NEW YORK — Mercedes-Benz's flagship SUV is getting a sweeping upgrade on what Mercedes believes Americans currently want — more room and power.
The 2020 GLS debuted at the New York auto show and will arrive at U.S. dealerships this year. Pricing was not disclosed.
Large premium SUV sales in the U.S. topped 151,000 last year, up 2.4 percent from 2017. The U.S. accounts for 30 percent of global GLS sales. U.S. sales of the model fell 32 percent last year to 21,972 units.
Speaking to Automotive News ahead of the show, incoming Daimler CEO Ola Källenius said the GLS is an expression of luxury.
The GLS is "the S class of SUVs," Källenius said. "At the upper end [it is] redefining what luxury SUVs should be like."
The 2020 GLS will come in two variants based on engine size — a V-8 and an inline-six engine.
The GLS 580 4Matic is the first Mercedes-Benz to introduce a 4.0-liter V-8 biturbo engine that delivers 483 hp. The GLS 450 4Matic is equipped with a 3.0-liter inline-six turbo engine, delivering 362 hp. Both variants receive an additional 21 hp from the electric EQ Boost feature enabled by a starter-alternator.
The GLS features a 2.4-inch-longer wheelbase, creating a roomier interior. The third-row seats can be lowered into the floor to increase trunk space, while the seats in the second row fold flat. A six-seater variant with two individual captain's chairs in the second row is available for the first time.