The successor to Mercedes’ current range-topping SUV can be seen sporting a design similar to that of the smaller and also recently spotted new GLE, which is due next year.
The GLS’s significantly larger scale is emphasised by its boxier rear section, although part of this is due to cladding applied to the development car to hide its design.
Like the current GLS, the next-gen car will share many parts with the S-Class, including its powertrains. The S-Class gets six and eight-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines, a six-cylinder turbo diesel and a petrol-electric hybrid, so expect a similar line-up with the GLS.
Key to the engine line-up’s latest improvements is a 48V electric system that uses an electric booster compressor and integrated starter generator to enable mild hybrid running.
At the top of the range will be a GLS 63 with AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 powerplant, likely with the same 612bhp on offer as in the S63.
Much of the SUV’s in-car tech will also be carried across from the S-Class, including its autonomous features. The 2017 S-Class introduced Mercedes’ latest Distronic Active Proximity Control and Active Steer Assist systems, which can automatically accelerate and brake the car within posted speed limits while providing autonomous steering for periods of up to 30sec.