The Frankfurt motor show has leaked plans of Mercedes-Benz launching its GLS Maybach later this year to go against the likes of Bentley’s Bentayga, Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic as well as the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Mercedes’ senior representatives say that the luxury SUV has been designed to offer features proportionate to those of the current Mercedes-Maybach S-Class – these are not particularly known for excluding luxury and performance.
According to Autocar, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS will draw styling elements from the Mercedes-Maybach 6 coupe concept that was revealed at Pebble Beach back in 2016 albeit with some of its own unique cues.
Although the Mercedes-Maybach GLS is said to be retaining the same body panels that standard GLS models will wear in future with a wealth of aluminium, high-strength and composite panels. The upmarket SUV is expected to mark itself from the rest of its stablemates with a different grille and unique head and taillight graphics. Being a Mercedes-Maybach, we can also expect added chrome and individual wheel designs that speaks in the same noble language as the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
Mercedes-Benz was a bit hesitant to reveal the layout of the luxury SUV, but we can expect it to house a wheelbase that sits between the LWB Range Rover SVAutobiography and the Bentley Bentayga. The interior, however, is promised to feature appointments and materials beyond Mercedes-Benz’s existing Designo scope of work. These are set to include a Maybach-themed digital cluster.
Another aspect that will separate the Mercedes-Maybach GLS from its lesser stablemates will be the seating arrangement. While the regular third-generation GLS is promised to house three rows of seats offering seating for seven, the Maybach derivative is set to accommodate just four occupants with seating for five as an option.
It is yet to be official whether or not a flagship 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 model will be made available, but Autocar confirms that Mercedes-AMG’s familiar 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 unit is invited to the dance mated to a nine-speed auto ‘box. The power train will feature both the Air Body Control air suspension and 4Matic four-wheel-drive system. Also in the works for the new SUV are two hybrid powertrains, one of them will feature a diesel engine and is set to debut later this year powering the E-Class.
The commercial success of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, as well as the growing market for luxury SUVs, have spawned the idea of Mercedes-Benz extending its Maybach line up with a GLS-based model. The manufacturer is mainly targeting the North American, Russian and Chinese markets with the upmarket GLS.