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Details of new Mercedes GLS confirmed

By raccars Published

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Mercedes-Benz is bringing a new SUV called the GLS to market, with the first images and information about it now in the public domain.

Mercedes-Benz has launched a number of successful GL-Class SUVs in the past, but it will be the first to recognise that it cannot rest on its laurels, especially with market trends subject to constant change. And so the first details of the new GLS to emerge hint at the firm’s ambitions to build a compact, luxurious model which can do for SUVs what the S-Class does for saloons.

The GLS is being pitched as far more than a mere facelift of an existing model, but rather a reinvention for the GL-Class as a whole. It is being positioned to offer the essence of what owners have come to expect from Mercedes-Benz but in a package that is a little different from the current model range. And on first glance the GLS definitely cuts a striking figure, with an imposing grille adorned with the manufacturer’s badge in an oversized form. In fact it is bolder in almost every way than its predecessor, at least from an aesthetic standpoint. But does it deliver the goods when the stylish exterior is put to one side?

S-Class stable mate

The GLS may be an SUV, but it will share a lot of common ground with the S-Class in terms of interior features and luxurious fittings. Premium materials, leather upholstery, a high end infotainment system and the latest in connectivity options will make the cabin a comfortable and cutting edge place in which to spend time. It should also bump the GLS into the same league as rival SUVs from British marques including Range Rover and Bentley, according to AutoCar.

With seven seats on board, an integrated touchpad for system management and a steering wheel which houses its own array of controls, the GLS should be a good family transport as well as a high end SUV. And interestingly the seven seat set-up will be a standard feature, not an optional extra, enhancing its practicality.

Engine expectations

The GLS will be receiving a 4.7 litre V8 petrol engine with two turbochargers attached to give it 449bhp; an impressive amount of power for a vehicle which will have such a refined interior environment. Mercedes-Benz has revealed that this should enable it to achieve a fuel efficiency of 31.7mpg even with all that power under the bonnet. And this is not even the most powerful engine available; that credit goes to the 5.5 litre V8 tuned by AMG to develop 577bhp.

Meanwhile the diesel engine options will include a sole 3.0 litre V6 power plant that has a rather more modest 187bhp on tap. There is no information as yet regarding how this will perform, either in terms of fuel economy or emissions, but more details should emerge in the coming months as the manufacturer prepares to give it its debut in the UK next spring.

Mercedes-Benz has said that it may eventually introduce a plug-in hybrid version of the GLS, which would certainly appeal to some buyers in the UK looking for a model which is not solely reliant on traditional fuels. For the time being the manufacturer has not confirmed whether or not it will indeed take this decision.

Various off-road performance enhancements will be available as optional extras, although the GLS will feature air suspension as standard which will make it capable of delivering a smooth ride even in rough conditions. Prices for the GLS will be in line with the current GL range, meaning that buyers in the UK will need to find a minimum of around £63,000 to get their hands on one.

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