First things first. What is a GLS? Most of you will be asking at this juncture and rightly so. About a year ago, Mercedes-Benz announced that a new and more transparent nomenclature of their SUV and crossover range, with one of the most profound changes being the renaming of the iconic ML moniker to GLE.
Interestingly, BMW has also hopped on board with the new 4-Series – one that was previously known to the world as the 3-Series Coupe. Similarly, the 1-Series Coupe is as we all know, goes by the name of 2-Series. Whatever it is these giants have for rebadging the range, we’ll never know – speaking objectively of course. Maybe that’s moving with the time.
The pictures we see here are the actual images that’s been scanned off a brochure that was then leaked out to French-based forum World Scoop which revealed the GLS in all its glory. It must be said that whoever that scanned these images did an amazing job of capturing all the right angles of this heavily reworked replacement of the gargantuan GL model without giving too much away – or maybe that boat might have set sail.
It’s fairly clear, judging from the pictures at least that the GLS carries over a multitude of styling cues and design elements over from its stablemates such as that prominent pair of LED head-lights, grille and fenders; all of which point towards the outgoing S-Class. The tail-end certainly does speak toward that fact especially the lower extremity of the bumper. No shots of the interior has yet to surface but it is slated to be a hybrid design of the GL and S-Class all mashed up together in matrimony.
On the technical side however, there’s a whole bunch diesel and petrol powertrains carried over from the GL that will most probably get worked over to enhance efficiency and improve emissions. One example is the GLS 350 BlueTEC trim that gets a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine making 255 hp and 620 Nm of torque, whereas the petrol powered equivalent GLS 400 CGI should mirror the figures produced by the outgoing S400 S-Class. On the other end of the spectrum, the red-hot GLS 63 AMG is slated to retain the GL’s 6.2-litre V8.
There’s also been rumours that an ultra-exclusive Mercedes-Maybach version is in the works to give the Bentley Bentayga a run for it money. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS is expected to be unveiled at next month’s 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show and will shed more light and details on this flagship SUV.