Spy shots from the set of the dinosaur-based action film Jurassic World have revealed the brand-new Mercedes GLE SUV taking a starring automotive role. The marque has a history with the film series and launched the original M-Class SUV in conjunction with the second film, The Lost World, in 1997.
The shots only show an unmodified GLE looking pretty among the film’s stars, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. We reckon, good as the GLE is, it’d be better beating the streets of LA than sprinting away from a hungry T-Rex. Its low ground clearance, huge alloys and definitely-not-dino-proof windows might make trips around the park somewhat hairy.
So we took the GLE and gave it everything it’d need to give a bunch of vicious antique reptiles a run for their money – and doesn’t it look good?
The most obvious change is the bold yellow, green and red colour scheme borrowed from the Ford Explorer that featured in the first film. The striking new look helps the GLE stand out from the undergrowth – handy when making a break for your vehicle if you’re hot-footing it from a gang of greedy carnivores.
Having learned lessons from the park’s highly-questionable safety record, the new car gets a beefy exoskeleton – effectively a roll-cage fitted outside the car – to protect it from rolling over and peckish predators. Joining it are hardened steel slats protecting the windows from all manner of claws, jaws and horns.
Rugged lower-body cladding protects vulnerable components from being bashed when traversing rocky ground. The front panel features a sturdy winch which could be used to pull the car out of ruts, save stranded tourists or even pull a sore tooth from a T-Rex’s mouth – although you should probably only try the latter under professional supervision.
The GLE’s standard lighting array might not be powerful enough when blasting through the deepest, darkest jungle, so the Jurassic World version features bright bar lights on the roof to illuminate the way and, if necessary, signal to other vehicles or attendants. This is complemented by floor lights in the bumper to see obstacles on the ground and a pair of wing mirror-mounted spotlights should occupants need to search their surroundings.
Keen to avoid any of the ‘issues’ affecting previous parks, the owners would insist on the fitment of a roof-mounted harpoon gun. The reason? Dart guns are used to deliver medicine or anaesthetic to large mammals but, when dealing with dinosaurs, you need a little more firepower. The GLE also carries spiked harpoons but, hopefully, occupants won’t need to use it – although the trailer for Jurassic World does show a rather hungry water-based dino, so shore-side sniping is an option with our GLE.
To help the GLE work off-road, the car comes fitted with chunky all-terrain tyres to stop it getting bogged down. Major car/film buffs get extra points if you notice the previous-generation M-Class’ wheels. The current GLE doesn’t have off-road wheels as an option so these are the logical choice – they may also be all that’s left of the original M-Classes sent to the island…
To enhance the GLE’s new-found off-road credentials, the car comes with a beefed-up suspension setup. By raising the ride height by up to 50mm, the car becomes more able to cross rocky paths, can climb and descend hills at more extreme angles and can wade through water that’s that much deeper.
Finally, to prevent any unwanted loss of vehicles, property or lives, the park’s owners will make sure the car comes equipped for any eventuality. Hence the fitment of a spare wheel and sand ladders to help pull the GLE out of rutted or soft ground. A small jerry can for diesel is fitted too but, considering the GLE will be a lot more efficient than the M-Class, occupants probably won’t need it too often.
It’s so cool it almost makes you want to risk getting mauled by a Megalodon just to take it for a spin – make sure you keep the harpoon loaded! Why not check out our full preview of the Mercedes GLE, then look at the other madcap carwow creations including the 2016 Ford GT GT3 race car and Tesla’s potential new models.
Jurassic World Mercedes GLE images by YasidDESIGN for carwow.