The thing about the current GLS-Class is that you just feel like it’s been designed for Americans. It is brash and overstated, unlike a Range Rover, for example. But the next generation appears to be a real luxury Merc and a better relative to the S-Class.
However, the shoulder lines of the GLS appear even smaller in relationship to the longer, sleeker body. The door handles disappear into the bodywork, but those big wheels still make a powerful statement.
Another area where the GLS appears classier is headlight design. It’s clean yet high-tech, and we believe many customers don’t want a 7-seat vehicle that stands out, even if it’s a Mercedes.
Thanks to the recent GLE press event, we know quite a lot about the new SUV technology developed for these two. It seems the air suspension will have a Magic Body-like function but can also bob the vehicle up and down to get it unstuck from sand.
The important engine for America is an inline-6 turbo with 360-something horsepower. V8s will also be available, including in AMG form. Europe will have quite a few six-cylinder types of diesel as well. But while four-cylinder units have just been confirmed for the GLE, we doubt this larger 7-seater will have them as well.
The flagship hybrid will be the GLS 560 S with a 367 HP 3.0-liter matched to a 90kW, 440 Nm electric motor. However, a less powerful 2-liter hybrid might be developed for China.
The GLS 63 S will once again take AMG’s 4-liter turbo beyond 600 HP, just like the E63 and S63 did. However, the most potent model could become the GLS 73, a crazy hybrid V8.