New Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 spied testing

New Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 has been caught testing, following confirmation from AMG bosses of performance SUV

These are our first spy shots of the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 SUV. The German brand appears to be listening closely to the demands of its customers, as this new AMG GLS mule has appeared no more than a fortnight after Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers hinted at the potential demand for the model.

The test car has been treated to the usual Mercedes-AMG cosmetic overhaul, with more aggressive front and rear bumpers, larger alloy wheels, a redesigned tailgate and a pair of square, twin-exit exhaust pipes. The heavy camouflage on its nose and tail also suggests that the showroom model will get updated front and rear lights.

• New 2019 Mercedes GLS unveiled in New York

We expect the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 to be powered by the same 4.0-litre V8 biturbo that features under the bonnet of the AMG S 63 Coupe. If so, power and torque figures should stand at 604bhp and 900Nm respectively, while the SUV should be able to achieve an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

Much like the rest of the Mercedes-AMG range, the new GLS 63 will also benefit from a host of chassis upgrades to cope with the extra grunt. Revisions should include a reworked traction control system, larger brakes, uprated performance suspension and a beefier four-wheel-drive set-up.

Even though the test mule looks almost finished, a production deadline has yet to be set for the new Mercedes-AMG GLS 63. Dr Andreas Zygan, Head of SUV Development for Mercedes, said: “We have a lot of customers for AMG, so it would make sense to make an AMG version [of the GLS]. We cannot talk about the timeline or market introduction of this car, but there will be [one], of course.”

A luxury Mercedes-Maybach version of the GLS is also on the cards, with Zygan telling us: “There is no decision we have taken, but what you see in the exquisite GLS is that we’ve developed a lot of things – the comfort and surroundings we’ve focused on – so the car has the possibility of a further project, but it’s not official. We’re looking closely and if we’re convinced, it would not take so long to make a decision.”

He did reveal that the GLS-based Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept, first displayed at the Beijing Motor Show in 2018, could still become reality. “Why not?” he said.

“At the end it is clear that it’s down to the demands of customers – such a car is driven by customer demand and we need enough numbers. We have a very intensive discussion about this, but right now in the near future there won’t be such a concept.”

What Zygan did definitely rule out, though, was an electrified version of the GLS, telling us that the platform was not designed for electrification and that demand would be too small to support the initial financial outlay.

What do you think about the prospect of the Mercedes-AMG GLS performance SUV? Have your say in the comments…

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