Mercedes-Benz is planning to take on the BMW X6 with it’s own sporty SUV called the GLS. The GLS is scheduled for launch in 2014, and will be a new four-seater built around the same unibody platform that makes up the third-generation M-class (shown above) and the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee. The GLS will have less cargo room (compared to the M-class)thanks to a sporty roof line similar to the CLS sedan. Audi and Range Rover are also launching new models to compete with the sporty X6 SUV.
“After closely monitoring sales trends, we’ve concluded there is potential for an additional off-road model with a more sporting emphasis than the new M-class,” an insider explained last week.
Several engines will be available for the GLS including a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6, a 4.6-liter V8 as well a 3.0-liter V6 diesel. There may also be a diesel-electric hybrid option that will be similar to the E300 Hybrid set to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September. Mercedes will also combat the X6 M with its own AMG model, powered by a turbocharged 5.5-liter V8.
The GLS will be built alongside the M-class at the North American factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.