Off-Road Maybach: All Details

A new SUV has appeared in the luxury line-up of Mercedes-Benz.

Over its more than century-old history, the Maybach name has experienced three births: two as an independent brand and one as a division of Mercedes-Benz. Now, the Maybach brand produces super luxury versions of the long-wheelbase S-Class Sedans and Pullman limousines, but an SUV was a missing piece. Thought, attempts were made.

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The Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet was released in 2017. It was a collectible model with a folding roof section over the rear row and a base from the extreme G 500 4x42. The price of a million dollars and a circulation of 99 copies could not make the Landaulet popular. However, there was no such goal: another model, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS, was being prepared for market development. The production SUV was not as revolutionary as the concept that anticipated it but still brought a lot of interesting solutions.

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Unlike the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, the production SUV turned out to be an exact replica of the GLS. You can distinguish one from the other by the radiator grille with thin vertical ribs in the shape of a paddle or blade, the company's three-beam star on the hood, and the Maybach logos on the C-pillars. The body is so identical that even the shape of the slot in the front bumper remains the same, only now it is covered with a chrome mesh.

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The design of the grille features Maybach’s typical motifs: the slats are perceived as an allusion to the classic pinstriped suit. The heavy use of chrome is dictated by the preferences of buyers in the main markets for such cars (mainly China and the Middle East). Adaptive Multibeam LED headlamps with 112 LEDs per unit come as standard equipment.

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Such «spoke» wheels are reserved by Mercedes exclusively for Maybach. Regular 22-inch wheel rims are painted in black gloss, and 23-inch polished ones made of forged aluminum are available as an option. Metal hub caps are decorated with the Mercedes-Benz badges and the Maybach lettering in a circle.

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The Mercedes-Maybach GLS is addressed to passengers, so special attention is paid to the process of boarding. The main role in it is played by two-meter retractable footrests. They are made of anodized aluminum, equipped with LED lighting and anti-slip rubber inserts. The shape is reminiscent of the radiator grille edges. The footrests can withstand a load of 200 kg and are triggered to open doors in one second.

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The footrests can be extended automatically or manually. In the first case, they hide under the body 1.5 seconds after the doors are closed, in the second — when the speed reaches 15 km/h. It is possible to forcibly fix them in the extended position. The drive system is equipped with sensors to prevent impacts from unexpected obstacles. Mechatronics off-road mode disables the automatic footrests and initiates manual controls.

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However, the main thing in the Mercedes-Maybach GLS is still the interior. The SUV can be ordered in a five- or four-seat configuration, with separate seats shifted 30 mm inwards and 120 mm back compared to the three-row GLS. This arrangement provides passengers with extra 16 mm of space around their shoulders and elbows.

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The legroom does not depend on the configuration and is 1,103 mm. With the front passenger's seat shifted to the «driver's position», the distance will increase to 1,340 mm. The length between the seats and the roof is 1,020 mm. The tilt of the seat backs is adjustable from 27 to 43.5 degrees, and the seats are set 28 cm higher than those of the S-Class.

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All seats are equipped with electric controls, heating, ventilation and massage by default. The front ones are multi-contour, with adjustable lumbar support, dynamic support in turns, inflatable pillows in the back and an active warm-up program. Single rear seats with ottomans offer a ten-point massage with the «hot stones» effect.

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The four-zone Thermotronic with quiet fans on rubber dampers and deflectors that reduce aerodynamic noise is responsible for the microclimate in the cabin. The rear passengers have their own air conditioning unit with separate temperature control and air quality control, as well as two electric leg heaters.

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The air conditioner monitors the temperature outside and inside the cabin, the position of the sun and humidity. GPS tells you when to switch to recirculation mode. For example, before entering a tunnel. You can save the temperature settings for seven regular passengers and one guest in the climate control unit memory. All functions are controlled on a removable 7-inch tablet attached to the armrest.

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The standard Mercedes-Maybach GLS already has a complex MBUX with two 12.3-inch displays, WiFi, Bluetooth, four USB ports and a pair of 11.6-inch touch screens for rear passengers. The standard equipment also includes a Burmester audio system with a 24-channel amplifier, 27 speakers and an intercom system. For an additional fee, you can install an outlet and a Bluetooth receiver in the rear glove compartment.

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The list of equipment, among other things, includes a panoramic roof with sliding and sloping sections, contour lighting of the interior made of fiber-optic elements, electric sunshades, and heated cup holders. Additionally, four-seat SUVs can be equipped with a refrigerator that can hold three standard bottles of champagne and with a storage compartment for two silver wine glasses from the Mercedes-Maybach catalog.

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The interior of the luxury GLS is inspired by yachts: the front panel and seat are covered with nappa leather; the decor is made of wood under matte lacquer and various metals. The company’s typical «rose gold» color can be found on the seat edging with white leather upholstery.

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Despite the 600 index, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS does not have a V12. Its powertrain is closest to that of the new Mercedes-AMG GLS 63: a 4.0-liter biturbo V8, a 48-volt hybrid EQ Boost motor and a system for shutting off half the cylinders at low loads. The engine produces 558 hp and 730 Nm, but the EQ Boost can add another 22 hp and 250 Nm for a short time. The engine is combined with a 9-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive with an electronic distributor. A 0-100 km/h time is 4.9 seconds. A top speed is 250 km/h (with an electronic limiter, of course).

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Mercedes-Maybach is equipped with Airmatic air suspension and adaptive shock absorbers. «Jumping» hydropneumatic E-Active Body Control powered by a 48-volt onboard network is included in the additional equipment. At the same time, the both variants received a special algorithm that provides greater smoothness. The ground clearance is adjusted automatically, for example, the car «squats» at high speed to reduce drag.

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Dynamic Select allows you to switch between driving modes and change mechatronics settings. In addition to the standard «Sport» and «Off-road», the SUV has a specially designed «chauffeur» configuration. In this mode, the responses to the gas pedal are smoothed, the transmission is switched more gently, and the start-stop system is disabled.

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Passenger safety is the responsibility of a wide range of assistance systems. These include adaptive cruise control that respects speed limits, lane-keeping systems, blind spot monitoring, and obstacle avoidance assistance. The advanced package of electronic assistants includes the Pre-Safe set with preventive protection against side, rear and stun impacts.

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The Mercedes-Maybach GLS will receive the 600 index and the 4MATIC prefix. The SUV will be released in the second half of 2020. The 680 modification is still reserved for the model, but nothing is known about it yet. Prices will be announced later, closer to the start of sales.

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