Mercedes-Benz's ultra-luxury division, Maybach, has just revealed the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4Matic at the Auto Guangzhou 2019 to take on the Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Range Rover Autobiography.
But why, you might be asking, would Mercedes-Maybach launch such a pivotal model in China? Simple. “China is the biggest market worldwide for our ultimate luxury car brand Mercedes-Maybach” explains Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG. “With the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS we bring a highly attractive new product to the top-end of the SUV market.”
According to a report by Reuters, Mercedes-Maybach recorded a 3 percent growth in Q1 of 2019 with sales of over 600 units a month despite an overall downturn in demand in the world’s largest automotive market, China.
Moving forward, a closer look at the new Mercedes-Maybach SUV reveals it’s more than just a GLS with a new interior and lashings of chrome. Starting with the interior. The GLS 600 can be had with either a four or five-seater layout with the former being the most popular choice, we reckon. The third-row seats are jettisoned to make way for the uber-luxurious second-row pair of multi-contour captain’s chairs that are not only heated and ventilated but also massage you.
Inspiration for the interior was drawn from the high-end world of yachting says the marque. This is highlighted with use of materials such as gloss or open-pore wood for the trim pieces and some of the finest Nappa leather hued in choice combinations such as magna grey and black or mahogany brown and macchiato beige. Opt for the Leather Package and you’ll get crystal white and silver grey upholstery with rose gold piping.
Wood trim elements with the Maybach emblem can be found scattered throughout the interior especially on four-seat variants such as on the shared centre armrest that hides storage compartments and if specified, even a fridge. The Nappa leather armrests can also be optionally heated. The rear occupants also receive a 7-inch tablet as standard.
Up front, aside from lashings of leather and wood, the central element in the dashboard’s design are the twin 12.3-inch screens housed behind a shared continuous glass surface carried over from the base GLS, but in this application has its animations swapped out for Maybach-specific ones. Additionally, the instrument panel displays are “darkened to deep blue while figures, needles and bezels are presented in rose gold” said the automaker.
The exterior, meanwhile, does sport changes such as the Maybach-specific chrome radiator grille, bumper and chrome underguard. The sides get more chrome trim around the windows while a Maybach emblem is found on the lower D-pillar. The GLS 600 also gets retractable running boards that can support up to 200kg of weight on it.
The rear gets a chrome bar that runs the width of the GLS just above the taillights while a second chrome strip sits below the loading sill. The chromed-out rectangular tailpipes are also given a Maybach-specific touch which is a cross rib. Finally, the GLS 600 is optionally available in two-tone paint finishes with a total of eight combinations offered.
Under the bonnet, you’ll find a 4.0-litre V8 paired to a 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox which then channels power onto the road via its 4Matic all-wheel drive system. The GLS 600 is also an electrified vehicle with a 48V mild-hybrid EQ Boost system which when combined produces 410kW and 730Nm.
The 48V system also operates the optional E-Active Body Control suspension system that features tech like Curve which actively leans the body up to 3 degrees to reduce lateral forces on occupants. Furthermore, Road Surface Scan continually monitors the road ahead and adjusts its setup accordingly. The company claims this to be the world's most intelligent SUV suspension system.
As far as safety is concerned, the GLS 600 gets the latest Pre-Safe system featuring tech such as Active Distance Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, Active Steering Assist with Active Lane Change Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist with exit warning and Active Brake Assist. Additionally available is the Active Stop-and-Go Assist system which when engaged, can maintain its distance to the car in front and tackle stop-go traffic at speeds of up to 60 km/h.
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4Matic is slated to land in Australia sometime from the third quarter of 2020. Stay tuned as we bring you more updates on Maybach’s first-ever SUV.