• New Mercedes-Maybach GLS Spotted Before Los Angeles Motor Show Debut

It’s big, beautiful, and reeks of luxury

The first prototype of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS has been spotted testing in Germany prior to its debut at the Los Angeles motor show. This is the top-of-the-line Maybach model. Mercedes is planning to expand the Maybach line-up with lavish models, and what better way to do that than to add the GLS to a portfolio known mainly for stretched limos!

What To Expect?

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS, which could be called the GLS560, was spotted in camouflage and featured unique vertical grille slats.

While the rest of the body was hidden, the GLS might feature chrome detailing to make it look plush and luxurious.

Being a Maybach model, a distinct badge and unique wheels are also expected. Apart from these changes, there might be a few more tweaks all around the body. The main changes, however, will occur to the interior. Instead of having the regular seven-seat layout, the Maybach variant could have a four-seat layout with captain chairs in place. This way, the cabin will seem roomier as well as comfortable.

A Versatile Platform

New Mercedes-Maybach GLS Spotted Before Los Angeles Motor Show Debut
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The Maybach GLS shares the same aluminum-and-steel bodyshell and advanced four-wheel- drive as the regular GLS.

It sits on the latest Modular High Architecture platform that also underpins the smaller GLE.

This platform provides a significant reduction in curb weight over the old GLS and can support a 48-volt electrical architecture and the very latest in radar, camera, and sensor-supported driving functions. The platform is extended to give it a similar footprint to the BMW X7. Sources reveal that the SUV will be showcased completely, highlighting even the autonomous features.

Under The Hood

New Mercedes-Maybach GLS Spotted Before Los Angeles Motor Show Debut
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Coming to the powertrain department, the Maybach GLS could offer the AMG-developed M177 engine that is also offered in the recently launched S560. In the sedan, the engine produces 462 horses. This engine features a cylinder shutdown function for better economy. And, it makes complete sense; after all, who needs all the cylinders to fire up in city limits unless you’re planning to recreate fast and furious movie scenes?

This new engine will replace the twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-8 unit that is used in the current Mercedes-Benz GLS 500.

The Maybach GLS could also be offered as a plug-in hybrid that was unveiled in the S560e. It’s a new 3.0-liter, turbocharged, six-cylinder with an electric supercharger that churns out 362 horses. It comes with a 121-horsepower electric motor and offers an electric range of 31 miles.

Maybach May Be On a Verge of Reincarnation

New Mercedes-Maybach GLS Spotted Before Los Angeles Motor Show Debut
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Until a few years ago, luxury was limited to sedans. Outside of a few models, SUVs were generally considered as rough-and-tough vehicles and were never obligated to have opulent interiors.

But with the arrival of uber-cool, dripping-in-luxury SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga and the Rolls Royce Cullinan, things seem to have changed.

People now know what luxury in big beasts feels like, and there is a huge rise in the demand for such SUVs. From the German’s point-of-view, its standard cars and the AMG performance wing is doing quite well; with the latter selling over 130,000 cars last year. Mercedes would aim to emulate a similar success with Maybach as well.

What They Said

New Mercedes-Maybach GLS Spotted Before Los Angeles Motor Show Debut
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A Mercedes official told Autocar, “We have been quietly surprised by the sales success of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, which is proving extremely popular in many key markets. The plan now is to extend the exclusivity surrounding the Maybach name into the upper end of the SUV segment. We’re confident that this new model will leave little to be desired in terms of luxury.”

Final Thoughts

New Mercedes-Maybach GLS Spotted Before Los Angeles Motor Show Debut
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The Maybach GLS will be produced at Mercedes’ Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama, making the luxury SUV the first Maybach model to be produced stateside.

It is speculated to be priced in the ballpark of $150,000. The SUV will hit the dealerships in 2019 and will take on the likes of the Range Rover SV Autobiography and the Bentley Bentayga.

On paper, the Maybach looks quite strong and may very well give the existing players a tough fight. Since the powertrain is almost confirmed, and we know the top-notch interior Mercedes provides, the success of the Maybach GLS boils down to its pricing. Can Mercedes-Maybach make it a value-for-money proposition when compared to the Bentley Bentayga and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Further reading

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Exclusive Renderings
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Mercedes-Maybach GLS.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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