Set to be key rivals of the Bentley Bentayga, Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic and yet-to-be-launched Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the luxury SUV will cost around £150,000
20 January 2017

Mercedes-Benz is set to crown its current seven-strong SUV line-up with a plush new Maybach-badged GLS model that’s been conceived to act as an up-market rival to the likes of the Bentley Bentayga, Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic and yet-to-be-launched Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

Planned for launch in 2019 at a price around £150,000, the big new SUV is based around the upcoming third-generation GLS and is being developed to offer performance, accommodation and features consummate with the existing Mercedes-Maybach S-class launched in 2015, according to senior Mercedes-Benz officials, who 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 racey Mayach 6 Coupe concept revealed at the Pebble Beach Concourse 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 up-market SUV is expected to sport a different grille and unique  headlamp and tail lamp 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 boast an extended wheelbase in a bid to provide it with the sort of rear seat legroom 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 SV Autobiography long wheelbase but 80mm longer than that of the 5140mm long Bentley Bentayga.

Inside the second of the new generation of Maybach models is planned to boast a luxuriously equipped cabin with appointments and materials beyond those of Mercedes-Benz’s existing Designo line. Among the more unique touches will be Maybach themed digital instrument infotainment system graphics, says an insider closely involved in the new model’s development.

Although the standard third-generation GLS is planned to offer seating for up to seven on three rows of seats, the new Maybach model is set to offer two rows of seats with dedicated seating for four, or, as optional, five.  

Among the engines likely to be offered by the future range-topping GLS model is Mercedes-Benz’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine mated to a standard nine-speed automatic, with both 4Matic four-wheel drive and Air Body Control air suspension set to be standard. Insiders also hint at plans for a twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 flagship, although this is yet to be officially acknowledged. Also under development for the new GLS are petrol-electric and diesel-electric hybrid drivetrains – the latter of which is set to debut in the E-class later this year.

 Mercedes-Benz’s plan to extend the Maybach line-up to include a GLS based model comes after strong sales of the Mercedes-Maybach S-class, which has racked up some 15,000 sales worldwide since its launch in 2015.

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Maybach S 600

Exceptional in many ways and never less than good in others; a £165,700 bargain, of sorts

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Comments
12

20 January 2017
It seems a stupid name is a prerequisite to compete in the class.

20 January 2017
@k12479 I agree, with Cullinan being the worst offender, I hope that's not the final name Rolls chooses.

Also hope Bentley change their mind on the Barnato name of their next sports car.

20 January 2017
This SUV will be awful, so will the X7. The only one I like is the Q8 concept - let's hope Audi preserves it for the production model.

20 January 2017
the smart money would be best to steer well clear ,neither the class or desirability in that price range will depreciate like a bottomless bucket trying to carry water.

20 January 2017
I thought it was a hearse until I read the headline.

20 January 2017
Aimed at North America, Russia, China. Need I say more. I imagine most of the target market are the sort of people who had to buy their own houses and furniture......

 

 

 

21 January 2017
Deputy wrote:

Aimed at North America, Russia, China. Need I say more. I imagine most of the target market are the sort of people who had to buy their own houses and furniture......

I bought my own house...and most of the furniture...but I wouldn't drive any of the vile jeeps mentioned above if they gave me the hundred and fifty grand.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

21 January 2017
Merc make excellent vans, so no reason this one shouldn't continue the tradition, just as long as an upright piano will fit through the rear doors.

21 January 2017
Can't see the point of this, even most rich people will ask, what and who is maybach ?

22 January 2017
How on earth are we meant to spot:

1. Premiership footballers
2. Those visually challenges
3. Loadsamonies

....at a distance and avoid them without these gaudy wealth displays?

Thank you Benthly and Mercedes for helping the general populace avoid the vulgar. Keep up the good work chaps.

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