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Mercedes-Maybach GLS SUV to be Exclusively Built in Alabama

It won’t be long until we see the Mercedes-Maybach GLS ultra-luxury sport utility vehicle on our roads. Mercedes-Benz revealed that they will be producing it in their Vance, Alabama, plant.

The Alabama factory of Mercedes is already home to the Mercedes-Benz GLS SUV as well as the GLE and GLE Coupe. Therefore, it just makes sense that the Maybach version of the GLS will be made there for efficiency’s sake.

The Maybach GLS is projected to fetch a price tag of around $200,000, making it the most expensive vehicle assembled in the US. The model is rumored to make its debut in China this year, and its sale will commence in the early part of 2020.

The Maybach GLS is expected to adopt the styling cues of the Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept vehicle. Mercedes describes it as a “halo car”, which will help further propel the three-pointed star brand in the luxury vehicle segment of the market. With that, the product will be competing against the likes of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus.

Compared to the standard Mercedes version, the Maybach GLS is more like a clash between an SUV and a saloon. Then the auto features smoother surfaces based on the “Sensual Purity” design language of its maker. Other highlights in the vehicle’s exterior include slimmer headlamps, turbine-styled wheels and closely-knit vertical front grille.

Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, Auto China 2018  Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, Auto China 2018

Meanwhile, the interior of the Maybach GLS might get the same high-profile amenities of the Ultimate Luxury concept showcasing high-grade leather and wood in crystal white, rose gold and pearl grey colors.

The cabin of the Maybach GLS is spacious but it only has a four-seating arrangement, which is meant to attract chauffeur-driven individuals. Free-standing 12.3-inch displays are located at its front while the air vents follow the design of the front grille. The rest of its features come from the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

Beneath the hood of the Maybach GLS is a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 with 577 hp. There’s a possibility that Mercedes will fit it with a hybrid setup too in order to attract the Chinese market and other key locations that have implemented stricter rules when it comes to emission and fuel-efficiency.

3 Things To Know About The Upcoming 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS

mercedes-maybach gls (1)

There have been talks of a Maybach GLS as far back as 2014 and now, thankfully, after nearly five years, the first prototypes have been spotted recently exiting Mercedes’ main test center in Germany. This comes after Mercedes announced that it is working on a redesign for its GLS (formerly GL-Class) but this time, the ultra-luxurious Mercedes-Maybach model will be part of the lineup.

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS will challenge the Bentley Bentayga, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and potentially something else from Aston Martin’s revived Lagonda brand.

1. Exterior

The Maybach GLS will have the same body and lights like that of the regular GLS. The grille, however, will be unique with its vertical slats. We can see some of the planned exterior styling based on the Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept unveiled during the 2018 Beijing Auto Show.

The Maybach badges should be placed on the side pillars at the rear. Buyers might also get a chance to choose a two-tone paint scheme, an option that’s already being offered for Maybach S-Class buyers.

2. Interior

The Maybach GLS will have an extra spacious four-seater layout. A stretched version of Mercedes’ MHA platform should underpin the redesigned Mercedes GLS and this Maybach variant. The MHA platform has been extended for SUVs sized from the GLC up (but excluding the G-Class). It is closely related to the MRA platform found in most of the German carmaker’s sedans and coupes. That architecture is being used in the GLC. 

3. Powertrains

Expect the Maybach GLS to come with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. That should be its core unit. A plug-in hybrid version should also be an option. It’s still too early to talk about drivetrains, though, so there’ll be lots of updates to come in the next months.

The redesigned GLS is expected to debut this month at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show as a 2020 model while the Maybach variant will follow next year as a 2021 model.

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