The ultimate luxury SUV makes debut at Guangzhou with mild-hybrid V8 power.
The new model invokes many of the styling elements seen on the S-Class Maybach to help distinguish it from the standard third-generation GLS.
Included is a distinctive chrome grille featuring vertical louvres, chrome highlights within the side window surrounds and along the sills, standard 22in (and optional 23in) wheels, an optional two-tone exterior paint scheme in eight different colour combinations, electrically extending running boards and chromed tail-pipes with a signature cross-rib.
Inside, the 5202mm-long Mercedes-Maybach GLS sports an upgraded interior with nappa leather upholstery and unique trim elements. Among the long list of options for UK customers are reclining rear seats with a massage function and a fixed centre console with folding tables and a refrigerator in a four-seat layout that can be further enhanced with a panoramic sunroof. Boot capacity below the cargo blind at the rear is 520 litres. Reflecting its upper luxury positioning, the latest Maybach model also receives a long list of standard driving aids.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The GLS600’s twin-turbocharged V-8 makes 558 horsepower and can motivate the big luxury SUV from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, according to Mercedes-Maybach. The engine is assisted by a 48-volt hybrid system that gives a little extra shove right from the start. If that’s not fast enough for you, check out the Mercedes-AMG GLS63, which offers a 603-hp version of this powertrain and boasts a claim of 4.1 seconds to 60 mph. We haven’t driven the GLS600 yet, but we expect a silky-smooth ride and an exceptionally quiet cabin. An air suspension is standard, and it features a Maybach mode that is said to all but erase bumps in the road.
Perhaps the least important thing about the Maybach GLS is the way it drives, but you might be happy to hear it has a stonking-great 4.0-litre biturbo V8 engine to back up those… bold looks. Max power is 550bhp and 538lb ft of torque. It’ll even do 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds despite weighing 2,785kg. Yeah, two-thousand seven-hundred and eighty-five.
There are all the usual Mercedes driving modes, but there’s now also a ‘Maybach mode’ which prioritises rear-seat comfort. Select it, and the chauffeur will be presented with a flat accelerator curve, fewer gearshifts from the nine-speed auto ‘box and all starts in second gear without the use of stop/start.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
While the regular Benz-branded GLS-class SUV is a three-row affair, the Maybach GLS600 offers just two rows, both of which offer heat and massage functions. The rear seats are the place to be; with acres of legroom and two power-adjustable recliner seats, riding in the back is akin to traveling in the fanciest first-class airline cabins. A three-across bench is also offered, but c’mon, the executive treatment is what this SUV is all about. Nappa leather covers the dash, door panels, and seats, while real wood trim with a handsome pin stripe add a touch of class. A fragrance diffuser helps occupants create the sensory oasis they deserve after a hard day of being filthy rich. Cargo capacity won’t be as generous here as it is in the regular GLS-class since the rear seats are fixed and don’t fold to accommodate larger items. Mercedes-Maybach says there’s still about 19 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and will offer a handsome set of custom-fitted luggage.
Mercedes-Benz’s most luxurious SUV will be offered from the outset of sales with just one drivetrain in the GLS 600 4Matic. The mild-hybrid unit combines a turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine with a 48V integrated starter motor to provide an overall output of 550bhp at 6000rpm and 538lb ft of torque from 2500-5000rpm. The electrically boosted reserves are channelled through a nine-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox and 4Matic all-wheel drive.
Mercedes-Benz claims a 0-62mph time for the 2710kg Maybach GLS 600 4Matic of 4.9sec. Top speed is limited to 155mph. Combined fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are put at 24.1mpg and 266g/km respectively on the WLTP cycle.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mercedes-Maybach’s warranty coverage is fairly basic, but it offers coverage for up to a year longer than the policies that come with new Bentleys. There’s no complimentary scheduled maintenance included in the sale, but oil changes and tire rotations are another expense we expect the owners of such an expensive SUV will find affordable when paying for them on their own.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance