Back before Mercedes-Benz’s SUV-naming scheme change, the brand’s largest SUV was called the “GL-Class”. I’m an unapologetic GL-Class fan. I always liked the way it looked, the luxury and comfort of the interior and the way it drove. Yes, it’s possible to be a big BMW fan while also liking some Mercedes-Benz products, as difficult as that might sound to some Bavarian-faithful. Mercedes-Benz recently changed the name of the GL-Class to “GLS-Class”, in keeping with the rest of its SUV-naming scheme which matches the last letter to its corresponding segment. So the GLS-Class has S-Class levels of luxury and tech. Get it? Despite its new name change, though, the current GLS-Class is basically unchanged from the GL-Class that I was always a fan of. That’s going to change soon, though, as Mercedes-Benz is readying a new GLS-Class SUV just in time to take on the upcoming BMW X7.
At the moment, there isn’t a lot known about the upcoming GLS-Class. It’s said to be built on Mercedes’ new MHA platform, which will underpin most large Mercedes vehicles in the future. That new platform should allow the GLS-Class to be larger and more capacious than before, while also being lighter and more dynamic. Judging from some new spy photos of the GLS (seen here), it does seem quite large, larger than the previous generation car. Though, it does maintain that long, flat roof, which is a good thing as it always allowed for more interior space, both in terms of headroom and cargo capacity. Plus, I always like the look.
When compared with the BMW X7, they should be very similar in size and boast very similar cargo and passenger room. As we know, the Germans don’t really do anything without copying each other. It should also come with the absolute latest in Mercedes-Benz technology, just as the X7 will do for BMW.
We don’t know exactly what sort of powertrains will motivate the massive GLS-Class, though we can venture a pretty accurate guess. Base model engines will likely be the brand’s new 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine (yay, straight-sixes are coming back) and a diesel V6. Then, there’s likely going to be a variant of the Mercedes’ 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8, probably in an AMG model, and a possible plug-in hybrid.
It’s really no surprise that Mercedes-Benz is making a new GLS-Class, as the first one was highly successful. What’s interesting is that now BMW has a horse in the same race. The Bavarians never had an SUV that large before, so the GLS was always alone in Germany. Now, though, Mercedes-Benz will have some Bavarian competition in this segment and the BMW X7 will be getting a brand-new GLS to compete with when it finally debuts. How fun.