Mercedes-Benz is set to crown its SUV line-up with a plush new Maybach-badged GLS model that’s been conceived to act as an upmarket rival to the likes of the Bentley Bentayga, Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic and Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
Sources at the Frankfurt motor show revealed the GLS Maybach is planned for launch later this year at a price of around £150,000. It has been developed to offer performance, accommodation and features commensurate with the existing Mercedes-Maybach S-Class launched in 2015, according to senior Mercedes-Benz officials. They cite China, North America and Russia among the new model’s key target markets.
Autocar can confirm the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS will receive its own unique styling elements, many of which will be drawn directly from the Mercedes-Maybach 6 coupé concept revealed at Pebble Beach in 2016 as a preview to the future of Mercedes-Benz’s Maybach sub-brand.
Despite retaining the same aluminium, high-strength steel and composite body panels as future standard GLS models, the new upmarket SUV is expected to sport a different grille and unique headlight and tail-light graphics, as well as added chrome and individual wheel designs in a move aimed at providing it with a more noble appearance in line with the current Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
Secrecy surrounds the layout of the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS, although there are suggestions it could also have an extended wheelbase in an attempt to provide it with the sort of rear-seat leg room offered by the luxury SUV competition. The current 5130mm-long second-generation GLS rides on a 3080mm wheelbase – some 40mm shorter than that used by the 5199mm-long Range Rover SVAutobiography Long Wheelbase but 80mm longer than that of the 5140mm-long Bentley Bentayga.