2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS Class test mule spy shots
This may look like an ordinary M Class but underneath the SUV body is likely to be the chassis of Mercedes’ new coupe crossover, which is expected to be called the GLS Class.
The only giveaway that this is a chassis test mule for the GLS are the widened wheel arches at the rear of the vehicle. Of course, there's also the fact that a pair of BMW X6 models can be seen in one of the shots being benchmarked against the Mercedes test mule.
The widened wheel arches suggest that the GLS will have a wider and sportier stance than the M Class with which it will share a platform and engines.
The GLS name, rather than MLC, which was also tipped at one point, is in line with Mercedes’ naming practice to have all its SUV and crossover model names start with the letter g. The GL in GLS also denotes the vehicle’s expected premium positioning.
Production of the new GLS Class will take place at Mercedes’ plant in Alabama in 2015, likely making this a 2016 model. We know that’s when production will start due to a previous teaser image revealing the production start date as well as the vehicle’s silhouette.
The teaser showed what appeared to be a tall-riding vehicle with a coupe-like profile very similar to the designs of the BMW X6 and, to a lesser extent, the soon-to-be discontinued Acura ZDX.
The GLS will be targeted primarily at customers in China and the U.S. and feature the same engine lineup as found in the M Class. An AMG version complete with a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 will also be launched, along with a possible hybrid model.
Stay tuned for updates as development of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS Class continues.