Mercedes-Benz To Launch Maybach GLS
With Land Rover continuing to set the standard in the luxury SUV market, and now Bentley making a huge impression with its Bentayga, Mercedes sees an opportunity to take advantage of the increasing demand for luxury models, especially in the SUV segment, by expanding the Maybach brand.
The German luxury manufacturer has been having significant success with its continuing expansion of its AMG performance arm, so it's hoping to achieve similar success with Maybach on a smaller, but still extremely profitable scale.
A Maybach SUV has actually been the subject of rumors since as long ago as 2016, but it's now set to make a public debut in lightly veiled concept car form at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show next month. A final production version is then expected to be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
According to Britain's Autocar publication, this new addition to the Maybach family will utilise the same basic aluminum and steel body and advanced four-wheel drive system seen on less opulent, heavily specified versions of the new third-generation GLS. However, as expected of something carrying a Maybach badge, the interior will be significantly more luxurious and have a number of subtle design enhancements, compared to standard versions of the American-built SUV.
Autocar quotes what it describes as a 'high-level official' stating: "We have been quietly surprised by the sales success of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, which is proving extremely popular in many key markets. The plan now is to extend the exclusivity surrounding the Maybach name into the upper end of the SUV segment. We're confident this new model will leave little to be desired in terms of luxury."
Although the Maybach GLS is likely to be offered initially with the Mercedes-AMG-developed M177 V-8 petrol engine, a version featuring the plug-in petrol-electric hybrid system recently unveiled in the S560e is also said to be under consideration.