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Mercedes-Maybach's First SUV Looks Massive Sitting In Traffic

Spy Video / 8 Comments

The most expensive US-built car should look imposing.

Mercedes-Benz just pulled the wraps off its full-size GLS SUV, which is set to compete with the BMW X7. The 483-horsepower GLS 580 is already no slouch but we know the AMG department is working on a hardcore GLS 63 model with over 600 hp. The GLS 63 will be the quickest model in the GLS line but it won't be the most expensive. That honor will go to the upcoming Maybach version, which is set to be the most expensive production car built in the United States - beating out the Acura NSX. Mercedes has kept details about the Maybach GLS limited but a recent spy video may give us some insight.

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Even though the Maybach GLS will be built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, this one was seen testing outside of the company's headquarters in Germany. The prototype is still heavily camouflaged, meaning it is difficult to discern what the final design will look like. We can still pick out some differences over the standard GLS, including a new grille. This prototype is also wearing different wheels than a standard GLS but we assume these will not be the production wheels. Maybach cars typically feature far more distinctive wheel designs with multiple spokes or large, flat surfaces. This camouflaged model also appears to be longer than a standard GLS, which doesn't surprise us.

Maybach cars are known for their rear passenger space, so Mercedes could extend the vehicle's 205.2-inch wheelbase to increase interior volume. When the Maybach GLS eventually goes on sale, likely sometime in 2020, it will command a price of around $200,000. We still don't know what engine will power it for that hefty sum but we wouldn't rule out a twin-turbo V12 or hybridized twin-turbo V8. Mercedes has already trademarked the names GLS 600 and GLS 680, so perhaps there will be two different engine options or wheelbase configurations.