The high-performance AMG SUV people want that BMW M won't build.
According to Auto Express, Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers has confirmed plans for an AMG version of the just revealed Mercedes GLS SUV. The GLS, of course, is the direct competitor to the BMW X7. As we previously reported, BMW M has no immediate plans to build an X7 M. "The markets have fed back to us to say they would like an AMG version of the GLS," Moers said.
Mercedes' Head of SUV Development, Dr. Andreas Zygan, sounds even more gung-ho for the AMG variant: "We have a lot of customers for AMG, so it would make sense to make an AMG version of this car, but we cannot talk about the timeline or market introduction of this car, but there will be, of course." We have yet to hear similar statement regarding a potential X7 M from anyone at BMW. Shame.
Zygan also wasn't shy about the GLS's upcoming Maybach treatment. "There is no decision we have taken but what you see in the exquisite GLS is that we've developed a lot of things – the comfort and surroundings we've focused on – so the car has the possibility of a further project, but it's not official. We're looking closely and if we're convinced, it would not take so long to make a decision."
However, the GLS variant we definitely won't be seeing is one purely powered by electric motors and batteries. Turns out the new GLS' platform was not designed to handle the requirements of electrification.
Furthermore, Mercedes doesn't see enough demand for an EV SUV of this size. But what about yet another Mercedes-Maybach variant? Perhaps one we've seen before in concept form? The GLS-based Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury Concept shown at Beijing last year is still a real possibility.
"At the end it is clear that it's down to demands of customers – such a car is driven by customer demand and we need enough numbers," Zygan said. "We have a very intensive discussion about this, but right now in the near future there won't be such a concept."