In November last year, we saw a lightly camouflaged prototype of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS testing on public roads in Germany. It hinted at very minor visual tweaks as the most luxurious GLS is already an imposing sight. A refresh for the posher model likely means the regular GLS will also get an update and we might have an early look at the big SUV.
The video attached at the top of this page shows a rather weird-looking GLS. It looks wrong on so many levels but that’s something to be expected from a test vehicle. The short 1:30-minute clip includes footage shot at public roads, which means even the trial cars need to have the necessary lights at the back and upfront.
This easily explains the placeholder lights you can see at both ends of the vehicle. At the front, the headlights appear to be considerably smaller than the area they need to occupy. On the top of each cluster, there’s a layer of blue styrofoam, probably preventing the headlight from moving around. The edges of the bumper - a piece made from unpainted black plastic - don’t seem to fit well into the overall context of the front fascia.
The rear end is even worse. There are just two round lights at each side, probably covering the bare legal minimum of a brake light, turn signal, and reverse light. There is trim missing from the boot lid and the rear bumper has the same rough shape as the front one. Last but not least, those don’t look like the final production exhaust.
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If you ask us what Mercedes is testing with this prototype, the obvious answer has to be a facelift for the GLS. If that’s indeed the case, we could be looking at a more serious refresh for the luxury SUV as some of these unmatched exterior details could be just a disguise for the final look. We will probably have to wait at least a few more months until we see another prototype testing that will, hopefully, reveal more.