Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new Maybach GLS this week - an opulent luxury SUV that will take on other high-priced vehicles in the segment such as the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
The Maybach GLS, powered by a 558-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 with a 48V mild-hybrid system, has a number of fancy features that set it apart from virtually every other luxury vehicle on sale today. For easy reading, we've compiled the SUV's fanciest features into a digestible five point list - so scroll down to read all about the Maybach GLS and its various luxury features and technologies.
5. Aluminum Electric Running Boards
The Maybach GLS comes standard with electric side running boards that help passengers get in and out of the high-riding SUV. While electric running boards are available on many SUVs, even non-luxury ones, the GLS's running boards will automatically deploy within one second of the driver or passenger operating the door handle. If only one of the driver or passenger side doors are opened, the running boards will only deploy on that side. The Maybach GLS will also use its standard "Airmatic" air suspension system to automatically lower by 25mm when the door is opened for easier access.
At night, an LED light will project onto the running boards so the driver or passenger knows where to step, while a Maybach logo will also project onto the ground next to the running boards. Made of anodized aluminum, the running boards are designed to mimic the blade pattern on the vehicle's rear fascia grille.
4. Active Fragrancing with a Dedicated Maybach GLS Scent
Like many new luxury cars, the Maybach GLS is offered with an air ionizer, which uses a high-voltage ionizer in the air ducts to filter out viruses, bacteria, spores and other nasty airborne particles before they are wafted into the cabin via the climate control system. The system helps all occupants breathe better, but can have an even greater impact on asthmatics and those with allergies, the automaker says.
Maybach didn't stop there, though. The Maybach GLS also comes with "active fragrancing," which perfumes the cabin air with pleasant fragrances from an onboard glass flask. Maybach even developed a signature fragrance for the GLS, which consists of white osmanthus blossom with hints of leather and spicy tea. Different fragrances can also be ordered if the signature Maybach GLS scent isn't to the owner's tastes.
3. Executive Rear Seats
While many large SUVs like the GLS have up to seven or eight seats, the GLS has just four - with the backbench replaced by two large, reclining executive seats that look as though they were plucked out of a private jet. The seats are air-conditioned and heated, have a standard massage function and feature electronic adjustments for the recline position, leg cushion length, lumbar support and more. Inflatable active bolsters also hold passengers in place when cornering.
Truly setting these seats apart, though, is the "energizing seat kinetics" function, which supports good posture by actively moving the seat cushions and backrest on long journeys so the passenger doesn't become stiff or uncomfortable. An "energizing coach" function also uses lighting, musical moods and the seat massagers to implement a "wide range of feel-good programs" that promise to keep the passenger feeling relaxed on their journey. These programs run for 10 minutes and their effectiveness can be tracked using a smartwatch, Maybach says.
2. High-Tech Rear-Seat Entertainment
If the relaxation programs aren't keeping the passengers placated, they can always entertain themselves via the MBUX rear-seat entertainment screens, which can be mounted on the front seat backrests, or the 7-inch MBUX tablet mounted in between the two rear seats. The tablet can also be used to adjust the rear climate control, seat functions and more.
A champagne cooler is available as well, which is mounted between the two rear seats above the tablet screen, and has space for two Maybach champagne flutes. A large panoramic tilt-sliding rear moonroof also ensures the rear seat passengers have ample natural light during the day and allows them to get a glimpse of the stars or city skyline at night.
1. Active Air Suspension
Potentially the most important part of any ultra-luxury vehicle like the Maybach GLS is the ride comfort. Maybach ensures its passengers ride on absolute comfort thanks to its AIRMATIC active suspension and E-Active Body Control systems.
The AIRMATIC system responds sensitively to changes in the road, adjusting the damper stiffness based on how smooth or rough the road is. This system isolates each wheel to ensure that, for example, driving over a bump with the left side wheel does not disturb passengers on the right-hand side of the car and vice versa. This system also lowers the car at highway speeds for better aerodynamics and to reduce lift, and will also lower it at very low speeds so it is easier for the passengers to get out.
Meanwhile, the E-Active Body Control system controls the way the vehicle sways from side to side, reducing body movement to ensure customers don't feel cornering forces as much, or that they don't feel jostled over larger bumps in the road.
The 2020 Maybach GLS will go on sale in the second half of 2020. Pricing has not yet been announced, but if you have to ask...