Mercedes-Benz is working on some subtle updates for its GL-Class, updates the German automaker confirmed will be introduced for the 2017 model year. The current GL was all-new for 2013, so the 2017 model year roughly coincides with the full-size SUV’s mid-cycle. Prototypes for the updated version have just been spotted again.

The big news is that the SUV will no longer be called a GL, but rather a GLS in line with Mercedes’ new naming strategy. The “S” in the title signifies that this large, luxurious SUV is positioned alongside the S-Class range of models.

Various GLS prototypes have been spotted, all of them revealing new bumper and grille designs. The headlights are also new, while at the rear the shape of the tail-lights will remain the same but with some new graphics inside them.

Moving to the interior, look for a redesigned dash, new trim materials and an updated infotainment system. A new display screen will be mounted in the dash, with the interior pretty much looking like the one in the M-Class-replacing GLE range.

In the engine department, Mercedes just updated the GL’s powertrain lineup for 2015, meaning powertrains should carry over mostly unchanged with the arrival of the 2017 GLS. The GLS350 BlueTEC should stick with its turbocharged V-6 diesel good for 240 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. The GLS450 will have a turbo V-6 with 362 hp and 369 lb-ft, and the GLS550 will have a turbo V-8 with 429 hp and 516 lb-ft. At the top of the range will be the GLS63 from Mercedes-AMG with a turbo V-8 good for about 550 hp and 560 lb-ft. 4Matic all-wheel drive will remain standard across the range.

We’ve also heard that an ultra-luxurious Mercedes-Maybach version of the GLS is in the works, though well-heeled buyers will likely have to wait until the arrival of a complete redesign of the GLS for that particular model. We should have more details soon, as the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS is expected to be unveiled at next month's 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.


Follow Motor Authority on Facebook and Twitter.