The Mercedes-Maybach GLS Is the Fanciest Damn Benz SUV Ever

How to make a massive statement—literally—with your choice in luxury SUVs.

The ultimate in Mercedes SUVs is finally here: Meet the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS. Based on the regular and recently redesigned GLS-class, the Maybach version of course takes things to their most sybaritic extremes, with the finest materials, most opulent options, and state-of-the-art technologies all on the menu.

Launched in GLS600 form, power comes from a twin-turbocharged V-8 with a mild-hybrid system good for 550 horsepower and 538 lb-ft. That sum includes up to 21 horses and 184 lb-ft from the EQ Boost hybrid setup's starter/generator motor, which runs on a 48-volt electrical system and enable the Maybach GLS to turn off its engine for a short time while cruising and run on electric power alone. A similar powertrain are being employed in the new GLS63 AMG and GLE63 AMG SUVs, where it cranks out 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft. The Maybach can hit 60 mph in a claimed 4.8 seconds and achieve a 130-mph top speed.

The roster of standard equipment is, uh, extensive to say the least and includes all-wheel drive, massive high-resolution interior displays, nine (!) USB ports, a panoramic sunroof, and pretty much everything else that's ever been factory-installed in a Mercedes. Among the items unique to the Maybach SUV are rear folding tables in the four-seat version, the four-seat layout itself, reclining outboard rear seats, a wooden parcel shelf separating the cargo area from the precious humans aboard, a Maybach-specific fragrance for the onboard atomizer, and all manner of additional rear-seat goodies.

Back there, the landed gentry can take advantage of a standard removable tablet to control the MBUX infotainment system, seats, and other functions, as well as an available center console that replaces the middle seat and incorporates not only the aforementioned tables but also a refrigerator Mercedes-Maybach suggests you use for—what else?—champagne. (Don't rich people drink other stuff?) It is further pointed out that silver champagne flutes are available via Maybach's accessory program, as are luggage sets, sunglasses, and other baubles. The back-seat occupants also have a separate A/C unit, additional vents, and a heater booster to ensure that temperatures can be adjusted quickly. Footrests are of course fitted as standard.

The GLS600 looks to deliver both the utmost in refined ride quality with a bespoke suspension software and tuning, this despite being fitted with 22-inch wheels as standard—and these can be further upgraded to 23 inches. Maybach-specific, automatically deploying, and illuminated running boards ensure elegant ingress and egress, and the standard air suspension lowers the GLS600 by an inch when the doors are opened. (If you're wondering, they can support 441 pounds.) While the Maybach SUV can be painted in monochrome finishes, eight different two-tone looks are available, among them green/silver, two black/red combinations, and black/gold. Inside, three two-tone leather upholstery options are offered, as is pinstriped piano black trim made from wood said to have been aged at least 10 years before being turned into fancy SUV bits.

There's no talk of a price at this point, but if you have to ask, you probably shouldn't even bother. (Expect $210,000 or so to be the price of entry.) If you're ready to cut the check, deliveries are expected to begin by the end of next year.

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