German luxury car giant, Mercedes-Benz will be launching its flagship SUV, the GLS on 18 May 2016. In case you are wondering, the GL-Class is now called the GLS, under Mercedes' new nomenclature.
Called the 'S-Class of SUVs' — the GLS combines the opulence of a luxury sedan with the go-anywhere ability of a big SUV. On the design front, not much has changed, barring the new face and the refreshed tail section. Updates include all-LED headlamps and tail lamps, a new grille and different alloy wheels.
The new iteration continues to be a seven-seater and comes packed with all the technology one will ever need. It will get Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system that consists of a large, iPad-like screen stationed on the centre console. It functions as the one-stop source for audio, navigation, the reverse camera display, and various menus that help set the car up. Other additions include a new three-spoke steering wheel and Nappa Leather upholstery for all seven seats.
We expect Mercedes-Benz to launch the GLS in its '350d' avatar. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine produces 255PS of power and 620Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox that channels power to all four wheels via Mercedes' '4MATIC' all-wheel-drive system. Considering the recent extension of the Delhi diesel ban, Mercedes might look into getting a petrol powered GLS as well. The automaker might consider the GLS400 for India, that features the same engine that one would find under the hood of the recently launched S400 saloon. A hot-blooded AMG variant, with 550PS of power on tap, is expected to reach our shores as well.
We expect the prices to be bumped up slightly from the current levels, to around the Rs. 80 lakh mark. While we wait for the launch, check out reviews of the GLS' chief rivals, the Audi Q7 and the Volvo XC90.