2019 Mercedes GLS, the company’ biggest SUV is getting ready for its unveiling in concept form at the Beijing motor show this month and as part of the final test phase the new model is being driven over the Nordschleife.
The GLS class that you can still order from Mercedes-Benz is the second generation of the full-size SUV. The model, facelifted in 2015 and renamed to GLS class, will soon be followed up by a new generation. Lovers of the currently 5.12 meters long GLS do not have to worry about Mercedes-Benz giving the car a more subtle appearance. The new design seem stretched by the lowered roofline. The face is likely to be based on that of the GLE.
From today’s spy photos, which show the GLS class on the Nordschleife, it turns out that the third generation is also growing even more in lenght. It could just be that Mercedes-Benz does not put the new GLS on the platform of the short, but on that of the long S-class. Naturally, the car benefits from the semi-autonomous techniques that Mercedes-Benz has rolled out over its model range in recent years.
The platform for the new Mercedes GLS is the new MHA architecture (Modular High Architecture), which is reserved for the big SUV and crossover Mercedes models. With this new kit, the Mercedes GLS should lose significant weight. Of course it also wins quite a few features. The new packaging gives occupants even more space. The new platform also brings numerous new assistance systems as well as semi-autonomous driving functions.
As a new expansion of the GLS series, the new edition will also come on the market in a particularly luxurious Maybach version – analogous to the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. This particular version will be previewed by a close to production concept set to debut next month at the Beijing Auto Show.
Inline six-cylinder diesel, petrol and hybrid
But MHA also creates new options on the drive side. The new six-cylinder engines are being implemented in diesel guise with up to 340 hp and as gasoline with up to around 460 hp, but also in hybrid form.
Thus, the GLS will receive the (known from the S-Class) 560 e hybrid drive variant, which combines a 367 hp and 500 Nm strong three-liter V6 gasoline engine with a 90 kW and 440 Nm electric motor.
In addition, there is a 9-speed automatic transmission, which integrates the torque converter, the clutch and the electric engine itself. In the S 560 e, this powertrain ensures a purely electric range of around 50 kilometers.
At the upper end of the range we find Mercedes-AMG versions that fall back in this model generation on the proven four-liter V8 Biturbo and deliver up to 630 hp.
The new GLS class also gets a new competitor from their own country. BMW is working hard to bring the X7 to market, a huge SUV that comes to a steep step above the X5 on the Bavarian menu. Whether BMW will come with an X7 M remains to be seen. Mercedes-AMG comes with at least 63 AMG versions of its GLS class.