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Mercedes-Maybach takes on the luxury SUV market with its ultra-plush GLS 600

When you count upper-echelon brands such as Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin as SUV converts, it comes as less surprise that Mercedes’ ultra-luxury arm, Maybach, has also decided on a slice of this highly-lucrative pie. And if its S-Classes are anything to go by, this GLS 600 will be a beast under a Tom Ford suit.

Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600
(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

Launched at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 will truly be a presence on the roads when it becomes available by the second half of 2020. The luxury SUV — now the flagship model of the brand — is easily one of the best looking ones that have surfaced this year, mainly because it adopts Maybach’s super-luxe aesthetics both inside and out.

To start, designers outfitted the ride with Maybach’s chromed waterfall grille and added mesh inserts in the lower part of the bumper. This distinctive chromed look then spills onto the rest of the car, accompanied by, of course, Maybach emblems which set the car apart from its ‘regular’ counterparts. A two-toned paint job can also be ordered for an extra cost; simply choose from eight different Maybach-specific colour combinations to help your ride be even more conspicuous. Wheels come at a standard 22 inches, although a 23-inch option is also available.

As Mercedes-Benz’s most luxurious SUV to exist till date, the GLS 600 will sport an upgraded interior with unique trim elements and Nappa leather finishings. Here’s where the options list gets interesting; amongst the long list are reclining rear seats with a massage function, a fixed centre console with folding tables, and a refrigerator for emergency bubbly. The experience can then be further enhanced with a panoramic sunroof.

But Mercedes-Maybach wants to do more than pamper. The car melds intelligent functions such as the “energizing seat kinetics function”, which changes inclinations of the cushions slightly in a bid to make passengers sit “actively”.

Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600
(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

Air quality is one of the most under-tapped aspects of luxury, but the Germans left no stone unturned here. If the GPS detects an approaching tunnel, or if air quality is less than acceptable, the car automatically turns on the air recirculation mode and closes the car windows. An “Air Balance” package comes with a GLS-specific fragrance of white osmanthus blossom, leather, and spicy tea scents. It also pumps negative ions into the air duct to reduce viruses and bacteria in the air within.

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

Because no one wants to hear their luggage rattle away at the back, the interior sees a partition that separates the trunk for full noise insulation. Meanwhile, the two outer rear seats can turn into reclining seats for naps. The running boards – made of anodised aluminium, no less – are also electronically controlled, and automatically appears when the rear doors open.

Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600
(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4Matic will be the only variant that’s offered at launch, a mild hybrid unit that combines a a turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine with a 48V integrated starter motor to manage 558hp and 730Nm of twist. All this is connected to a nine-speed torque converter automatic gearbox and 4Matic all-wheel drive. The GLS 600 might be a whopping  2,710kg, but it still claims a 0-100kph time of 4.9 seconds, with a top speed that’s limited to 250kph.

Shatricia Nair
Managing Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.
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