase the input of recycled materials in their production processes. In all, the new GLA-Class incorporates 41 components representing a total weight of 35.9 kilograms which can be produced with the partial use of high-quality recycled plastics.
There is also an increased emphasis on closed automobile materials cycles: the wheel arch linings, for example, are made from reprocessed starter batteries and bumper coverings.
In all, 46 components in the new GLA-Class with a total weight of 21 kilograms are made using natural materials. The load compartment cover is partially made from recycled paper, for example, and is only half as heavy as a conventional component. A multi-patented material composition and the attendant manufacturing process furthermore reduce CO2 emissions during component production by 60 per cent.