Mercedes is looking to take on Rolls-Royce and Bentley with an ultra-luxurious version of its GLS SUV.
This is the Mercedes-Maybach GLS — this first SUV to use the Maybach moniker. Though on the same platform and body as the regular GLS, it takes on distinctive styling changes to distinguish itself as the most luxurious offering in the range.
Up front, a completely redesigned front bumper sees a large badge-less grille sit above a large mesh panel, while the option of a two-tone paint finish is on offer. 22- or 23-inch alloy wheels can be specified, and Mercedes’ Multibeam LED headlight system is a standard fixture.
Powering the Maybach GLS is an AMG-derived 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine. It sends its 550bhp and 730Nm of torque to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic gearbox, with an additional 22bhp and 250Nm available from a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. As a result, 0-60mph comes in 4.7 seconds with the car’s top speed electronically limited to 155mph.
One final key change to the Maybach GLS’ exterior is the addition of electronically-activated running boards. These units retract when one of the doors which, along with the air suspension dropping the car’s ride height by 25mm, allows for easier access to the cabin.
It’s inside the cabin where the biggest changes come, however. Though the layout of controls and dials is largely the same, there’s now a four-seat option available — aimed at delivering maximum passenger comfort.
A plethora of high-quality leathers are used throughout, while the two rear seats are capable of reclining. The rear row also benefits from a fixed centre console which houses separate climate control functions and an optional champagne cooler.
Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system is a standard-fit item, albeit with Maybach-specific visual changes. A 64-colour ambient lighting system is also included, along with a 27-speaker Burmester audio setup.
Pricing and specifications for the Mercedes-Maybach GLS are yet to be confirmed, though deliveries are expected in the latter half of 2020. A price well north of £150,000 is a safe expectation, with optional extras sending that even higher.