The third generation of Mercedes-Benz's wildly popular M-class has been unveiled, and it sports a wider, cleaner new grille and a new V6 diesel engine.
The ML350 BlueTEC gets a newly massaged 3-liter V6 diesel engine that's 50-state compliant and features 55-lb/ft more torque than the last engine, bringing that figure up to 455. It also has 240 horsepower, an increase of 30hp over the previous engine. As far as mileage goes, the increase is far more subtle: 20/25 instead of 18/25 city/highway mpg, but the torque is a far more entertaining trade-off.
The other engine is a 3.5-liter V6 engine with direct injection, which features 302 horsepower and 2743 lb/ft of torque. Both of these are available with a seven-speed automatic transmission with a new oil thermal management system. Underneath, the M-Class features what Mercedes calls AGILITY CONTROL, but what normal people call active damping: the shocks can firm up based on current driving conditions, enhancing stability.
Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but it shouldn't be too far off the mark of the current M-Class's starting MSRP of $47,365.
More: 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Unveiled With New Diesel Engine, 7-Speed Transmission