Mercedes-Maybach is preparing to extend its line-up beyond the S-Class with a plush range-topping version of the upcoming third-generation GLS (formerly GL), and it will be preview the ultra-luxurious 4x4 later this month with a concept car.
Maybach is considered an important brand for Mercedes to develop given the rising demand for luxury models, particularly in the SUV sector, with rivals such as Bentley and Land Rover having notable success with the Bentayga and Range Rover respectively.
Mercedes has also seen strong growth of its AMG performance arm, which achieved 131,970 sales in 2017, and it would like to emulate this success with Maybach on a smaller but still profitable scale.
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS will then be revealed in production form at the Los Angeles motor show in November. The car is tipped to be priced above £120,000 when sales begin in 2019.
The model will build on initiatives taken with the two-year-old Mercedes-Maybach S-Class (below).
It will share the same basic aluminium-and-steel bodyshell and advanced four-wheel- drive underpinnings as the regular GLS. However, its upmarket positioning will be justified by a series of subtle exterior design tweaks and a significantly more luxurious interior.
Insiders involved in the development of the forthcoming concept car, known internally as the Maybach 9, say it will not only preview the look of the SUV, with a bold new grille among the key elements, but also highlight the kind of high-end features, including autonomous driving functions, due to be offered.