Daimler's top-shelf Mercedes-Maybach brand has revealed its long-promised ultra-luxury SUV in Stuttgart and Guangzhou, showing the world its competitor to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Range Rover and Bentley Bentayga.
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 joins the existing Maybach-badged S-Class limo at the top of the Mercedes range, and will be available for a small group of prosperous Australians from the third quarter of 2020.
While its GLS origins are on display, the Maybach one gets a brasher grille, standard multibeam LED headlights, more chrome, vast 23-inch wheels, a special badge on the D-pillar, various two-tone paint finishes, and a set of electrically deploying/hiding running boards to make entry as fuss-free as possible.
The running boards are made of aluminium and coated in rubber, are about two-metres long, handle 200kg security guards, and fold out on electrically-powered arms in about one second as soon as you pull the door handle. When you open the door, the air suspension also lowers by 25mm.
The heavily-insulated cabin has unique touches such as nappa leather on the dashboard, exclusive interior lighting choices such as a deep blue/rose gold mixture, specific leather and wood features, optical fibres in the roof adding to the cabin lighting, and a small fridge for the bottle of Bollinger in the back.
Speaking of the back seats, occupants sit 28cm higher than in the Maybach S-Class. Thus, you avoid an undignified stoop while getting in. The back seats (either two or three) are moved 120mm backwards over the regular GLS, enabled by axing the third seating row.
You can tilt these back seats by up to 43.5 degrees to repose, and with the front passenger seat moved forwards get up to 1.34 metres of legroom. Naturally, each back seat is heated and cooled, and has various massage settings built in.
Each rear occupant also gets a 11.6-inch tablet screen to help pass the time. It can play films through the owner's own storage devices, or host a browser thanks to the onboard Wi-Fi system.
The 27-speaker Burmester audio system has a two-stage intercom, meaning you don’t need to shout at your chauffeur. If the onboard sensors detect bad air outside, or the navigation system tells it a tunnel is imminent, the four-zone climate control automatically goes to recirculation mode.
The onboard 48V electronic system powers the air suspension, which counters body movement in corners or when braking/accelerating to keep the car level, and which uses data from the onboard road scanners to adjust for the surface that lays ahead.
The 48V system also gives the engine a small electric boost of 16kW/250Nm whenever a torque hole is found, replaces the conventional stop/start system, and powers auxiliaries at rest.
The 4.0-litre V8 engine makes 410kW of power and 730Nm of torque. It's matched to a nine-speed automatic, and sends power to the road through a fully-variable AWD system.
The cylinder-on-demand function and EQ Boost energy recuperation system help keep fuel use to 11.7L/100km.
Despite weighing a monstrous 2785kg without passengers, the Maybach GLS is said to waft to 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds.