The ‘S’ stands for ‘style’ with Mercedes-Benz’s new GLS SUV

Mercedes-Benz is slowly adapting each of its models to a new naming convention, and the next vehicle in line is the German automaker’s flagship SUV. The GL will now wear the “GLS” moniker and will sport new styling for 2016.

New images of the redesigned SUV have appeared online via a French forum ahead of the vehicle’s scheduled debut at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, starting later this month.

While the nameplate adjustment isn’t as dramatic as other models in Mercedes-Benz’s stable (for example, the ML is now called the GLE), it brings the full-size SUV into the brand’s three-letter structure. Presently, lingering Mercedes-Benz single-letter models include the B-Class, C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, and G-Class.

Beyond the name, the new GLS dresses up its exterior with a front fascia pulled straight from the new C-Class and other redesigned Merc’s, new LED taillights, a redesigned lower bumper, a refreshed spoiler, and updated paint colors and wheels.

Though these are the only definitive styling tweaks we can garner from the leaked images, the GLS is expected to use the brand’s new infotainment system that includes a high-resolution screen seen in models like the S-Class. Cabin trim and interior accents may also be freshened to persuade buyers to spend the extra money on a facelifted GL.

In terms of powertrain updates, don’t expect substantial changes, if any. The GL is currently equipped with a host of six and eight-cylinder engines. The range-topping GL63 AMG packs a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 good for 550 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. The German performance division may squeeze a few extra horses from that engine and slap an “S” at the end of the GLS63 AMG name, similar to the C63 AMG S.

We’ll learn full details during the LA Auto Show that begins on November 17. Be sure to stay tuned for full coverage of the event, along with online reveals in the days ahead.


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