The next-generation people movers from Stuttgart will gain size while losing weight.
Mercedes-Benz is moving forward in the SUV department with updates to both the GLE-Class and GLS-Class in the works. We’ve seen both separately, but spy photographers recently caught the two models testing in the same area. Compared to previous spy shots we’re not really seeing anything new, though the crystal-clear images give us a nicely detailed view of both models.
The big news for the GLE-Class is a significant drop in weight for the mid-size crossover thanks to its new MRA platform. Despite a longer wheelbase which should equate to more passenger room, it’s rumored that the new GLE will check under 4,000 pounds, which will certainly help both performance and fuel economy figures. Considering the current GLE dates back to 2011, Mercedes sorely needs this new model to stay competitive in this very demanding segment.
Super-sized families who favor Mercedes will have a new seven-passenger GLS class coming as well, and like its GLE sibling, the GLS is expected to lose weight while also gaining some size. Though it looks somewhat bulky, a posh design is thought to exist under the strategically placed camouflage. It too will utilize the MHA platform for additional interior space, and rumors now suggest the flagship SUV could get a Mercedes-Maybach treatment to compete with the Range Rover SVAutobiography and Bentley Bentayga.
Both models should receive the latest Mercedes autonomous systems as well as the glass cockpit treatment, and AMG models will surely follow the mainstream offerings. The GLE-Class could see as much as 500 horsepower in a hybrid model, likely pairing the brand’s turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six with an electric motor. The same engine will likely serve in the GLS-Class, though AMG variants would almost certainly feature the biturbo V8.
With the GLS Grand Edition having been recently revealed, we’re not expecting to see this new model until 2019. The smaller GLE-Class, however, should be revealed next year.