The new-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS has been spied. The big SUV, which used to be called the GL, will feature a raft of improvements over its current form and take on a new, smoother looks, kind of like the S-Class. In fact, Mercedes-Benz does sell the GLS as the S-Class of SUVs. It is expected to be unveiled at one of the big motor shows in 2018 and arrive in Mzansi either late 2018 or early 2019.

Some of the key areas of improvement will include a lighter body overall. The GLS will shed upwards of 50kg in most models by using lighter materials. It will feature dynamic lights with LED and laser technology. The interior will carry better materials, more seating space (up to 7 seats), and up-to-date technologies like the Mercedes Me system that comes with COMAND infotainment. There may even be a super luxurious Maybach version that competes with the likes of Range Rover Autobiography.

On the engine front the new GLS will feature a range of motors, petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid. We believe the petrols will start from a 3.0-litre turbo V6 with about 280kW of power, followed by a 350kW GLS 560 and a stomping GLS 63 AMG worth over 450kW. Two diesels should be made up of a 210kW (600Nm) and a 250kW (700Nm) 3.0-litre V6. As for the plug-in hybrids, at least two can be expected, including a GLS 450e with a 48V electric system and an electric-only range of about 40km.

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