After the extravagant G650 Landaulet signalling the end of the previous-generation G-Class, another Maybach SUV is ready to take automotive luxury market by storm. This time around, it’s here to stay as unlike the ostentatious G built in limited numbers, the new Maybach GLS 600 4Matic is a permanent member of the double M family. While the real magic happens inside the cabin, the exterior has also been discreetly modified to separate it from the Benz GLS.
Starting at the front, the fullsize SUV features a shiny new grille with vertical chrome pinstripes as seen on the Maybach S-Class facelift and its extra-long Pullman sibling. The chrome theme continues on the lower grille as well as on the side air intakes flanked by curved trim strips, while the underbody protection is also finished in high-gloss chrome.
Gallery: Mercedes-Maybach GLS (2020)
The side profile reveals bespoke 22-inch alloy wheels, although we have a feeling many people will go for the optional 23-inch set with its multi-spoke layout mimicking the front grille. To continue the chrome theme at the front, there are chrome plates on the B-pillars and even similar inserts on the roof rails. A total of eight two-tone finishes will be available, and regardless of choice, the Maybach emblem will be proudly displayed on the D-pillar.
Moving at the back, a chrome strip runs along the entire width of the tailgate and continues on the wings, above the taillights. Yet even more chrome is noticeable at the top and bottom of the bumper, including for the dual exhaust tips featuring a rectangular design. Rounding off the changes compared to the standard GLS is the model designation in a specific script reserved to Mercedes-Maybach models.
Before we hop inside, we have to mention the running boards. They electronically extend and are each 2.06 meters long, with a maximum width of 21 centimetres in the rear door area. These occupy the entire length of the side sill panels and feature an LED strip in the rear door area where a Maybach emblem is projected. It’s not a problem if you’re carrying around some extra weight as the running boards can support a maximum load of 200 kilograms. Rubber strips in the same design as the front grille slats are embedded into the anodised aluminium to provide better grip.
Once you’re inside, you’re going to notice the third row is gone. With Mercedes retaining the same wheelbase of the standard GLS – measuring 3,135 mm – the only wait to enable more legroom was to eliminate the rearmost seats. Rear passengers get to enjoy 1,103 mm of legroom and can relax on seats that can be extended. The front passenger seat can be moved forward into what is referred to as a chauffeur position for even more rear legroom, at 1.34 metres.
The most luxurious version of the Maybach GLS accommodates only four people, but a five-seat configuration is also available. From folding tables and champagne flutes to a dedicated fragrance and a rear-seat entertainment system, the luxobarge has just about every high-end feature you could think of, and then some.
Power comes from a turbocharged V8 4.0-litre engine providing effortless cruising thanks to 550 bhp and 538 lb-ft of torque, plus the EQ Boost offering an extra 21 bhp and 184 lb-ft for a limited time. Mercedes-Maybach says the GLS 600 4Matic does 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 4.8 seconds and tops out at 130 mph, which is more than the owner of such an SUV will ever need.
Market launch is planned for the second half of next year, with pricing to be announced closer to launch.