Because that’s a byword for quality and sophistication, right?
German luxury marque Mercedes-Benz have confirmed that the next-generation full-size GLS will receive a Maybach version, which will compete against ultra-luxury SUV contenders like the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Bentley Bentayga, and Aston Martin DBX. But what we find interesting is that in doing so, they’ve also confirmed that the car will be built at their facility in Alabama.
We find it curious that they’ve decided to commit the manufacture of what Mercedes-Benz will undoubtedly market as the final word in luxury and exclusivity in SUV-form, in Alabama. But that’s apparently how this cookie will crumble.
The Maybach GLS will serve as a “halo car” for the range, given that “the Maybach brand stands for luxury,” and that by developing such a GLS halo, it would also “help build the Mercedes brand” too, or so expressed Mercedes-Benz’s US boss Dietmar Exler.
It’s suggested that the Maybach GLS will be powered by a turbocharged V8 engine, producing something in excess of 415kW from 4.0-litres in capacity. And with a sticker price sad to be roughly US$200,000 (or about $281k give-or-take), it’d be the single most expensive vehicle to be built in the United States.
The Maybach GLS would be the first serious extension of the Maybach brand beyond the traditional long-wheelbase limousine space, which Exler explains to Automotive News as a ‘logical extension,’ which Maybach will continue to explore depending on the business cases that can be made for individual models.
The Alabama facility, formally known as Mercedes-Benz US International, will receive a US$1-billion upgrade that’ll not only see it ready to build the next-generation GLS, but also upcoming EQ-badged models that’ll make up a large chunk of sales within the next decade.