The Maybach brand has always been the pinnacle of luxury for Mercedes-Benz and a prime example of that was the Mercedes-Maybach S 600. However, there is now another addition to the Maybach portfolio in India, and this time, it is one that will resonate with Indian consumers the most. Mercedes-Maybach has launched their first SUV in India with the GLS 600 4MATIC priced at Rs 2.43 crore.
The GLS 600 joins a very exclusive and elite club of super-luxury SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Now that is quite some competition, but the GLS seems to have arrived with all the artillery it would need.
So how do you differentiate it from the standard GLS?
To be honest, the exterior is anything but subtle. The generous and fitting use of chrome, the two-tone paint scheme, and the massive wheels are all pretty obvious indications that this isn’t your run-of-the-mill GLS.
The exterior doesn’t shout Maybach, but the cues are unavoidable. The front has a new massive chrome grille with the main differentiator being the Maybach lettering on the grille. It still carries over the three-pointed star latched on the bonnet but it won’t be long before owners swap it for the Maybach badge.
Then is the bumper that is all new and laden with chrome with a new design for the air intake with a chrome mesh. The LED headlamps are redesigned as well and get a more complex-looking cluster.
Over to the side, the Maybach sits higher thanks to 22-inch alloys, which again, can be spotted from quite a distance thanks to them being dipped in chrome as well. Don’t get me wrong though, because there is nothing chintzy about it at all. It is a level of premium you have rarely seen.
What stands out here is the two-tone paint scheme that is a Maybach highlight since its independent models like the 57S and the 62S. There is a myriad of color choices you can choose from, but not like you need it to stand out from the crowd.
The rear is relatively less ostentatious, but the Maybach badging and the bold use of chrome treatment on the bumpers and tailgate add to the premium appeal.
What’s it like on the inside?
To be fair, the exterior is just a glimpse of what a Maybach is. The real deal is something you realize once you step inside. The interior quality and the feel of the cabin along with the sense of luxury and plushness completely justifies the premium that the GLS 600 commands over the standard version. The layout is pretty much the same as the standard model, but everything has been accentuated just a tad bit more. The dual-tone upholstery is in line with the exterior and there is generous use of wood and brushed aluminum. It is all incredibly premium. In terms of tech, there is the touchscreen infotainment with MBUX and all the amenities your chauffeur would ever need.
The rear seat is where the real magic is. The lounge-like seats get massaging and ventilation and they have everything to make you feel like a king. You can recline them by huge 120mm which will allow you to glare out the huge panoramic sunroof. Then there are folding tables, a cool-looking wireless phone charger, and a tablet for infotainment control and to be fair, it is everything you would expect from the Maybach brand. Cool touches like temperature-controlled cup-holders and a fridge in the rear centre console are the conversation starters that the GLS 600 has.
What drives it?
Powering this palace on wheels is a 4.0-litre V8 that makes 549bhp and 730Nm allowing the GLS 600 to get from 0-100kph in just 4.9 secs. Obviously, performance on an SUV like this is secondary, but with so much on board, you need to have the punch to get it moving.
What is also exclusive to the Maybach is the re-tuned suspension. There is a dedicated Maybach Drive Program in the menu that will adjust the settings for optimum comfort. The air suspension with adaptive damping and active air body control means you can expect a sound nap while being driven on the worst stretch of road.
More on the GLS 600 will come once we sample it and until then, those who can afford it, better planning for one in the next year. I say next year because the 50+ models examples that Merc decided to bring in, have all been booked and will be delivered in the first quarter of 2022. So if you really want one, either crack a deal with the current owner or wait for what seems to be at least a year.