Mercedes makes light work of Scottish Highlands

A dozen Mercedes-Benz four-wheel drive vehicles have successfully traversed the UK, from the east coast to the west coast, without the use of any open public roads.

The 12 vehicles – a mixture of GLE, GLS and G-Class models – made the 65-mile journey across the Scottish Highlands, over the course of two days. The vehicles were all standard UK-specification cars, fitted with road-legal ‘mud tyres’, but with no modifications apart from the removal of side steps where fitted.

Leading the expedition was the iconic G-Class, which since 1979 has blended rugged go-anywhere ability and luxury. Its permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive, low-range gearbox and three fully lockable differentials ensure that it can cope in the roughest of all terrain – not least the gravel, rock, wet grass, rivers and gelatinous mud of the Highlands. It is hand-assembled in Graz, Austria, at the rate of just 15 vehicles a day.

Although the GLS’s quilted leather massage seats (standard on designo Line) could suggest it is more about opulence than off-roading, the Off-Road package ensures it is equally at home off the beaten track.

The Off-Road package adds a centre differential lock; protective underbody panelling; a low-range gearbox; fully manual mode for the automatic transmission; special off-road programming for the ABS, ESP and 4ETS traction control; and an extra three selectable ride heights for the standard AIRMATIC air suspension. It also adds to the standard Driver Select system’s ‘Off-road’ mode with an ‘Off-road Plus’ mode for especially difficult terrain.

The stylish GLE might more commonly be seen on high streets rather than the Highlands, but when also equipped with the Off-Road Package it makes light work of the most arduous of routes. Just like the GLS, the GLE managed the entire off-road route, from rocks to rivers to muddy fields.

James Ash


Content Marketing Executive at

November 18, 2016

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