Mercedes-Benz unveils GLS flagship SUV
MERCEDES-Benz says the new GLS is not just another hulking, expensive, high-riding luxury SUV.
Benz pitches this as "the S-Class of SUVs", a seven-seat, all-weather version of its flagship limousine.
Bigger than before, the new GLS benefits from a 60mm wheelbase extension intended to make life more comfortable in the back seats. Like the S-Class, the GLS pays special attention to those seated behind the driver, in this case placing them in control of key features with a 7-inch Android tablet tasked with taming its five-zone climate control, heated massaging seats, along with entertainment features including a web browser, radio, TV and Mercedes' MBUX electronic suite.
Up front, twin 12.3-inch screens represent one of the most advanced infotainment systems in any new car, aided by clever sensors which can tell the difference between a driver's and passenger's hands. If folks riding shotgun reach for seat massage settings, the car assumes they are adjusting the front left seat, and vice versa.
Drivers can fold the rear five seats with the touch of a single button, flattening chairs to create an enormous 2400 litre load area.
Naturally, the GLS is stocked with driver aids including automated emergency braking, active cruise control and traffic jam assistance. A new trailer manoeuvring assistance feature guides you through tricky manoeuvres when towing.
Other tech includes 48-volt electric architecture with air suspension and active anti roll bars that allows it to lean into corners, minimising the effect of body roll.
The clever electrics also lend extra punch to the new V8-powered GLE 580, which serves up 360kW of power and 700Nm of torque from a petrol engine augmented by a further 250Nm and 16kW from an electric motor.
Other engines include a GLS 350d diesel with 210kW and a GLS400d with 243kW.
The new GLS arrives locally in the fourth quarter of 2019. Local prices and specifications will be confirmed when it reaches showrooms.