Exterior design: Luxury in its purest form

Nov 21, 2019
Stuttgart/Guangzhou

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS combines the body form and superior, robust technical basis provided by the GLS, the S-Class among SUVs, with all the technical and material luxury of a top-class saloon car. It stylishly yet emphatically shows its special standing among the Mercedes-Benz SUVs. The Mercedes-Maybach bears the Mercedes star in the traditional way, upright on the bonnet. Where the Mercedes-Benz GLS sports a large star between two horizontal louvres in the radiator grille, the Mercedes-Maybach grille has a fine, elegant line of vertical chrome pinstripes as a motif. They widen into small oar-blades at the upper edge, blending into the chrome frame bearing the lettering MAYBACH at its top centre.

"The Mercedes-Maybach brand represents 'Ultimate Luxury' in its most contemporary, purest form", says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "The brand's style is embodied in sublime beauty, supreme aesthetics and elegance. In order to define the luxury of the future, we are taking the concept of Sensual Purity to the next level and transforming ourselves from a premium manufacturer to the world's leading design brand."

The headlamps with MULTIBEAM LED technology as standard present the entire front lighting as if in jewellery showcases. Below the radiator grille, the front apron has a wide air inlet that discreetly suggests the power of the V8 engine with a finely woven grille in high-grade chrome. On the left and right of the radiator grille, this grille has finely curved trim strips for additional embellishment, and it tapers to form an elegant, slim cross-piece emphasising the horizontal line between the radiator grille and the registration plate bracket. Below the chrome grille the bumper has a high-gloss black paint finish and a robust, high-gloss chrome underguard indicating the vehicle's considerably refined SUV character.

The side view of the car likewise shows a refined reinterpretation of the SUV genes. The robust chrome surrounds of the side windows are subdivided by the chrome-plated B-pillar facings. This embellishing feature is a fixed part of the Mercedes-Maybach bumper signature, and externally emphasises the length of the rear seating area. The black-painted side sill panels with chrome inserts and the strut-mounted roof rails, all typical SUV features, have also been made into embellishing features with their high-gloss finish and striking chrome highlights. On the D-pillar, an elegant Mercedes-Maybach badge underlines the high quality and great attention to detail. In the dark, a Mercedes-Maybach emblem projected onto the ground from the exterior mirrors is part of the welcome light show when opening the vehicle.

Illuminated ramp: the extending running boards ensure a dynamic entry experience

The side sill panels in particular are more than just an embellishment. As standard they include a running board that automatically swings out for passengers to enter and leave the vehicle. Made from high-gloss aluminium with anti-slip rubber strips, the more than two-metre long running boards are a USP of the Mercedes‑Maybach GLS. They not only allow Mercedes-Maybach GLS drivers and passengers convenient access and egress, but also ensure an incomparable spectacle each time (see next chapter for details).

The large wheels have a diameter of 825 millimetres, while the rims measure 22 or 23 inches in diameter. Their multi-spoke design was conceived exclusively for the Mercedes-Maybach. The design of the 23-inch wheels echoes the pinstripe motif of the radiator grille. The slim, filigree spokes blend into the rim flange as small oar-blades, like the louvres of the radiator grille. The standard 22-inch wheels are made of die-cast aluminium painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, while the 23-inch wheels are made of forged, polished aluminium. The elegant hub covers are made of high-quality metal, and bear a Mercedes star surrounded by "Maybach" lettering on each side. The large, flush-mounted wheels completely fill the wheel arches. The SUV-specific wheel arch flares are painted in the vehicle colour.

Striking and elegant embellishments as design features are continued at the rear of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. Below the rear window, to the left and right of the Mercedes star, the car shows its model designation in a Mercedes-Maybach specific script. Below this a chrome facing extends across the entire width of the car, from the outer edge of the first rear light to its counterpart on the other side. A second trim strip is fitted at the height of the loading sill, and the rear reflectors are embedded in the broad ends of the reflectors like gemstones. The lower edge of the rear apron is painted in high-gloss black, and carries a robust, high-gloss chrome underguard that encloses the two large, rectangular tailpipe trim elements. Between them a characteristic, horizontal connecting piece provides a further, typical Mercedes-Maybach design feature.

Two-tone paint finishes are optionally available, and these underline the balanced proportions of the body. A total of eight combinations are planned, the colour named first being that of the lower section: cavansite blue/iridium silver; designo diamond white bright/obsidian black; iridium silver/designo diamond white bright; iridium silver/selenite grey; obsidian black/kalahari gold; obsidian black/patagonia red; obsidian black/rubellite red; emerald green/mojave silver. These paint finishes are rendered particularly elegant by the fluid course of the separating lines, where a fine pinstripe in the one colour merges into the body of the other colour along the vehicle's beltline. This fine line once again echoes the pinstripe motif.

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