We already know what the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLS looks like but today the wraps officially come off at the New York Auto Show.
The BMW X7 rival looks like a bigger GLE which is actually is, given that it shares many underpinnings with the midsize luxury SUV. It’s the largest and most luxurious SUV ever to wear the three-pointed star badge.
Actually, the 2020 GLS even trumps its massive predecessor for size as it’s 77 mm (3 in) longer and 22 mm (0.86 in) wider. Most importantly, it has a 60 mm (2.4 in) longer wheelbase that now measures 3,137mm (123.5 in). What that means is it offers more passenger space, especially on the second- and third-row. The latter is said to offer enough room to accommodate people up to 1.94 m (6ft4) tall.
Cavernous cabin with up to seven seats and 2,400 liters (84.7 cu-ft) of cargo volume
All three rows of seats are fully electrically adjustable and offer passengers “a generous amount of space and outstanding seating comfort,” according to the automaker. When not needed, the seats in the third row can be lowered into the floor to increase cargo volume, while the seats in the second row fold flat.
With the second- and third-row seats folded, the cargo capacity expands to a cavernous 2,400 liters (84.7 cu-ft). Besides the standard seven-seat arrangement, Mercedes-Benz offers the GLS as a six-seater with two luxury individual rear seats in the second row. This option is a first for the nameplate.
New GLS 580 4Matic range-topper with 482 hp electrified gasoline V8
At the New York Show, the 2020 GLS celebrates its world premiere in GLS 580 4Matic guise. The unusual moniker designates an electrified 4.0-liter V8 engine featuring the EQ Boost 48-volt system with integrated starter-generator. The range-topping engine delivers 489 PS (482 hp) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque, with the ISG adding a further 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) and 22 PS (21 hp) available via EQ Boost over short periods.
The engine lineup will also include six-cylinder engines, using both gasoline and diesel fuel. The GLS 450 4Matic features an electrified 3.0-liter straight-six engine that makes 367 PS (362 hp) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque. It benefits from the same EQ Boost 48-volt system with integrated starter-generator. This engine variant will not be available in the European Union, though.
Straight-six turbo diesels only for Europe, Russia, and other markets
Europe, Russia, and other markets will get two 2.9-liter straight-six OM 656 diesels instead: the GLS 350 d 4Matic and the GLS 400 d 4Matic. The former produces 286 PS (282 hp) and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) while the latter delivers 330 PS (325 hp) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft). All engines offered on the GLS come equipped as standard with the 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive. There’s no information on AMG and Maybach versions yet but they will arrive later with 8- and (hopefully) 12-cylinder power.
Speaking of AWD, the standard transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100 percent (torque on demand) between the axles. Mercedes also offers an optional transfer case with reduction gear specifically designed for superior off-road driving characteristics.
On and off road, the optional 48-volt E-Active Body Control active suspension is said to offer “outstanding suspension comfort, agile handling and a high degree of off-road capability.” The standard suspension is the Airmatic air suspension system with Adaptive Damping System Plus.
The latest tech available, including for rear passengers
The GLS also offers the latest tech including the MBUX infotainment system with two large 12.3-inch screens, available full-color Head‑up Display, MBUX Rear Seat Entertainment System with two 11.6-inch screens, and Rear Comfort package Plus (separate 7-inch Android tablet that controls all MBUX functions from the rear seats).
New driving assistance systems include Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Stop-and-Go Assist, Trailer Manoeuvring Assist, and more. The all-new GLS will arrive in the United States and Europe at the end of the year.