An official debut is apparently not coming anytime soon.
BMW’s first-ever X7 will soon face fierce competition from arch-rival Mercedes-Benz. The next-generation GLS-Class should be out before the end of the decade so it comes as no surprise the German automaker is still testing heavily camouflaged prototypes.
A fresh new video from walkoART shows a trial car during a public roads test somewhere in Germany. The vehicle is still featuring body cladding to hide its actual shape and fake taillights which will be replaced by prettier units for the production version. There’s something weird going on at the back just below the taillights where there are two holes in the cladding, probably for easier access to the mounting points.
What’s probably way more interesting, the interior of the car is now covered with less disguise. Most of the fabric is gone to reveal a massive digital screen roughly half the length of the entire dashboard. It looks bigger than the 10.25-inch dual setup of the new A-Class, but we can’t definitely confirm that at the moment. Just below that display is a bank of four HVAC vents.
Thanks to a new platform, the big, boxy SUV will be significantly lighter than its predecessor. It will share its powertrain options with the latest S-Class, including the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that is widely used by Mercedes’ AMG division. Also, the new OM 656 inline-six turbodiesel engine of the S-Class with 286 bhp and 443 lb-ft or 340 bhp and 516 lb-ft should be available for the GLS.
The automaker is even planning a posh range topper with Maybach logos that was recently spied out testing.
Taking into account the amount of camouflage seen on this new prototype, it’s probably safe to assume an official debut is not coming anytime soon. Rumours suggest we will see the new GLS in late 2019 or even early 2020 with sales starting shortly after.