The GLS is about to go even further upscale.
Just the other day, we brought you a report indicating that Mercedes would reveal the Maybach version of its flagship GLS-Class crossover "later this year." Now we have more concrete information from the manufacturer itself, which confirms: "in November 2019 the brand will present its first model in the attractive SUV segment."
Now at this point, the most informed among our readers may be pointing out that Maybach has done an SUV before. And indeed it has. But the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet was a strictly limited edition of just 99 examples.
This, then, will likely represent the first standard-production SUV (or crossover, as the case may be) to wear the Maybach name – one which traces back to Daimler's birth (and indeed the dawn of the automobile) when Wilhelm Maybach served as its technical director over a century ago, working hand-in-hand with founder Gottlieb Daimler (and his son Paul who took over the company following the father's passing).
Unfortunately Mercedes provides little further detail on the new SUV's particulars beyond the month in which it will be revealed, and that it will have "its own signature fragrance suited to the SUV-specific interior and travelling experience," based on "the white osmanthus blossom."
The automaker previewed its arrival in the form of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show, unusually adopting a trunked silhouette. We're expecting the production model to go with a more conventional wagon-style roofline, distinguishing itself from the standard GLS with a V12 engine and an even more opulent interior space – potentially with a pair of recliners in the back instead of the two rear benches – in similar fashion to S-Class's transformation into the Maybach version.
Daimler confirms that, since relaunching the sub-brand in 2015, it has made over 45,000 Maybach S-Class limousines, and it's only making more of them: last year one in seven examples of the S-Class were ordered in Maybach spec. Considering that sold 84,000 of its flagship passenger cars (sedans, coupes, and convertibles), that would amount to 12,000 Maybachs delivered last year alone – a little bit more than the 11,000 or so Bentleys and roughly three times as many as the record 4,107 vehicles that Rolls-Royce sold last year. Both those automakers have recently introduced their own high-end crossovers in the forms of the Bentayga and Cullinan, with which the new Maybach SUV will most directly compete.