What if roads did not exist at all? What if the asphalt disappeared by magic and everyone would just have to drive in the off-road? Mercedes-Benz started on an original journey, driving from coast to coast, from east to west of Scotland, from Novar to Ullapool, without setting a single wheel on the road.
Scale rocks, streams and rivers, mud and gravel. What would the perfect car for that be? It is a tough choice, as the travelers need something that can withstand the hard terrain, but also provide safety and comfort. Something robust and reliable and preferably featuring heated seats. November in Scotland is dead cold, windy and rainy.
So they picked the Mercedes-Benz GLS 350d 4Matic, with some very special bits, as the indispensable all-wheel drive and lock differential. Off-road tires, connectivity devices that can send signals if the team gets stuck in the middle of nowhere and additional ride height would do the job and get the team through the challenge.
The journey starts with a very steep descent and the GLS puts in all its resources, so it doesn’t roll over from the very start. The first part of our journey has taken them a few miles over the Novar estate and up a hill overlooking Cromarty Firth. Stage 1 complete at 11:17 of the first day.
By late afternoon, the car has already made its way through hard off-road surfaces, tackling stones and mud and slippery slopes. A G-Class and a GLE follow close behind. Just in case.
The front bumper has been centimeters away from being ripped off the car, while crossing a river. The driver miraculously managed to stop in time, reverse and choose a different trace. Unbelievably, the car is still intact.
By 20:37, the team wraps the day in Alledale. Reflecting on the hours of driving, they know the car did not miss a single beat.
The second day starts early. They are marching ahead as the forecast shows warnings on snow. The GLS makes its way through the Scottish highlands. They stop for a lunch break to gain power and off they go again, straight into an area that kind of compromises the position of the GLS: mud almost swallowed the massive SUV. It looks firm and dry, but the car sinks into deep liquid. But they eventually manage to pull it out and soldier through.
Shattered rocks follow. A possible puncture or a slipping off a ledge and falling are the hazards. Luckily, neither happens.
By 17:00, the team nears to the end, Ullapool is now within miles. They drive across the golf course to the sea. After two days onboard the GLS, there is a single discontent: the car is just too comfortable.