Photo's and captions from 4car


Supercharged SUV: The ML55 AMG pictured here will feature a supercharged 5.5-litre V8, as well as subtle but sported-up AMG body styling kit. Expect lower, stiffer suspension - under test here in these photos - and the AMG Speedshift automatic transmission. Other engines in the range will include a diesel V6, likely to be the best-seller in Europe.

Two wheelbases: Two versions of the new M-Class will be offered, a long-wheelbase seven-seater, and a sportier five-seater SWB. Both versions lose the traditional 4x4 ladder-frame construction in favour of a car-like monocoque body, improving on-road refinement and handling.

Tough stance: Mercedes is keen to stress that the ML will remain the company's 'off-road' offering, though. Overall dimensions will be beefier, too, at 4700mm long and considerably wider than the outgoing model.

On air: Air suspension, specifically designed for off-road use, will be an option, standard on all V8 models; the COMAND II sat-nav kit will come with every ML, as will the brake-by-wire system used on the next SL and SLK.

Platform sharing: The new ML is to share its platform with the next-generation Chrysler Grand Cherokee, the upcoming M-B R-Class (Grand Sports Tourer cross-over vehicle) and, controversially, even the G-Class is said to be moving onto this unibody chassis.

160,000 a year: M-B reckons that this will only increase the vehicle's appeal, especially in the States: it is going to ramp up production to 160,000 M-Classes a year at its Alabama factory, twice the current output.

Notice the quad exhaust in the rear end pics.