What is wrong with the world? Here we have the number 420 on a truck with a diesel engine, yet we won’t get to make a single joke about joints or bongs or how it puts out more smoke than a VW full of high schoolers and a Phish concert. This diesel concept, the GL420 Bluetec, is simply too clean. Damn you, progress.
But not being able to make jokes might be the only downside of this GL. Because it is a concept, it gets massive twenty-one-inch wheels and a unique, in-your-face grille. Under the hood lies a 290-horsepower V-8 putting out a whopping 515 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes-Benz claims that the engine will allow the GL420 Bluetec to achieve a combined 24 miles per gallon and to drive as far as 600 miles on one tank of diesel fuel. We had a chance to drive a Euro-spec GL420 TDI back-to-back with the current GL320 TDI through Iceland’s unforgiving back country, and while the 320 was nothing special, the 420 was an absolute rocket (a very quiet rocket) of a two-plus ton SUV. It’s the one we want and the one we’d buy. It appears that Mercedes-Benz heard our cries, because it has confirmed plans to release new Bluetec models of not only the GL-class, but also the ML- and R-class as early as 2008. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.