Wheels (Australia)




Take a GLS, add twin-turbo V8, a deluxe interior fit for a Kardashian, and Maybach badges. Price accordingl­y

MERCEDESMa­ybach’s first SUV will come to Australia, topping Benz’s SUV family with a generous slather of luxury… but at a steep price. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 takes the already-opulent GLS and elevates its levels of luxury to the extent that its interior is less ‘swish SUV’ and more ‘luxo Learjet’ to take on the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and Aston Martin DBX.

The recommende­d list price is $358,300, with the GLS600 expected to arrive in August this year. Of course, on-road costs and options will see that price head further north. The next most expensive variant in the GLS range, AMG’s 63 S, is more than $100K cheaper at $255,700, while being more powerful (450kW) in keeping with the AMG ethos.

The GLS600 also makes use of Mercedes’ M177 twin-turbo V8, producing 410kW and 730Nm normally, with a total 426kW and 980Nm available temporaril­y when the SUV’s mild-hybrid system is engaged. A nine-speed auto gearbox is used, with a wide spread of ratios Merc says is a “decisive factor” in the Maybach’s comfort.

Of course, the GLS600’s appeal is its interior, so just how much of that $100K of extra bread has gone into its features, and how much is baked into the badge?

To start, the Maybach can be optioned with four seats instead of five, to provide what the company calls a ‘feel-good zone’ within the cabin where the ‘four-seat Executive Rear may be used both as an office and as a private relaxation zone.’ Nappa-leather rear seats, in jersey caramel in the reveal specificat­ion, can recline to full snooze angles and naturally feature climate control and massage functions. There’s a touchscree­n on the centre console,

which itself can also be optioned with extending folding tables and a refrigerat­or large enough for champagne bottles. High resolution screens are fixed to the rear of both front seats.

An extra layer of occupant comfort comes from underneath, where Mercedes-Benz’s E-Active body control acts to blot up the bumps. The drivetrain has also been tweaked for comfort, with a chauffeur mode to create minimal noise and vibration levels for rear passengers, with drive modes able to include “a very flat accelerato­r curve” for smoother driving, a reduced number of gearshifts, and a setting for taking off in second gear.

Even getting into the Maybach has been made more comfortabl­e by its tech: the SUV lowers itself on its air suspension and running boards emerge. That only leaves its price tag as an obstacle for ingress.

“Its interior is less swish SUV; more luxo Learjet”

 ??  ?? Exterior is familiar as a GLS, but the Maybach’s ultra-luxe interior is where the big changes have been made
Exterior is familiar as a GLS, but the Maybach’s ultra-luxe interior is where the big changes have been made
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