The Mercedes GLS is large and luxurious, but it’s about to get more exclusive as the company is putting the finishing touches on a Maybach variant.
Designed to compete with the Bentley Bentayga and Royce-Rolls Cullinan, the range-topping model has been spied virtually undisguised ahead of its debut this fall.
Like the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the ultra-luxury GLS is distinguished by a unique grille with vertical bars. Additional changes are limited, but the model has been equipped with massive wheels that are wrapped in Continental PremiumContact 6 tires.
The rear end has also been modified as it features a unique fascia and bumper. The changes will likely go unnoticed by most people, but the updates mean the reflectors are now mounted higher up than on the mainstream GLS. Lastly, there are new exhaust tips with horizontal chrome accents.
While the exterior styling changes are minor, designers will focus their efforts on improving the cabin. Nothing is official, but it’s believed the model will have power adjustable second-row executive seats which are separated by a center console. We can also expect premium leather upholstery, additional wood trim and Maybach-branded pillows. Other highlights should include additional sound deadening material, power rear window blinds and an Air Balance system which wafts Maybach Agarwood perfume into the cabin.
Besides the Maybach-specific features, the model should come with virtually all of the options and standard equipment from the mainstream GLS. As a result, we can expect a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch infotainment system and 7-inch MBUX tablets in the rear passenger compartment. Buyers should also find an ambient lighting system, heated / cooled cup holders and a Burmester premium audio system. There should also be heated, ventilated and massaging seats as well as a four- or five-zone climate control system.
Power will likely be provided by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine that produces 483 hp (360 kW / 490 PS) and 516 lb-ft (699 Nm) of torque. It should be backed up by an EQ Boost starter generator which can contribute an additional 21 hp (16 kW / 21 PS) and 184 lb-ft (249 Nm) of torque for short bursts of performance.
In the GLS 580, the powertrain enables the model to accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in approximately 5.2 seconds. Given enough room, the GLS will eventually hit a limited top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h).