Mercedes-Benz introduced the 2020 GLS during the New York International Auto Show on Wednesday, showing a dramatic redesign and advanced technology such as a standard 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain and available intelligent adaptive suspension.
The three-row Mercedes-Benz GLS is the largest vehicle in the automaker’s lineup and serves as its flagship SUV.
Buyers will choose from a standard seven-seat configuration or a six-seat with captain’s chairs at no extra charge. An advanced MBUX infotainment system comes standard in every GLS with twin 12.3-inch screens.
The addition of the MBUX system, EQ Boost 48-volt mild hybrid and E-Active Body Control suspension follows the changes in the German automaker’s midsize 2020 GLE SUV as Mercedes-Benz migrates those technologies across its lineup.
The base GLS450 trim is powered by an electrified and turbocharged six-cylinder 3-liter engine making 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.
The GLS also introduces a new engine for Mercedes – an electrified and twin-turbocharged 4-liter V8 offering 483 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The V8 comes in the GLS580 trim and is capable of going 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds. That compares with 5.9 seconds for the standard six-cylinder.
In both engines, the on-board electrical system provides a further 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque over short periods. Every 2020 GLS comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
With growing consumer demand for large crossovers and SUVs in the U.S. and the importance of three-row models in global markets such as China, the GLS now challenges the S-Class sedan as the premier vehicle for Mercedes.
INFOTAINMENT AND MORE
The 2020 GLS packs a long list of standard equipment. The infotainment system comes with navigation; there are several advanced safety measures and a Burmeister surround sound system. The SUV has LED headlamps and taillights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and nine USB ports. Pricing will be announced closer to launch. The starting price of the current model is $70,150.
The GLS580 comes with 21-inch wheels and can be optioned up to 23 inches.
The 2020 GLS is not an off-roader. Yet there are elements to assist if the going gets rough. Its air suspension can be raised to increase ground clearance. There is a bouncing feature designed to free the SUV from deep sand or mud. An available transfer case on GLS580 models with a reduction gear optimizes torque delivery. Grab handles in the center console provide support.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS will go on sale in late 2019.