2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS to be launched in India by March 2020
Mercedes-Benz India has confirmed that it will launch the second generation Mercedes-Benz GLS, its luxury SUV flagship in India before the first quarter of 2020. This will follow the launch of the facelifted Mercedes-Benz GLC in December and the new-gen GLE in January. The brand is on an aggressive product strategy for India, in which it plans on launching a new model every month. This makes us think that the new GLS could debut at the 2020 Auto Expo starting February 5. Mercedes has also finished selling its stock of the last-gen GLS, so bookings for the new car are expected to begin very soon.
We expect the new GLS to get a similar set of engines as the new GLE, which were leaked some time ago. This could mean two diesel engines and petrol, all BSVI compliant. We think the GLS could be offered with the OM656 diesel. This 2,956cc inline-six motor makes 286PS at 3,400-4,600rpm and 600Nm between 1,200 and 3,200rpm in the G 350d and we expect similar outputs in the GLS 350d. The other diesel variant should get the same motor in a higher state of tune and be called the GLS 400d. In the new GLE, this makes 330PS and 700Nm and similar outputs are expected in the GLS. The petrol engine is expected to be the GLS 450 4Matic. This will get the M 256 inline-six 3.0-litre petrol motor paired with a 48V mild-hybrid system. Outputs should be 367PS and 500Nm with the EQ-Boost mild-hybrid system adding a further 22PS and 250Nm. The GLS, when it was unveiled globally last year, also debuted the GLS 580 4Matic version, this gets a 4.0-litre V8 petrol with 489PS and 700Nm and the 48V EQ Boost. This motor could make it to India at a later date along with the top-spec Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 which was unveiled recently. All engines come paired with a 9-speed torque converter automatic and the 4Matic AWD system.
The GLS is expected to come with a six or seven-seater layout, with the second-row being available in either fully adjustable individual captain seats or as a three-seater bench. There should be five-zone climate control and heated seats for all rows. The new MBUX infotainment system that debuted here with the GLC facelift is also expected but in a widescreen layout with the two 12.3-inch screens, and with gesture-control functionality. Also, a 7.0-inch tablet with all MBUX function should be available for second-row passengers. The features include wireless charging, Mercedes Me connected car tech, a self-parking feature with a reversing camera, blind-spot monitoring, nine airbags and the active brake assist system. Further, we also expect the Stop And Go assist semi-autonomous driving system to be made available, standard air-suspension and the E-Active Body control system which leans the SUV bends for more cornering stability and preps the suspension beforehand to tackle any road imperfections.
The prices for the current generation GLS start at Rs 87 lakh for the base diesel. But given the new car's larger footprint, longer features list and high-tech BSVI compliant engines, we expect prices to start at around Rs 90 lakh. This means that the new GLS will compete with cars like the BMW X7, Audi Q8, the top-spec Volvo XC90, and the Range Rover Sport.
Also see: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS First Drive Video Review
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