The new generation Mercedes-Benz GLS is expected to debut later this year, as a BMW X7 and Range Rover SVAutobiography rival. The SUV will be followed by an even more luxurious version, which will be known as the Mercedes-Maybach GLS.
Expected to be priced at roughly $200,000, or about the same as the Lamborghini Urus, the Maybach SUV will be assembled in Alabama, reports AutoNews. This will make it the most expensive car built in the U.S., dethroning the current king, the Acura NSX, which costs $157,500.
“The U.S. market pretty much revived the G class, the G wagon and the AMG variants of that”, said HIS Markit analyst, Tim Urquhart, quoted by the news outlet. The Maybach SUV will thus “appeal to the Kardashians and hip-hoppers, if they want something slightly different to the G wagon.”
AutoPacific’s automotive analyst Ed Kim believes that luxury SUVs are what keep some companies going. “Without Cayenne, Porsche would not have the kind of money available to make 911s”, he said. But Porsche isn’t the only automaker doing so, as the Bentley Bentayga is based on the same platform as the Audi Q7, Volkswagen Touareg and aforementioned Cayenne, and so is the Lamborghini Urus.
Described by Mercedes USA CEO Dietmar Exler as a “halo car” for the brand, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS is thought to be powered by a 560-horsepower V8 engine. Daimler has the GLS 600 and GLS 680 monikers secured with the USPTO, so other versions will perhaps launch eventually.
The Maybach SUV is likely to be unveiled in China in the coming months, before going on sale next year.
As for the plant located in Vance, Alabama, this is where Mercedes also makes the GLS, GLE and GLE Coupe. The facility is currently getting a $1 billion investment to prepare for the production of electric vehicles early next decade.
Note: Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury Concept pictured in the Gallery