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Mercedes takes the GLA underground

31 March 2014

Mercedes Benz chose a rather interesting way to introduce its new GLA to the UK market.

Most manufacturers make a big fuss about a car’s overlanding abilities, but you never hear about a car’s underground performance.

Merc noticed this issue and addressed it by hosting the GLA’s debut at the very core of the UK, some 189-metres below ground within the vast Winsford Rock Salt Mine in Cheshire – the site which supplies much of the gritting salt for our roads, providing grip and reassurance to the UK’s drivers.

In a unique project to take the car as far off the beaten track as possible, four standard, road-going examples of the new GLA were lowered, nose first, into the mine before being driven through the broken terrain beneath Cheshire.

Winsford, operated by Salt Union, is the UK’s largest rock salt mine and its oldest working mine – the mine stretches 5km east to west and 3km north to south. Mining operations since the 19th Century have left a void space of 23 million cubic metres.

The GLA was driven in the empty spaces left behind by the mining of salt – spaces now being filled by a thriving DeepStore document storage business. Organisations such as the National Archives now store millions of physical files deep below the ground in a secure and extremely dry environment – the mine naturally remains at a constant 14 degrees – making it ideal for such purposes.

The all-new GLA arrives in SA in mid April.