2022 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 4Matic launched in Malaysia – four-seater X167 priced at RM1.8 million – paultan.org

The Z223 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class wasn’t the only car introduced today – Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) also launched the Maybach GLS, expanding the brand’s flagship lineup to towkays preferring their luxury cars in SUV form. This ultra-luxurious version of the GLS arrives in Malaysia more than a year after the “regular” model.

Again, this car certainly isn’t for the proletariat, although it’s a comparative bargain next to the near-RM2 million S 580, priced at only RM1,789,453 for the sole GLS 600 4Matic variant. To give you a sense of perspective, that’s double what the regular GLS 450 costs – that one retails at just under RM900,000.

For that money, you don’t get a longer body like the Maybach S-Class – the Maybach GLS is exactly the same size as the standard car. Mind you, this is still no Perodua Axia: at 5,207 mm long and 1,956 mm wide, it’s longer and wider than a short-wheelbase S-Class; it’s also 1,850 mm tall and has a 3,135 mm wheelbase.

The Maybach GLS also flies in the face of conventional logic by offering less for more money – whereas the standard GLS is a full seven-seater, this version only has four. The third row has been jettisoned, enabling the second-row to be placed some 120 mm further rearward to free up lots of rear legroom. With the front passenger seat adjusted to the “chauffeur” position, rear occupants have up to 1.34 metres to lounge in.

The outer rear seats – which can be reclined by up to 43.5 degrees and come as standard with ottomans and memory, heating, ventilation and massage functions – have also been moved 30 mm inboard to free up more elbow room. That leaves very little room for the centre passenger, but luckily Malaysian-spec models kick the sole peasant out in favour of a full-length centre console as part of the First-Class rear cabin package.

Just like in the Maybach S-Class, this centre console houses twin folding tables, the rear air vents, climate controls and a refrigerator for stowing your prized bottles of Moët; silver-plated champagne flutes are available as an option. Also fitted are twin 11.6-inch multimedia touchscreens on the front seat backs and a seven-inch Android tablet for controlling various rear cabin functions.

The car also comes with the designo leather package that includes Nappa leather upholstery (including on the dashboard and door cards), as well as designo piano black trim with flowing lines. Power-adjustable headrests (no “pillows” that come as standard on the S-Class, unfortunately) and an airliner-style “tidy up” function for returning the seats to their original positions are also provided.

The 13-speaker, 590-watt Burmester surround sound system comes standard with a unique two-way intercom between the front and rear parts of the cabin, plus twin wireless headphones. The four-zone climate control has also been upgraded with an air quality sensor, a windscreen humidity sensor and specially-developed fan motors that minimise noise, plus coated air vents that further dampen the sound of the airflow.

Elsewhere, it’s much like the standard GLS – the dashboard sports rectangular air vents and a Widescreen Cockpit with twin 12.3-inch displays (including a centre touchscreen). The standard Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) has been expanded with the MBUX Interior Assistant, which proactively enables certain functions in the front of the cabin, such as the interior lighting, in response to gestures.

On the outside, the Maybach GLS is set apart from the standard model through the bespoke grille with vertical slats and the Maybach script, along with chrome front air intakes, a chrome B-pillar, the Maybach badge on the C-pillars and massive 23-inch polished multi-spoke forged alloy wheels. There are also huge retractable running boards for you to gracefully enter and exit the car, replete with the Maybach logo.

Standard equipment includes Multibeam LED headlights, keyless entry, push-button start, power-adjustable front seats with memory, heating, ventilation and massage functions, heated and cooled cupholders, a panoramic tilt-only sunroof, powered rear side window sunshades, a 360-degree camera system, soft-close doors and a hands-free powered tailgate.

In terms of safety, the Maybach GLS comes with all the technology you could ever ask for. The Driving Assistance Plus package includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go and lane centring assist for Level 2 semi-autonomous driving. It also features no less than nine airbags (including a driver’s knee bag and rear side bags), Pre-Safe and Pre-Safe Impulse Side, the latter raising the car up to better protect occupants in a side impact collision.

Under the bonnet, the GLS 600’s AMG-derived M176 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8 makes even more power than in the S 580, churning out 558 PS from 6,000 to 6,500 rpm and 730 Nm of torque between 2,500 and 5,000 rpm. There’s also a 48-volt EQ Boost mild hybrid system that temporarily adds another 22 PS and 250 Nm for even more brute force, along with a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox.

Throw in the 4Matic all-wheel drive system that can send up to 100% of the torque to either the front or the rear axles, and the result is a 2,785 kg behemoth that can get from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. On the flip side, the hybrid powertrain features cylinder deactivation and kinetic energy recuperation to save fuel, although even with all that, fuel consumption is still rated at a not-insignificant 11.7 to 12.0 litres per 100 km.

As standard, the GLS’ Airmatic air suspension has been augmented with a 48-volt E-Active Body Control roll stabilisation system, which uses a stereo camera to scan the road surface and adjust the suspension to suit. It can also tilt into a corner like a motorcycle to improve comfort.

A special Maybach drive mode further adds the serenity by tuning the suspension for the lowest possible amount of body movement, using a vibration node to tune out any unwanted amplitudes in the ride. It also flattens the accelerator curve, minimises gearshifts, uses second gear to step off and turns off the automatic engine start/stop system, all in the name of uninterrupted peace and quiet.

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